The Quintessential Charlotte Luxury Magazine
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Smoked pork, brisket, and beef rib with sides from the long-awaited Noble Smoke. p. 126
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Photo of Noble Smoke's beef ribs by The Plaid Penguin. Cover photo by Lunahzon.
ISSUE NO.60 | AUGUST 2019
The Exclusives 126 Serious Barbecue The long-awaited Noble Smoke opens to acclaim
136 Uplifting Charlotte, One Dish At A Time Acknowledgement and support with Soul Food Sessions
144 OrderFire Peter Taylor's video series ushers in a new culinary era in Charlotte
152 The Plaid Penguin The creatives leading the charge as the Queen City becomes a foodie destination
156 On The Map 19 new restaurants helping Charlotte garner national attention
THE DEPA RTMEN TS
80 THE CULTURE ARTS, STYLE, AND WELLNESS
Colorful Intentions Local artist Tyler Helfrich makes the most of a dynamic world Sculpture The Bechtler features seventeen talented artists
Professional Plate Spinner Working creative Keia Mastrianni on Carolina food culture A Chance for health and healing Joanna Reule shares the inspiration behind her company Brave Broth
39 THE SPREAD FOOD AND DRINK
A New Path South Park's new Peppervine
A Humble Monarch Innovative fare and cocktails at The Queen & Glass
Brunch Done Right At South End's The Dunavant
The Batchmaker Meet talented baker Cristina Rojas-Agurcia
Barcelona's Pork Belly A beautiful dish from the popular tapas restuarant
Yume's Sushi & Ramen A colorful table of fresh fish and flavorful noodles
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Bob Peters' "Best Hibiscus Cocktail I've ever had" A cocktail almost too pretty to drink
Protagonist's Manhattan Beer cocktails in NoDa
THE DEPA RTMEN TS
104 THE FOLIO HOME AND DESIGN
Chic Sophistication Meet the New South Home interior design firm Eat with your eyes Carrie Frye's CFID leads the design on some of CLT's most beloved eateries A Translucent Twist A gorgeous design by Cellars South
Family Living Space A heartful space by Traci Zeller A Kitchen For All A beautiful space from the talented designers at House of Nomad A Grande Lake Home Grande and David Smith create a special lake house
87 THE EXPLORED
TRAVEL AND SPORTING
Highlands Serenity Take a visit to beautiful HalfMile Farm
West Side, the Best Side Where to eat in Asheville's most delicious neighborhood
A True Culinary Experience FEAST Food Tours share delicious fare from Charlotte's most popular neighborhoods
94 “I like fastpaced work, and restaurants move fast.”
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he tastiest issue of the year is here — our annual Food & Drink release — and this year's edition is dedicated to all those out there helping advance our culinary scene and getting it the attention it truly deserves. From the Peter Taylors and Marc Jacksinas spreading the Charlotte food gospel with their series OrderFire to the Greg Colliers and Michael Bowlings leading a movement of support and acknowledgement, our city is full of people who truly care and work diligently to advance the Queen City's palate. In this issue, we welcome respected restaurateurs Anita and Bill Greene, and their concept, Peppervine, to the city, taste delicious food at The Queen & Glass (and wash it down with some of Bob Peters' amazing concoctions), and eat every last one of The Batchmaker, Cristina Rojas-Agurcia's, cookies. Joe Haubenhofer, of the acclaimed food and beverage branding firm The Plaid Penguin, shares his story (and his favorite places to eat in CLT) with us, Jim Noble's Noble Smoke opens to instant acclaim behind amazing pork and buttery brisket, Keia Mastrianni dishes on the Old North State's food culture, and Carrie Frye of CFID talks about designing some of the best restaurants in the city. Finally, we share 19 of our favorite new restaurants for 2019. Grab a snack, an ice cold-beverage, and enjoy! Sincerely, Jon-Paul Grice, Editor | Brett Barter, Publisher RETRACTION: In our 2019 Issue 4 magazine we made a regrettable error in "The Dunavant" article. The chef and owner of the new South End restaurant The Dunavant was misnamed. Chef Travis Hearne is the owner. If you visit his restaurant, which we do highly recommend, beyond the delicious Steak and frites prix fixe, give their brunch a try.
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Through 9.28.2019 The Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art’s Summer Select Join Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art as they celebrate a variety of aesthetics with an exhibition designed to embrace the spectrum from reality to abstraction. Summer Selects 2019 is a lively exhibition that showcases select works from 20 of Elder’s roster artists, highlighting a medley of the best and the latest from the many creatives they represent. From comfortable interiors and intimate florals to exuberant gestural marks and imaginative abstracts, this exhibition includes works in many mediums: glass, sculpture, painting, drawing and collage. Image courtesy of Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art eldergalleryclt.com
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The Eventist // Aug/Sept 2019 EDITOR’S CHOICE
Through 11.3.2019 | Mint Musuem Presents Tony DiTerlizzi | mintmuseum.org
8.1.19 - 8.3.19 Joedance Film Festival Start off the month of August at the Blumenthal with three days of award winning films created by directors and writers with a North and South Carolina connection. General admission doors open at 7 pm with the films beginning at 8. joedance.org 8.3.19 + 8.24.19 Creating Poetry The McColl Center for Art and Innovation, in collaboration with the Mint Museum, is welcoming members of the community to develop and read their works and to brainstorm with fellow writers from 2 - 4 pm both days. mccollcenter.org
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8.4.19 Confluence Music lovers unite at the Whitewater Center on the first Sunday in August for an afternoon of listening to various bands and engaging in fun activities. usnwc.org 8.7.19 Yoga Bar at the Mint Join in on a one hour yoga class at the Mint Museum hosted by NC Yoga Bar from 6-7 pm. All Mint Museum members can participate for free. mintmuseum.org 8.10.19 Starving Artist Market Come shop at the Catawba Brewing Company to find handcrafted art and
jewelry from Charlotte’s local talent. The event is held from 1-6 and is catered by Cousins Maine Lobster. starvingartistmarketclt.com 8.15.19 - 8.17.19 Matt Lemmler New Orleans pianist, vocalist, and composer, Matt Lemmler will be performing selections from Stevie Wonder in a setting reminiscent of classic jazz bars. blumenthalarts.org 8.13.19 - 8.18.19 Cats The Blumenthal Theatre will be hosting a rendition of the award winning musical, Cats, at various times over these six days in August. blumenthalarts.org
Host an upcoming event in the lobby, plaza, terrace, classroom and/or galleries* and surround your guests with modern art. Inquire today at email@example.com or 704.353.9215. Follow us on Facebook @BooktheBechtler and Instagram @book_the_bechtler. * Events in the galleries are contingent on the type of event and the current exhibition. Restrictions on catering menu and bar apply.
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The Eventist // Aug/Sept 2019 8.18.19 Wild Wonders! The wild is full of surprises around every corner. Learn about the unique, bizarre and interesting adaptations plants develop in order to survive in different habitats. Explore the unique and interesting aspects of the Garden though the use of different art forms and materials in the DSBG Art Factory. dsbg.org 8.23.19 - 8.25.19 Vintage Market Days This indoor/outdoor market will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will feature vintage clothing, jewelry, home décor, and original art pieces. vintagemarketdays.com 8.23.19 - 8.25.19 Southern Women’s Show Hosted by Southern Shows, the Charlotte Convention Center will be holding the Southern Women’s Show highlighting hundreds of boutiques from around the Charlotte area, along with fashion shows and top chefs. southernshows.com 8.26.19 Closing Reception The New Gallery of Modern Art invites all of Charlotte to celebrate the end of a spectacular summer with the closing reception for the BLACK BLOODED exhibit. newgalleryofmodernart.com
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8.27.19 Pets, Paints, and Pints Learn how to paint a custom portrait of your beloved pet at the NoDa Brewing Company with the help of artist Carla Garrison-Mattos. The event is held from 6-8:30 with all supplies provided. nodabrewing.com 9.1.19 Labor Day at Whitewater Center What better way to celebrate Labor Day than with a day full of fun outdoor activities, such as a flow yoga class, a climbing competition, and a 5K/15K Trail Race. The National Whitewater
The Eventist // Aug/Sept 2019 Center will also be hosting concerts and fireworks later in the day. usnwc.org 9.4.19 Paddle to Table The U.S. National Whitewater Center will be hosting a guided paddling session down the Catawba River followed by a chef-curated meal with craft beer and wine options, too. usnwc.org Through 9-9.28.19 Summer Selects The Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art presents a collective exhibition featuring a variety of works from the gallery’s roster of artists. These works include an array of mediums including glass, sculpture, painting, drawing, and collage. eldergalleryclt.com
JUNE 22 – NOV 3 MINT MUSEUM RANDOLPH mintmuseum.org
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Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Generous support provided by Triad Foundation. Image: Tony DiTerlizzi, Never Abandon Imagination (detail), 2017. Acryla gouache on Bristol board. Illustration for Norman Rockwell Museum exhibition.©Tony DiTerlizzi. All rights reserved.
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9.13.19 Shain Gallery Come check out the newest art at the Shain Gallery. The gallery presents the Eric Olsen and Brandon Blane McMillan exhibit from 6-8 pm. shaingallery.com 9.13.19 Rufus Wainwright Rufus Wainwright, one of the great male vocalists, composers, and songwriters of his generation, has released eight studio albums, three DVDs, and three live albums. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Elton John, David Byrne, and Joni Mitchell. His album “Rufus Does Judy” recorded at Carnegie Hall in 2006 was nominated for a Grammy. blumenthalarts.org 9.18.19 Nc Yoga Bar Participate in a one-hour yoga class with NC Yoga Bar and then explore the Mint’s galleries. mintmuseum.org To list an event here contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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A R T S , S T Y L E , A N D W E L L N ES S
T H E C U LT U R E
COLOR F U L I N T EN TIONS Local artist Tyler Helfrich makes the most of a dynamic world. words ELEANOR MERRELL /
photos JAMEY PRICE or AMY ELLIS
AUGUST 2019 • @QCEXCLUSIVE • 39
The Culture // Musings
Art exists peskily outside of definition, eluding scholars, curators, viewers, and artists themselves, all of whom have tried to nail down its qualifications. Beautiful, evocative, original, and intentional, the work of painter Tyler Helfrich not only meets, but certainly exceeds the criteria on every art connoisseur's list. A graduate of Davidson College who nurtured aspirations of being a poet, became an interior designer, and then discovered a passion for painting, Tyler creates portraits, landscapes, and abstracts brimming with equal measures of color and sentiment. “All of my paintings’ subjects are things that I want to explore, intellectually or emotionally,” explains Tyler. She tackles her subjects categorically, painting entire collections of the same sets of subjects, exploring and articulating different facets of each series until she bares them. Previous collections have included animal portraits, abstract landscapes, and coffee farmer portraits. The latter collection is particularly dear to Tyler, who owns Summit Coffee Co. with her husband. “Coffee is an opportunity to experience the universe in one cup,” Tyler says. “From the coffee plant, to the weather, to the hands that picked the beans, to the ships that imported the beans, and the machines that roast the green beans, to the barista that brews and hands it to you; all of that is art.”
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“I’m trying to teach myself to sit in nuance, to experience the beauty available in it.”
The Culture // Musings
“I spend time studying what I see, trying to see it more deeply and in a more dynamic way.” Tyler arrives at her finished portraits and landscapes cautiously. “I spend time studying what I see, trying to see it more deeply and in a more dynamic way,” she says. Her abstract pieces, on the other hand, “are a practice in mark-making, impulse, and raw expression,” according to Tyler. “I try to set them free to become whatever they want to become,” and, often, what they become is staggering. One process is investigative, the other propulsive, and both result in the same outcome: Tyler explodes the essence of her subjects. She disarms and peels and picks and twists until the viewer can contemplate, with fresh perspective, whatever is portrayed before them, expansively rather than reductively — no matter whether the subject is a landscape, an animal, a coffee farmer, or a mood explored in abstract. “So much of our human perception is over-simplified by our practice of naming things,” Tyler observes. “In some ways, this coding is necessary for the brain to sort information and
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make sense of experience. In other ways, though, it robs us of the sensory richness of nuance.” For Tyler, color affords a rare opportunity to “sit in nuance, to experience the beauty available in it,” and her work challenges others to do the same. “At the age of three, my daughter asked me what color her skin was, and I asked her to name all the colors she saw when she really looked at her skin. After some moments of confusion, she held up her arm, and really started looking. I can’t think of a color that she didn’t list.” To look at one of Tyler’s paintings is probably to feel much like her daughter felt at age three, contemplating the colors of her skin, insofar as the world and all its emotional, intellectual, and visual color is blown open. info tylerhelfrich.com @tylerhelfrich
The Culture // Exhibited
SCU L PT U R E: F ROM T H E BECH T L ER COL L ECTION
A modest exhibit featuring works from seventeen talented artists. words SUNNY HUBLER /
photo courtesy BECHTLER MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
From the Bechtler Collection comes this curated exhibition of twenty works created over four decades by seventeen artists from six different nations. This represents both artists at their zenith and at the beginning of their career. Their approaches employ all manner of material including ancient traditions like bronze, marble and iron; simple forms like painted wood, porcelain and brass, and more idiosyncratic approaches such as enamel on steel, zinc on wood, and iron wedded with unique compositional matter.
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The artists represented here were born as early as 1898 and others are still living. Their origins are British, Swiss, German, Hungarian, Italian, and American The Bechtler invites you to imagine living with works such as these — with their traditional, surprising, reflective and unexpected qualities defining the world in which you live. info bechtler.org / @thebechtler
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The Culture // Creative
PROF ESSIONA L PL ATE SPI N N ER Keia Mastrianni is a foodie, writer, business owner, and oral historian, lending real texture and growth to North Carolina’s evolving food culture. words SUNNY HUBLER / photos KEIA MASTRIANNI or JAMEY PRICE
Keia Mastrianni is many things: a freelance writer, oral historian, and small business-owner, living on a working farm in Western North Carolina. “I usually say I’m a professional plate spinner,” Keia laughs. “Freelancing is for hustlers, not for the faint of heart.” Born in Florida, she graduated with a double-major in English and advertising, and went to ad school at the Creative Circus in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, she says she is most enamored with
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“bakers and pastry people, especially those putting in work to hand-laminate pastries and work with the seasons, close to the land.” Her writing has appeared in Local Palate, Bon Appetit online, Edible Communities, Modern Farmer, and Food Republic, among others, and as an oral historian, she has worked in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance. She is also behind a small-batch pie business known as Milk Glass Pie.
The Culture // Creative
“Buying local mattered more than anything and those relationships blossomed, guiding me to the realization that, ‘Wow, food is my passion.’” What about food and agriculture fuels your fascination? I was into food in various ways when I lived in Florida, but it wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina, where we have a beautiful climate for growing and are surrounded by an abundance of farms in close proximity, that I really took to food and agriculture. When I moved here, I started growing my own food, frequenting farmers markets, and engaging with the farmers. That completely changed my relationship to food: Buying local mattered more than anything and those relationships blossomed, guiding me to the realization that, ‘Wow, food is my passion.’ From there, what led you to develop your own brands? I’m a writer first and foremost, a food writer mostly, so my Keia is Hungry website is my personal website to share the articles I’ve written or multimedia pieces that I’ve produced with others. It was a cheeky moniker I came up with early on (I began writing professionally in 2011), and it just stuck. Milk Glass Pie is my pie brand, and it will be under construction very soon. What can you tell us about your new book collaboration with Chef Bruce Moffett? Bruce Moffett and I collaborated on his cookbook, Bruce Moffett Cooks, beginning in 2015. I had spent a solid few years covering food in Charlotte and wanted to pursue a book project as a means of professional development, and Bruce was also interested in creating a book. I ended up co-authoring his cook-
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book, which was so much more than that. I drafted the book proposal (two, actually), created the concept and template of the book, wrote 73,000 words over eleven chapters, and tested 125 recipes. Heck of a project! Tell us about your blossoming business, Milk Glass Pie? Pie was something I gravitated toward as a means of creative expression. It was a party trick I wanted to have in my back pocket, knowing how to make a good pie from scratch, but it became much more than that. I’ve been baking for about five years now, and Milk Glass Pie has been my side hustle/passion project. I pop-up from time to time and occasionally bake for my friends at Free Range Brewing, and also send out a holiday pie list for Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, it’s taken on a life of its own and I see myself bringing pie to the forefront this year. You have to give the people what they want! You seem to be juggling a ton of projects. What does a typical day in your life look like and how do you stay balanced? I make a lot of lists! My days depend on what I’m working on. Sometimes I’m writing, sometimes I’m baking for an event or pop-up. It all depends on the day, really. I learned long ago that I wasn’t meant to work in an office environment, that I appreciate my autonomy. But that still takes a bit of balancing, and I certainly get off balance and overwhelmed at times. I do what I love and work when I want, and that’s alright with me. Long
The Culture // Creative
A night out in Uptown Charlotte should include some delicious food and refreshing cocktails. Coastal Kitchen & Bar, located on our Plaza level, is the perfect place to start or end your night out on the town. Located in walking distance to Spectrum Center, Belk & Knight Theatres, and sporting venues, Coastal makes a great meeting place.
To see our full menu including craft beers on tap, wines, and specialty cocktails, visit www.coastalkitchenandbar.com.
CHARLOTTE CENTER CITY
For more details on our location, visit charlotte.hilton.com.
term, I’d like to just remain true to myself, to put good into the world, and foster community through my work, whether writing or baking or whatever else I choose to pursue. what is your greatest inspiration in regards to writing and creating recipes? Many people inspire me, and it’s a long list of folks who inspire my writing and baking in particular. As a writer, I have so many peers who are doing great things, but a dear friend of mine, Courtney Balestier, is a constant inspiration. Her podcast, the WMFA podcast, is one every writer should be listening to. Recipes and pie inspo comes from many places as well, but Tara Jensen is always at the top of my list. I took a pie class with her when she had a bakery called Smoke Signals in Marshall, NC. I also often turn to my cookbook collection for inspiration, especially the vintage ones, and doing something that doesn’t involve food or writing, like a hike or attending an art show, usually unlocks some good juju. Do you work regularly with or alongside anyone else? Not really, unless you count my partner, James Swofford (also known as The Chef’s Farmer) who is hopelessly intertwined into my life. We help each other in all things (both of our lives are rooted firmly in the food world), and also do pop-ups together. We call it the “Sweet & Sour Pop-up,” because I make pie, and he serves his vinegarbased botanical beverages under the name Old North Shrub. info keiaishungry.com / @keiaishungry milkglasspie.com / @milkglasspie
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The Culture // Wellness
A CH A NCE FOR H E A LT H A N D H E A L I NG Joanna Reule shares the inspiration behind and health benefits of Brave Broth. words L AUREN GRIFFITH / photos JAMEY PRICE
Joanna Reule’s commitment to organic bone broth began with her husband of fifteen years’ decision to practice intermittent fasting, ease inflammation from injuries, and wean himself off of his cholesterol medication. During the process of healing, he indulged in warm mugs of bone broth, a high nutrient soup made from simmering poultry, cow, or fish bones, instead of the more conventional remedies. After experiencing the change in his body first-hand, Joanna picked up her own mug-sipping practice. She replaced her daily caffeine fix with bone broth and quickly noticed a strengthening in her immune system. Her mood and satisfaction generally improved, she ate less at dinner,
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and slept better. Soon, her whole family was hooked. Although organic bone broth has been around for centuries, Joanna began her company with the vision of bringing New York City’s updated hot-by-the-cup broth concept to the expanding city of Charlotte. She knew that the extreme health benefits of bone broth would be the perfect addition to the growing health and wellness industry within the busy Charlotte Area. Since many are too busy to slow-cook their own meals to nutritional perfection, the new trend of grabbing a cup of bone broth on-thego, like a green juice or smoothie bowl, is convenient for locals and exciting to Joanna.
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The Culture // Wellness
“Brave Broth doesn't feel like work as much as it does a calling.” Reid’s Fine Foods and Green Brothers bought into the quick broth concept, and Joanna’s vision was brought to life across the city. Pints of the protein-rich Brave Broth are also sold at Thrive Wellness and Integrative Health Carolinas, as well as available for delivery. The new business owner sells every drop that she makes, and finds herself in the kitchen each day cranking out batch after batch. But, she says, “Brave Broth doesn’t feel like work as much as it does a calling.’” Brave Broth is hand-crafted with locally sourced, organic grass-fed beef and poultry bones mixed with organic vegetables and free-range turkey and chicken. Joanna’s successful restaurateur grandmother nurtured her cooking interest from a young age, and taught her the importance of the reboiling technique. She re-boils leftover bones, meat, and vegetables to create a weak stock. That stock replaces water for her next batch, deepening the flavor with the addition of minerals. Joanna sees to it that each batch has a specific depth of color, texture, and savory taste.
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The name “Brave Broth” was inspired by a Bible verse sign hanging above Joanna’s daughters bed. The verse reads “Be Brave. Be Strong. Let all you do be done with Love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13. Since the mother of four was terrified to take the “all in” leap to start her own business without a culinary degree, Joanna knew that she wanted to incorporate the word “Brave” into the name for constant motivation. Brave Broth is ever-expanding amongst the Queen City as its first line of local, organic, grass-fed bone broth. Joanna is currently aiming to double her weekly production with the addition of new kitchen materials and employees. Her goal is to produce enough to for not only Charlotte, but North Carolina, and hopefully nationwide. Brave Broth also gives back by donating 20% of proceeds to fight human trafficking, hoping to heal the world we live in. info charlottebonebroth.com
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T H E S PR E A D
FOOD AND DRINK
A N EW PAT H Peppervine, a new chef-driven establishment from the owners of Artisanal, charts a course for fellow independent restaurants. words ELEANOR MERRELL /
photos JAMEY PRICE
AUGUST 2019 • @QCEXCLUSIVE • 57
The Spread // Eatery
This year has ushered many delicious additions to Charlotte’s catalog of restaurants. Named one of “The Most Anticipated Spring Restaurant Openings” by Food and Wine, Peppervine is already establishing itself as a standout within the quickly growing market. Conveniently located in Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood, Peppervine delivers outstanding gourmet food in an elegant setting. The farm-to-table eatery is the brainchild of Bill and Anita Greene, a husband and wife team already established in the industry for their successful Banner Elk restaurant, Artisanal. Artisanal is where Bill and Anita met the other half of the Peppervine team: Rob and Bob Lackey, a father-son duo that frequented Artisanal and grew close with its owners. The Lackeys joined their extensive business management experience with Bill’s culinary talents and Anita’s management abilities. The result is a dynamic, smoothly-operated, beautifully-appointed, and downright tasty enterprise. A North Carolina native, Bill left the Tar Heel state to study at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. His aptitude for culinary arts shines through his position as Peppervine’s executive chef. In this role, Bill designs delectable dishes, like the tender Berkshire pork plate served with mushroom bread pudding, parsnip, and mustard pepper.
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The Spread // Eatery
Bill sources locally and seasonally in constant pursuit of, as he says, “flavors that offer unique combinations and influences from around the world.” The menu encourages social meals, where guests order an array of plates to share, from tapas-sized tastes to large platters. In addition to being a chef, Bill is also a wine aficionado. He has taken it upon himself to ensure that the restaurant is stocked with over 3,000 bottles of wine from around the globe, each thoughtfully selected. A cocktail list also offers refreshment, and the result is a myriad of food and beverage pairings that make for an exciting evening. It is difficult to imagine an aspect of dining at Peppervine more enjoyable than the food. However, the decor is just as jaw-dropping as the menu. The Greenes and Lackeys had a clear vision for the ambience of their restaurant: “We wanted a light-filled dining room with a palette of soft neutrals and whites, complemented by multiple textures,” explains Bill. The team’s light and airy design choices are particularly well-suited to their building, where a long wall of tall, floor-to-ceiling windows invite natural light.
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What makes Peppervine particularly inviting is their partnership with Shain Gallery, which supplies a rotating series of art for display in the restaurant. The art rests alongside permanent installations from artist Alex Pate, who designed a gorgeous wooden wine case and artist Jocelyn Chateauvert who created custom paper light fixtures that dazzle from the tall ceilings. The Peppervine team is keenly aware that, as an independently owned and operated business, they are unique in the SouthPark area. They embrace the challenge and intend to blaze a path forward that others might be able to follow. “We want to join fellow chef-driven establishments that are creative, responsible, and serve as mentors for the culinary scene,” says Bill. The precedent Peppervine has set will be difficult to follow, but the Queen City never ceases to surprise, particularly where its emerging culinary prowess is concerned. info peppervine.com @peppervineclt
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The Spread // Tastemaker
A H U M BL E MONA RCH The Queen & Glass rules Dilworth words ELEANOR MERRELL / photos JAMEY PRICE
Drive slowly down East Boulevard and, as you approach Scott Avenue (or pass it, depending on which direction you’re coming), brake until you’re barely moving. Peer around The People’s Market, and search under the stairs for The Queen & Glass. Tucked away as it is in this corner of Dilworth, The Queen & Glass has earned a reputation, in the one year it has been
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open, for being a hot spot for delicious food and masterful cocktails. “We figured it was a destination kind of place no matter what, so we are okay with having a humble little place that is a little hard to find,” says Bob Peters. Peters, formerly a mixologist for The Punch Room at
The Spread // Tastemaker
Uptown’s Ritz-Carlton, branched out on his own as a consultant, adopting The Queen & Glass as his inaugural project. Since then, he has worked with The Queen & Glass’ owner, Cory Duran, to create what Duran describes as “a bar for anyone.” At The Queen & Glass, anyone can quickly become someone, since the tiny bar (and both Duran and Peters are clear—this is a bar, not a speakeasy) seats only about 50 people. “The intimate setting allows guests to interact with each other and actually have a conversation,” explains Duran. “Whereas at other larger venues, you can get lost in the crowd.” Amid those conversations, guests can and should take a tour of the food and drink menu. Peters’ mixology skills shine
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through the cocktail offerings, which is composed equally of classic and original recipes. “I love being reminded of a long-forgotten classic, or at least one that has slipped my mind,” says Peters. No matter whether guests play it safe with an Old Fashioned or branch out with an option like Winter in Trinidad (Plantation Original Dark Rum, montenegro, Bengal spice tea, maple syrup, and orange juice), they are going to get top quality ingredients, some of which are locally sourced or house-made. “I love my local spirits,” explains Peters. “One of my favorite flavor combos right now is Doc Porter’s gin with a homemade matcha syrup, fresh lemon, and egg white. I call it the Perfect Matcha.”
The Spread // Tastemaker
The Queen & Glass’ food menu is of the same caliber as its drink menu. Sharing a kitchen with The People’s Market, which is also owned by Duran, The Queen and Glass whips up compelling flavor combinations, plated as options for sharing, entrees, or snacking. “We are really excited about the direction our food is headed,” says Duran. In fact, The Queen & Glass recently hired a new chef, who plans to introduce new dishes every week. Duran periodically supplements menu offerings during his Guest Chef Series, when he invites a Charlotte chef into the
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kitchen to design a multi-course meal for guests, who enjoy each course alongside a thoughtfully paired cocktail, crafted to match the meal. The Guest Chef Series is just one of many ways The Queen & Glass subtly, without drawing attention to itself, competes handily on a street crowded with options for fine dining and drinks. info queenandglass.com @thequeenandglass
The Spread // Brunch
BRU NCH DON E R IGH T
The Dunavant’s latest addition to their steak-frites concept is a weekend hit. words SUNNY HUBLER / photos JAMEY PRICE
The Dunavant is one of the latest culinary gifts to Charlotte’s South End neighborhood, and it arrived just in time to perfectly fill a niche: prix-fixe steak-frites with a modern flair and a full weekend brunch menu—just what your dining out routine had been missing. The restaurant itself occupies a mid-century mod building just a few blocks from Sycamore Brewing. Inside, brass and gold accentuate cool gray tones and natural wood finishes.
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The Spread // Brunch
The concept comes from Chef Travis Hearne, who worked for Passion Food Hospitality in Washington, D.C. before returning to the Queen City. He took a spark of inspiration from his experience with D.C.’s Medium Rare restaurant to create The Dunavant, a place that is upscale enough for date night or a celebration, but low-key (and priced well) enough to swing by after work with a few friends, or, now, to have a casual weekend brunch. Brunch is their newest addition, led by Chef Travis, and his team, David Thompson, Terrance Smith, and Sous-chef Barclay Phillips. The menu is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. “We wanted to serve brunch from the outset, but we also wanted our brand-new team to get a chance to get to know each other and get up to speed with our regular menu and service before adding brunch to the mix,” Hearne says.
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The Spread // Brunch
The morning menu plays off the dinner theme (think steak and scrambled eggs, with Black Angus steak, breakfast hash, and fresh eggs), but they also offer some twists, like a chicken and funnel cake dish as a play on chicken and waffles, a variety of salads, or the baked stuffed oyster plate, made with roasted tomato salsa and topped with a parmesan crust. To round things out, Dunavant proffers mimosa flights and a variety of cool, refreshing cocktails. Your weekends just got a lot more fun. info thedunavant.com / @thedunavant
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The Spread // Baker
T H E BATCH M A K ER Cristina Rojas-Agurcia uses her longtime love of baking to create delicious desserts for her Charlotte customers. words SUNNY HUBLER
They say cooking is a love language, and if that’s true, we can’t help but think a baked good is the ultimate act of kitchen-made care. They’re sweet, decadent, and indulgent, and really never better than when made from scratch. Cristina Rojas, a self-taught baker with years of recipe creation and experimentation under her belt, decided to highlight her passions by opening her own inhome bakeshop in Charlotte in April 2017. “Most of my treats are things that I wanted to eat but didn’t see anyone else making, so I figured I just had to go for it myself,” Cristina explains.
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/ photos JAMEY PRICE
As someone who loved baking since her childhood, she knows the basic cake and cookie recipes by heart, so creating exceptional treats from those formulas is an exciting kind of chemistry. Think Oreo-stuffed brownies, pop-tarts, coffee cheesecakes, brown butter cookies, and three-layer key lime cakes, to name just a few of her menu items. Her Honduran background, the place where she was born and raised, is also incorporated into many a dish, from her churro cake to her frequent use of dulche de leche flavors.
The Spread // Baker
Cristina started the business by taking a few orders here and there, and expanded it, officially, into The Batchmaker LLC in March of 2018. She currently fills orders through her website and even occasionally crafts custom wedding cakes. The true inspiration behind the name “The Batchmaker” came from Cristina’s experimentation process. She’s a crafter, 100% self-taught through her tendency to keep tweaking recipes until they are “just right,” resulting in many versions of each batch of layer cake or doughy brownie. Her husband, who has a background in advertising and design, suggested the name also due in part to her love of The Fiddler on the Roof. Now, BatchBox is the name of her specialized holiday boxes and BatchTesters are the couple’s tongue-in-cheek name for their children, who taste each treat before it is added to the menu (Not a bad gig to be born into). For Cristina’s Charlotte clients, she happily provides local delivery, and customers are always welcome to pick up their goodies at her front door or meet her halfway. Occasionally, she also holds pop-up shops to give clients and foodies the ability to try delicacies without ordering a whole batch. Cristina also holds a partnership with Groundwork Commons, a charming coffee shop in the Concord area, where you can also find her treats, delivered every Monday and Thursday. info the batchmaker.com / @thebatchmaker
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128 S. Tryon St., Suite 860 (Corner of 4th/Tryon) • Charlotte, NC 28202
www.uptowncharlottesmiles.com • 704-342-3213
The Spread // Plated
POR K BEL LY words RILEY COHEN / photo JAMEY PRICE
To call this a “no frills” dish might seem obvious, given its simple appearance on the plate. However, one bite in, and you’re in on a little secret: What might appear simple is actually a perfectly tenderized and juicy pork belly. Simple, maybe, but it seems like all the details were accounted for here by the Barcelona Wine Bar team. Topped with toasted slivered almonds and soaked in pork jus, this classic dish exudes a complex texture and smoky, savory flavor. As a tapas-style restaurant, Barcelona works diligently to ensure each individual dish excites and intrigues the palette, and it shows: you’re nearly always left reaching for one more bite. — info — barcelonawinebar.com / @barcelonawinebar
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N O V E L AT H E RT O N
IS MORE THAN A COMMUNITY. ITâ€™S A LIFESTYLE.
2100 SOUTH BOULEVARD, CHARLOTTE, NC 28203
The Spread // Plated
SUSH I & R A M EN words LIZA CARRASQUILLO / photo JAMEY PRICE
Fresh sushi and flavorful ramen are a match made in heaven — or, if you live in the Charlotte area, a match made at YUME. As their name suggests, YUME Ramen Sushi & Bar is a restaurant that specializes in delectable sushi and ramen dishes. Ramen lovers will rejoice at the sight of YUME’s expansive ramen selection. Their menu features classic selections like Tonkotsu ramen and Shoyu as well as bold dishes like fermented black garlic Tonkotsu, and Kimchi Ramen. On the cooler side, Yume offers Hiyashi Chuka cold ramen, made with Kenshi Tamago, ebi, ham, cucumber, seaweed salad, and tomato.
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Vegans can try the YUME vegetable ramen, cooked with infused vegetable broth, black garlic and specialty toppings. If it’s sushi the gang is after, YUME offers pages of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri to choose from. The Kage roll, made with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, and jalapeños, can satisfy any spicy craving, while the Truffle Lobster Roll has lobster meat, bluefin tuna, kizami wasabi that provide a range of flavors. info facebook.com/yumeclt | @yumeclt
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The Spread // Poured
T H E BEST H I BISCUS COCKTA I L I' V E EV ER H A D words LIZA CARRASQUILLO photo JAMEY PRICE
Cocktails are meant to do more than just act as a vehicle for alcohol. They’re meant to dive deep into the senses, to take the sipper on a journey through stunning flavors and enticing ingredients. If you’re looking for a cocktail that hits all these marks and more, you’re looking for Bob Peters’ Hibiscus Cocktail from The Queen & Glass. The Queen & Glass, renowned in Charlotte for their inventive small plates, bold cocktails, and, of course, for having our resident local treasure of a mixologist, strikes a beautiful balance between culinary experimentation and classically delicious flavors. The striking Hibiscus Cocktail turns simple flavors into an elegant beverage almost too pretty to drink. Starting with Milagro Reposado tequila, Peters adds a handful of muddled mint, then fresh lemon juice. The hibiscus-infused Dolin Blanc vermouth comes next, giving the cocktail a subtle floral flavor and a not-so-subtle floral color throughout. Finished off with some simple syrup, the cocktail is shaken, double-strained, and garnished with fresh mint. The end result is a drink with a deep, beautiful red hue resting within an elegant coupe. Order this cocktail on the rocks for an added flair of artisanal ice. — info — queenandglass.com / @thequeenandglass
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The Spread // Poured
M A N H ATTA N words SUNNY HUBLER / photo JAMEY PRICE
Protagonist Clubhouse, right smack in the center of NoDa, offers over 20 different beers on tap and their own onsite nanobrewery. There are light beers and heavier ones, beers perfect for a hot, summery day and those just right for cozying up inside when the weather turns bitter. No matter your preference, their on tap, full-bodied Imperial Stout is always a good choice; creamy and rich, and characterized by its “notes of cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla, and a habanero pepper flair.” Plus, at 10.5% ABV, it packs the type of boozy onetwo you’re looking for after a long day at work. Post up inside, and pair it with one of their housemade snacks. info protagonistbeer.com @protagonistbeer
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Ingredient Driven Food & Drink.
235 W. Tremont Ave. • Charlotte, NC (980) 209-0008 @zeppelinclt • zeppelinsouthend.com
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AUGUST 2019 • @QCEXCLUSIVE • 85
T H E F OL IO
H O M E A N D D ES I G N
CH IC SOPH ISTICATION FOR TH E N EW SOUTH New South Home’s interior design firm is known for creating spaces that are both chic and accessible. words L AUREN GRIFF TH / portraits JAMEY PRICE photos of their work courtesy NEW SOUTH HOME by LAURA SUMRAK
AUGUST 2019 • @QCEXCLUSIVE • 87
The Folio // Profile
“We want our clients' homes to be a reflection of their style and needs, and the only way to do that is to have a true partnership and work together.”
In the ever-expanding interior design market of the Queen City, New South Home stands on their own with a diverse portfolio and range of services. What started as a search for more flexible work schedules for two mothers, both who harbored loves of design, became a successful, evolving Charlotte business. Cofounders Melissa Lee and Brenna Morgan chatted about finding inspiration for design, executing custom spaces for clients, and what drew them to the industry.
What are a few of your favorite design elements? Brenna: Our favorite elements are statement light fixtures, a fabulous rug, and the right wallpaper or wall treatment. These can complete a room and give it that extra punch. The exciting thing about interior design lately is that people are willing to take risks that maybe they weren’t a few years ago. It’s made our job more fun because we can add that extra punch feature that really defines a room and makes it special.
Where do you draw your inspiration? Melissa: Honestly, we find inspiration everywhere. We look at Instagram, magazines, art, fabrics, clothing trends, etc. We’ve designed homes from one piece of fabric, a phone case, a wallpaper, you name it. We ask our clients to send us inspiration photos before we meet with them. We also love to share our own inspiration photos or ideas with them in order to pull together a collaboration that reflects their style.
How do you create a timeless aesthetic that lasts? Melissa: We always suggest keeping a neutral palette for the main investment pieces in a home and popping in color and pattern in small accent pieces. This allows our clients to easily make an update later when they need a fresh look. We feel that keeping the overall style of a room transitional is a safe bet, too. Mixing styles with your pieces will allow for easy changes without having to refurnish the whole room.
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The Folio // Profile
How do you hope to impact the Charlotte community with your company? Brenna: When we started working in this industry, our goal was to create beautiful, comfortable homes with an approachable attitude. We want our clients to feel like their rooms can be lived in — not a museum to worry about. The majority of our clients have children, and their family life needs to be considered. Do you work regularly with anyone else in the industry? We are always working with subcontractors as well as with builders to assist their clients with the task of making design selections for the homes. We’re currently working on a house by Joyce Building in Matthews, selecting all of the finishes based on the home’s “modern farmhouse” style. What about your work do you find most rewarding? Melissa: Being able to give people a home that they love coming home to is something we are so grateful for. We enjoy meeting and learning about our clients’ lives. Our favorite part is seeing a room come to life on install day after we’ve been working on it for months and knowing that our client is going to love what we created for them! info newsouthhome.com / @newsouthhome
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luxur y kitchens and bathrooms
The Folio // Foundation
“A [restaurant] space has to be used very wisely, so it’s very satisfying to figure out how to fit the puzzle pieces together.”
E AT W IT H YOU R EY ES
Carrie Frye’s CFID leads the design on some of Charlotte’s most beloved eateries. words SUNNY HUBLER / portrait photo JAMEY PRICE photos of work courtesy CFID
A memorable restaurant experience is about so much more than the food on your table — sorry, chef. But there’s a reason the saying “you eat with your eyes” exists, and it’s not just about the visual of the plate before you, but the entire atmosphere that surrounds your dining experience. A twenty-year veteran of commercial interior design, Carrie Frye founded her self-named Carrie Frye Commercial Interior Design in 2013. Since then, she’s worked steadfastly to become a major force behind the success of some of Char-
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lotte’s most beloved eateries. Her many and varied projects include La Belle Helene, The Crunkleton, Sea Level, Living Kitchen, Yafo, Midwood Smokehouse, Viva Chicken, and The Pump House. She has also designed several 100,000-plus-square-foot offices for major area corporations. Frye, “a Hokie through and through,” grew up and in Virginia and earned her BS in Interior Design from Virginia Tech before relocating to Charlotte.
The Folio // Foundation
“I like fastpaced work and restaurants move fast.”
What led you to commercial interior design? I determined in middle school that I liked drawing spaces and I took drafting classes in high school, which not many of the other girls did. At the time, it was house plans on notebook paper, but that has evolved to all commercial spaces now. What does a typical day in your life look like? I get the kids to school and then hit the ground running either to draw, attend job site meetings, make design selections, meet with clients, or meet with consultants. It’s always some combination of that, but never the same day-to-day. I can start the day thinking it’s a drawing/catchup day and by 9 am have the afternoon filled with meetings. I thrive on the chaos—I operate better when I have a full plate. Who or what would you say has been your greatest design influence? Reg Narmour of Reg Narmour Architecture and Narmour Wright Architecture. He hired me and taught me there are basic principles of design that cross all genres. He reinforced a balance in life and to be humble with success. He was such a positive role model of quiet leadership—great leaders don’t need to be labeled as such, they just are. That was Reg, and I’m thankful every day that I had five years of time working for him before he retired. What drew you to restaurant design specifically? I like fast-paced work and restaurants move fast. My favorite part of the design process is the space plan, and for restaurants, that’s a critical part of their long term success. The space has to be used very wisely, so it’s very satisfying to figure out how to fit the puzzle pieces together.
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The Folio // Foundation
“Those are the parts of the restaurant layout everyone notices, even if they can't put their finger on it... It all contributes to the overall experience: Do you feel positive energy? Are you comfortable?” What are some design elements you think go overlooked or are "underrated"? I believe restrooms are finally getting their due! Been saying that for 20 years so I’m a bit of a broken record, but you can tell the level of detail of the owner based on the effort they put into the restrooms—seriously. How would you describe the design aesthetic and CLT, and where you fit into that? Talk about an introspective question... Sounds like something my business coach would ask! I would describe CFID’s aesthetic as comfortable, approachable, and timeless. I see clients looking for designs that are carefully curated and not cookie cutter (even if they plan on expansion). Tastes change, but when your base elements are timeless, you can adapt your space to future expansion and refresh. What has been your most exciting project as of late? La Belle Helene had the most creative, inspiring and gracious group of consultants, architects, contractors, and owners that I have ever been involved with.
What are some of the most important design elements of an eatery? The sexy part of restaurant design is the color and texture, the fixtures and finishes, so those things absolutely matter. But the most important design elements are the ones most people don't notice, like flow from entry to exit: how many steps are there from host to bar, bar to restroom, host to patio? A restaurant's layout can have a major impact on not only the customer experience, but also on its financial success. For instance, the quicker the host can greet you and get you to the bar while you wait for your table, the sooner you're buying your first drink and spending money. In terms of the dining experience, you're thinking about things like not having the rowdy bar patrons tromping through the dining room to the restrooms past the couple trying to have dinner. Those are the parts of the layout everyone notices, even if they can't put their finger on it. It all contributes to the overall experience: Do you feel positive energy? Are you comfortable?
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How do you go about cultivating an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and adheres to restaurant standards? Start with the design and then insert the function (I know all restaurant owners are rolling their eyes just a bit at that!). Sure that server station works best near those front tables, but if it’s the first thing you see when you enter the restaurant, is that what you want your brand to be? Do you have any upcoming projects or events that you’re excited about? I'm most excited about expanding my hospitality design work into some new areas, including sports. CFID is designing the common areas at the new baseball stadium in downtown Kannapolis, including the premium club, suites, outfield bar, team areas, and broadcast booth. That's a completely new challenge for me! info cfidstudio.com / @cfidstudio
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The Folio // Vignette
A T R A NSLUCEN T T W IST words L AUREN GRIFFITH / photo courtesy CELLARS SOUTH
From sleek conversion cellars to traditional styles fit for a king, Charlotte’s Cellars South specialized in wine cellars to fit every sort of client’s needs. This modernized in-home wine storage room defies those traditional cellar stereotypes: The clever transparency of the entranceway is also displayed in glass shelving and
cabinetry. Minimalistic wine wall decor and rich hardwood floors create a classic nod to wine enthusiasts, but crisp white and marble counters avert the eye to the contemporary tone of the room. Each wine bottle and crystalized glass is to be admired with ease in this easily accessible reach-in cellar.
— info — cellarssouth.com
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a Magliocca Co. FOR A HOME THATâ€™S UNIQUELY YOU
RICK AND KRISTEN MAGLIOCCA
ONE OF OUR PREMIER BUILDERS WILLIAMS FARROW BUILDERS
1930 ABBOTT ST., UNIT 401 | CHARLOTTE, NC 28203 980-237-2670 | WWW.NEWLIFEBUILDINGSUPPLIES.COM
The Folio // Vignette
FA M I LY L I V I NG E ASE words ELEANOR MERRELL / photo DUSTIN PECK
Years after Angie Lauer, with ALB Architecture, helped these homeowners transform a Myers Park bachelor pad into a charming Tudor home, Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Interiors, brought her delicate touch to the details within its walls. Determined to capitalize on the home’s uplifting natural light and the Myers Park canopy outside, Traci and her team adopted a classical and understated design, exemplified in this dining nook. A subtle houndstooth wallpaper adds dimension without distraction, while sheer window treatments welcome natural light and introduce a nature motif through leafy embroidery. Neutral browns and vibrant greens evoke springtime lushness. Although the room’s focal point, a teardrop chandelier that
catches and refracts the room’s natural light in stunning and unpredictable ways, preceded Traci Zeller, “it...really set the tone for the space — it’s traditional, yes, but the overall look is clean and fresh and appropriate for a young, active family.” This tone reverberates throughout the dining set, as well: the table has a traditional finish and classic lines, but its streamlined double pedestal base dominates its aesthetic, lending the piece modernity and lightness. The chairs, upholstered in a playful faux bois-patterned cut velvet, are equipped to meet the demands of family life, since all white sections are composed of Crypton fabric, which is stain, odor, and moisture resistant. This room, designed to meet the evolving needs of its owners, is a head-turner.
— info — tracizeller.com / @tracizeller
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AUGUST 2019 • @QCEXCLUSIVE • 101
The Folio // Vignette
A K ITCH EN FOR A L L words SUNNY HUBLER / photos LAURA SUMRAK
A kitchen is the centerpoint of a home—no matter how inviting your living room or sunporch, people gather around the food, the company, the cooking. This project, completed in fall of 2018, represented the evolution of such a space, from outdated to the ultimate invitation. The talented duo behind House of Nomad, Berkeley Minkhorst and Kelley Lentini, took the kitchen and dining areas over, with the goal of utilizing all the space available to the maximum of its practicality and aesthetics. When creating the design plan, Berkeley and Kelley considered the clients: With two young boys and an open-door policy for their neighborhood of friends, HON chose a gray jute rug that could bring warmth and definition to the dining area... while still remaining an easy-to-clean option. They also went
with an indestructible seating option for their dining area; the stylish bench that can fit a crowd. To create cohesion, the duo extended the island to craft a custom square-shaped island. This meant barstools could be tucked around the end as well as the sides of the island, so the island could become a centerpoint for the busy lifestyle of the family of four. They painted the island a deep blue tone, for a warm pop of color in the space, and the bright, quartz countertops replaced the dark granite for a bright and clean look. To add some personality to the space, custom Roman shades replaced plastic blinds in the dining area and the design team added pops of brass with the hardware and drawer pulls. The result is a kitchen that does it all: feeds the family, entertains friends, and holds the whole home together.
— info — houseofnomaddesign.com / @houseofnomaddesign
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Home by Kingswood Custom Homes
A . D. G . design | landscape | planning
A b a t e D e s i g n G ro u p w w w. a b a t e d e s i g n g ro u p. c o m
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The Folio // Blueprint
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A GR A N DE L A K E HOM E Grande Custom Builders and interior designer David Smith team up for a next-level lake house. words ELEANOR MERRELL /
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photos MICHAEL BLEVINS
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The Folio // Blueprint
The premier builders at Grande Custom and David Smith, owner and chief interior designer of Custom Interiors in the lakeside town of Cornelius, transformed every inch of this fourbedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house into a comfortable, stylish, and unforgettable home. Designed by architectural designer Jim Phelps, the team turned a dream into reality, lakeside. Grande, known for their luxury custom builds and high-end renovations, and Smith, who is also renowned in the industry, were a perfect match for this dream creation. All of Smith’s projects begin the same way: “The style of my designs are always based off the architecture of the home, both inside and out. I sit down early in the project with the client and find out what they want out of their new home. From that point, it’s a marriage of my design styles with both the architect’s designs and the client’s needs.” In this case, Smith’s trusty process led to what is best de-
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scribed as a lake cottage all grown up. Mod and au naturel aesthetics elevate a space furnished with simplistic comfort and lakeside views in mind. Grande first executed the tall double doors to welcome residents and visitors into an airy foyer with shiplap siding and stunning granite tile floors. In the foyer and throughout the home, a neutral color palette (light greys, soft browns, and cream) and solid fabrics ensure that the focal point remains on the blue skies and glistening waters that beckon through the windows planted plentifully throughout the house. Wicker and wooden textures unify and warm communal areas on the main floor—a woven lampshade in the dining room, wicker barstools in the kitchen, and wicker baskets throughout the living area. Exposed beams also pervade the ground floor, unifying rooms and lending airiness to the interior.
The Folio // Blueprint
Dimension and contrast are achieved through hues of brown in the wood trim around glass cabinetry in the kitchen, along the endcaps of the kitchen island, and along dining room windows. The living room features a cedar-hued coffee table and decorative cases that match the color of the hardwood flooring. Smith worked to bring the outside indoors with a smattering of delicate floral arrangements, a gorgeous and useful herb garden alongside lakeside kitchen windows, a repurposed stump coffee table in the living room, and unobtrusive window and door curtains that render the transition from outside in and vice versa as seamless as possible. For added interest and an understated nod to the luxury lifestyle, Smith installed several elegant, geometric chandeliers that glisten from the ceilings of the kitchen and stairwell. He also experimented with faux fur fabrics in areas furnished for relaxation, like the living room, lounge area, and bedrooms, inviting guests and residents to indulge in a stolen moment of self-pampering before hitting the lake and all it has to offer. info grandebuilders.com / @grandecustombuilders jimphelpscollection.net / @davidlsmithinteriors.com
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T R AV E L A N D S P O R T I N G
T H E E X PL OR E D
H IGH L A N DS SER EN IT Y Half-Mile Farm: Spend a luxurious weekend in one of the South’s favorite mountain towns. words ELEANOR MERRELL / photos courtesy HALF-MILE FARM
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The Explored // Weekender
Nestled about 4,000 feet above sea level in the cradle of the Nantahala National Forest, Highlands, NC has, for decades, been one of Southerners’ go-to refuges from the oppressive heat of summer. Gentle 75-degree days and a setting as rural as it is refined render Highlands an ideal summertime getaway. However, what makes this sleepy mountain town the perfect weekend retreat is Half-Mile Farm, a luxury country inn owned and operated by Old Edwards, the same group that quietly transformed the Highlands from a summer hideout to a year-round destination via sister properties Old Edwards Inn and Spa and 200 Main. At Half-Mile Farm, serenity is paramount. The inn restricts lodging access to guests over the age of 18 and
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strictly enforces a noise policy. But ask any guest, and they’ll tell you how grateful they are for a quiet reprieve so well-tailored to the breathtakingly landscaped grounds that comprise Half-Mile Farm. Stunning mountain vistas and views of Apple Lake, the inn’s private water feature, paint a peaceful portrait from the many private balconies and patios that adjoin guest rooms. Guests can select from a wide variety of amenities and room styles to build their ideal weekend away, including stacked stone fireplaces, wet bars, heated bathroom floors, and furnished balconies. Tasteful rustic chic decor and beyond-comfortable furniture ensure guests feel not only serene but also downright pampered.
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The Explored // Weekender
What to Do It’s easy to pass a memorable weekend in Highlands without ever leaving Half-Mile Farm. Four acres of fields, forest, and streams beckon guests from their rooms to enjoy the beautiful Highland weather. A hiking trail and stocked fishing ponds, as well as complimentary use of canoes, row boats, and stand up paddleboards await the more adventurous traveler. Similarly, a mineral pool bordered by gorgeous stone work and on site massages call to guests eager to luxuriate. In fact, Half-Mile Farm curates packages designed to accommodate a plethora of agendas, including a Champagne Supper Club Package, Gear Up and Go Package, Golf Package, and Romantic Mountain Escape Package. Guests will find plenty to do within a short walk or drive of the inn, as well. The nearby Highlands Aerial Park offers canopy tours of Nantahala and hikes abound of varying terrain and difficulty levels. The Bascom Center for Visual Arts, which houses galleries and a sculpture trail, and the Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center offer high-quality cultural experiences, and the Old Edwards Club is at the ready for visiting golfers.
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Where to Eat Each morning, Half-Mile Farm provides a complimentary chef-made breakfast, incorporating ingredients harvested from an on-site garden, as well as a complimentary hors d’oeuvres reception in the afternoon. Highlands offers a plentiful selection of restaurants to supplement the inn’s delectable food, from casual to white tablecloth. Peruse the wine selection at Mountain Fresh Grocery when you first arrive. Block off a dinnertime to visit Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro where New Orleans flavors meet European gastronomy. And save time for farm-to-fork dining at Madison’s Restaurant in Old Edwards Inn and Spa. The population of Highlands grows to six times its yearround size in the summertime. After one weekend at Half-Mile Farm, the answer to why the population swells so drastically will be apparent. Instead, the question becomes, why do Southerners ever leave? info halfmilefarm.com @halfmilefarm
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The Explored // Carolina Town
A Jordan Atkinson mural outside of Haywood Common and The Whale Craft Beer Collective .
W EST SI DE , T H E BEST SI DE
No matter what type of dining experience you’re seeking, we’ve got you covered for your visit to the west side of Appalachia’s most food-forward city, Asheville. words SUNNY HUBLER / photos JP GRICE
It’s easy to love Asheville: The mountain-town-meets-urban scene, with its endless views and cooler temps, make the short twoish hour drive from Charlotte feel like a real getaway. Home to about 100,000 full-time residents, Asheville is beloved for another of its characteristic offerings: the food. From bars to bites, gourmet to street food, Asheville has been dominated by creative, challenging, and changing chefs of all kinds. And, as tends to happen in all great foodie cities, each neighborhood is emerging with its own type of distinctive style; West Asheville perhaps more so than any other. Just across the French Broad River from downtown, West Asheville is a funky amalgamation of new and old, full of vibrant originality. Haywood Road, the main street of West Asheville for more than a century, houses many of the best eats, but the area is rapidly expanding. Whether you gravitate toward casual dining, gourmet experiences, southern comfort food, or the greenest vegan fare, we’ve got you covered with the best West Asheville has to offer. And trust us: It’s a whole lot, so come hungry.
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Hole Doughnuts' Vanilla Glazed
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The Explored // Carolina Town
The pick up window at Bim Beri Bon, Taco Billy, one of the West Side's go-to taco joints, and the peaceful tea house, Dobra Tea West.
For the Foodie:
For the Health-Nut:
The Admiral A small, nondescript concrete building evokes “divey”, but this place is anything but. Known for its small plates and the chef-driven, creative menu, The Admiral offers a rustic, wholesome dining experience with a globally-inspired palate.
BimBeriBon If you like your health food to actually taste delicious, check out this organic, globally inspired eatery, serving a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even a bakery, barista, and a bar. There’s organic meat and eggs, as well as plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian eats, too.
Gan Shan West This frequently packed out eatery is an interesting melding of Asian-fusion and Appalachian fare (how’s that for unique?). The team offers a diverse array of noodle dishes and a seasonally-evolving menu. Eat in at the relaxed neighborhood hangout with its popular outdoor courtyard or grab your goods to go. West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen This industrial-style gastropub serves up clever bar fare, plenty of draft beer, and a beloved Sunday brunch with some of the best breakfast tacos around. Haywood Common The chefs here use exclusively local ingredients for their seasonal New American menu. Grab a spot on the patio and enjoy an array of cocktails and upscale bar food.
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Dobra Tea West Dobra Tea is an eclectic, serene tea bar offering up a large menu of every kind of tea imaginable, fresh bites, Asian-inspired dishes, and all gluten-free homemade sweets. They also host frequent tastings and tea classes in-house.
brunch, lunch, juice and smoothies, coffee, and more. The breakfast burritos are reliably delicious, as is the kimchi reuben. For the Beer Enthusiast Archetype Brewing Company Asheville has long been known as a brewery destination, and West Asheville has been quick to capitalize on the popularity of the hoppy beverage. Archetype boasts a large, open taproom with regular live music, events, activities, and outside space. Sit down with a glass of craft beer and watch the brewers at work in their 10-barrel brewhouse.
Firestorm Books & Coffee Firestorm Books & Coffee, on Haywood, is a unique bookstore, a community space, and a cafe. Grab a latte, a macro bowl, or a veggie tamale and peruse the aisles.
Urban Orchard Cider The Urban Orchard Cider Bar allows you to sip on any one of the hard ciders made on site. The atmosphere is casual and inviting, so you can post up in a comfortable chair with your beverage and some good friends.
Green Sage Westgate The food at Green Sage is all carefullypicked: it’s always nutrient-rich, chemical-free, 95% organic, and thoughtfullysourced. The menu is also impressively extensive, and the team serves breakfast,
UpCountry Brewing UpCountry Brewing is a perfect place to gather craft beer, local music, and for getting outside. With a large backyard, intimate indoor seating, and a generous space for live local music, UpCountry
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The Explored // Carolina Town
Boiled peanuts from Haywood Common, the 24 Hour pork ramen from Gan Shan West, the gorgeous interior at Hole Doughnuts, and a mural outside of Pizza Mind.
side — it's also a business responsible for some of the very best, freshest pastries we've ever tasted (seriously). This gang earned a nod from Bon Appetit for good reason: All of the doughnuts are made from a single, yeasted dough recipe, then tossed into the fryer in front of you, before the team glazes, dusts, or dips it and hands it across the counter. You can also enjoy a hot cup of coffee freshly roasted by their neighbors at PennyCup for the perfect breakfast or midday treat. Isis Kitchen and Music Hall Isis Music Hall and Kitchen is the perfect place to catch an intimate dinner and a show, jam out to a crowded rock show, or catch your Sunday morning brunch with friends. For the Grab-N-Goer
Brewing serves a wide variety of craft beer styles while providing a full brewpub food menu. For the Southern Food Lover Biscuit Head Southern tradition meets unique flavor combination at this couple-owned, biscuit-heavy brunch spot. The team sources as much produce and products from local farms and suppliers as possible and recycle everything they’re allowed.
upscale comfort food from dawn to dark. They take pride in made-from-scratch products and a farm-to-table approach, and even source from their own garden that sits adjacent to the restaurant. For the Experience-seeker Jargon Inside a cozy historic building in West Asheville is this unique “melting pot” dining experience, featuring creative, locallysourced dishes, many of which are meant to be shared, paired alongside live jazz.
Doc Brown’s BBQ A food truck turned brick and mortar, this casual barbecue joint serves smoked meats, Southern sides, and housemade dessert. Get there early, because the ribs, St. Louis-cut spare variety with a Memphis dry rub, sell out quick.
White Duck Taco Shop This no-frills taco joint is known for offering up frequently-changing, fresh, unexpected flavor combinations. Try the crispy chicken BLT, spicy buffalo chicken, or the Korean beef bulgogi.
Sunny Point Stop by this Southern eatery for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a familyowned, independent restaurant serving
Hole Doughnuts Hole Doughnuts isn't just the cutest doughnut shop we've seen — complete with its light blue monikered truck out-
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West End Bakery West End Bakery on Haywood is a longtime neighborhood staple, serving up breakfast all day with their assortment of homemade baked goods. You can also pick up a loaf of hand-made bread, house sandwiches, or pastries. The team uses only high quality ingredients, sourced from many local farms, with no preservatives. Taco Billy If you’re up early and have a craving, this family-owned taco joint dishes up some of the best breakfast tacos around. They set themselves apart with organic ingredients and authentic flavors, and make for a perfect grab-and-go West Asheville meal. Pizza Mind This casual pizza place dishes up a mix of classic and creative pizzas ranging from Margherita to Carolina BBQ and Jambalaya plus apps like fried green beans and amazeballs — pizza dough stuffed with a house cheese blend and pepporoni or broccoli. The Hop West Get a variety of Asheville-made ice cream, for a sweet, summertime treat you can grab after your dinner or at the end of a day spent floating the river.
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The Explored // Adventure
A T RU E CU L I NA RY EX PER I ENCE
FEAST Food and Restaurant Tour provides Charlotte foodies memorable taste bud trips through beloved neighborhoods and hot spots. words L AUREN GRIFFITH / photos JAMEY PRICE
When dining in Charlotte, the options are endless: From fine dining to a laidback meal at a gastropub or lounge, it can be challenging to stay on top of the culinary scene in a growing city. This is where FEAST Food Tours comes into play, offering tailored, well-curated walking tours through Uptown, NoDa, Historic South End, Dilworth, and Plaza Midwood. Owner Kristi Martin and Experience Specialist Caroline Brown elaborate on how FEAST came to be.
What led you to create this unique culinary experience for curious Charlotteans? Kristi: After spending fifteen years in the event planning industry and getting to know some of the many talented culinary professionals here, I saw the concept in another city and knew that Charlotte had its own stories that needed to be shared.
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— How do you go about gathering the participants, restaurants, artisans, etc for the tour? Kristi: Now that I’ve been in Charlotte for 30 years, I have to say relationships are huge! Some relationships started from my event planning days, friends-offriends, and organizations. I’m passionate about good entrepreneurial stories;
they can be used as a great opportunity to create a relationship. Have you always had a love for food? Kristi: Not at all. As a child I didn’t grow up in a household with a lot of homecooked meals, which started to change as I worked with different chefs as a catering sales manager. The chef that changed me was our opening Executive Chef at the Westin Charlotte, John Shelton. His creativity in the kitchen always blew me away and inspired me. How has the food tour evolved over the years? Kristi: I started the company with three experiences, two of which still run in an
The Explored // Adventure
“I’m excited about Charlotte getting more recognition for our talented culinary professionals as a culinary destination. For years, it seems that we’ve been skipped over for other cities, but that is changing.”
updated format. With six unique tours running, the biggest evolution has been the growth in Charlotte’s culinary community. One of our first tours provided a behind-the-scenes look at the corporate and celebrity restaurants in Uptown in 2012. Today, it’s been revamped to feature today’s local gems. What excites you the most about Charlotte’s up-andcoming ‘foodie’ scene? Kristi: I’m excited about Charlotte getting more recognition for our talented culinary professionals as a culinary destination. For years, it seems that we’ve been skipped over for other cities, but that is changing. Caroline, what led you to join the FEAST team? Caroline: I’ve always been fascinated by the stories we tell about the food we eat, and the traditions and culture that we share when we gather around the table together. I wanted to combine my event planning skills with my interest in food, so when I came across FEAST it was a natural fit.
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What would you say most differentiates FEAST from the other various culinary experiences in the queen city area? Kristi: We have a deeper dive approach to our experiences because of the relationships we’ve built over the years. It’s not just a dine-around — I love supporting the culinary professionals in our community and sharing their stories and passion with our guests. Caroline: When planning our experiences, I always say: The food and drink have to be great, but that’s just where we get started. For us, the core of any FEAST experience is that connection with the chef, owner, mixologist, whoever it is who can share their story and invite our guests to become part of our culinary community. info feastfoodtours.com @feastfoodtours
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SE R IOUS BA R BE C U E From the century old tradition of Piedmont barbecue and the culmination of a Charlotte chefâ€™s career comes the new Noble Smoke. words SUNNY HUBLER and JP GRICE / photos THE PLAID PENGUIN
Inside the garage doors of a large, industrial building off Berryhill and Freedom sit Stamie, Boy, Sug, Ruth, Wade, Gilbert, Henry, John Stroud, and Shields Marlowe. Just outside those doors are Beulah and Flossie. They’re a dedicated crew, working in tandem 24 hours a day for Jim Noble’s brand-new Noble Smoke, and he in turn has dedicated hundreds of hours alongside each of them to ensure the closest thing to smoked meat perfection he can achieve. But these aren’t his kitchen staff, not the chefs nor servers. No, this crew of eleven are Noble’s smokers and barbecue pits, custom-made for him and each affectionately named after a member of his family; the aunts, uncles, grandfather, greatgrandfathers, and great-great-grandfathers who helped shape Jim’s early love of food and gathering. It’s no surprise the smokers would bear their names, since barbecue is Jim’s homage to home, to family, to connection. With Noble Smoke, he wants to provide a space for you to experience the same, inside the doors of the 10,000-plus-square-foot restaurant he opened in July 2019 at 2216 Freedom Drive.
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The Roots — Noble Smoke was a long time in the making — 25-odd years for Jim personally and 100 when you think of its place in the legacy that is North Carolina barbecue. “Barbecue is handed down,” Jim explains. “It’s a trained craft, and that’s the beauty of it. People teaching other people.” Noble Smoke is deeply informed by the Carolina Lexington style, the seeds of which were planted all the way back in 1919 when Sid Weaver and Jess Swicegood opened joints near the Lexington courthouse. The two launched the barbecue style characterized by its slow-roasted, chopped pork shoulder and tangy vinegar-pepper based sauce. Things moved quickly from there, and in 1927 high-school aged Warner Stamey joined the team. Stamey is now widely considered one of the most influential pitmasters in the Piedmont barbecue tradition: By 1930, he had moved to Shelby, training Alton Bridges and Red Bridges (of Bridges BBQ) and in 1938, things came full circle when Stamey returned to Lexington, bought the
“Barbecue is handed down. It’s a trained craft, and that’s the beauty of it. People teaching other people.”
Jim Noble and Wayne Monk talk barbecue at Lexington Barbecue
Swicegood’s Barbecue building from his mentor, and renamed it after himself. Throughout his long career, Stamey influenced and trained many, including Wayne Monk, the pitmaster behind the infamous Lexington Barbecue, opened in 1962. Decades later, Monk coached an eager Jim Noble. “I didn’t work at [Lexington], but I sure did go to school there. And I cannot say enough nice things about Wayne and Lexington,” Jim says. “They trained me. Every time I went in there, every bite I had, every look I took, every question I asked... They knew I wanted to do barbecue too, and they could not have been more helpful.” In 2019, exactly one century after Swicegood and Weaver set up shop, the doors of Noble Smoke opened. A Noble Beginning — Jim isn’t a first time restaurateur: He started cooking with wood in 1984, got his first smoker 30 years ago, and owns the
restaurant group Noble Food & Pursuits, comprised today of Charlotte’s The King’s Kitchen, Copain, Noble Smoke, and two locations of Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen. A Noble Grille in Winston-Salem opened doors in the early 90’s as well. While he didn’t always intend to be a chef, Jim always loved food — barbecue included. On childhood trips with his father, a furniture rep traveling North Carolina, Jim was able to visit local restaurants — “nowhere fancy” — from Lexington Barbecue (“our favorite,” Noble recalls) and Kepley’s Barbecue, to places like the Doghouse in High Point and Hap’s Grill in Salisbury. The trips exposed him to the type of “joints unique to a particular place” and barbecue was practically a staple of his family diet. By happenstance after college, Jim got his first experience with the cooking palate of the French, from their wine and bread to their staple dishes. An obsession was born, inspired by the likes of Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin, and later chefs Jeremiah Tower and Barry Wine. In Napa Valley in 1982, Noble learned about wine and studied the French cooking techniques that he would bring
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back home with him to High Point. His culinary career had begun, and he opened his first restaurant the very next year. Through the years, his barbecue R&D continued, as he spent time traveling the South, Texas, and the Carolinas, experiencing, tasting, and observing traditions, with detours along the way as he focused attention on each new restaurant he would open. The amalgamation of classic French and historic Piedmont fused into a style that’s all Noble’s own. You won’t be sipping a perfectly paired, full-bodied red wine with too many other pitmasters’ short ribs, but we’ll get to that later. Brick and Mortar — As Jim prepared to finally open the barbecue spot he’d long dreamt of, he tested his chops with Mobile Smoke, a catering business in which he traveled with two smokers to feed parties of 100 or more. Flossie was his original reverse smoker (now altered to match all of his other direct flow smokers), and Beulah, named after a favorite great aunt who babysat him, fried chicken for the family on Sundays, and loved her Winston cigarettes, was born after a trip to Aaron Franklin’s famed Texas barbecue institution. Catering allowed him to tinker with the smokers, learning their quirks and doubling down on the intricacies of perfectly tender wood-smoked meat. He will tell you barbecue is simple food, but getting it to taste the way his does isn’t simple at all.
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An aerial view of Noble Smoke and the Charlotte skyline. The yellow door for the Toot n' Tell barbecue pick up service.
“You just have to make a habit of doing things other people don’t want to do,” Jim says. Jim looked for a location for a long time, partially because his list of demands was admittedly long. One day, well into the search, friend and contractor Karl Doerre of Doerre Construction encouraged him to visit a large 1950’s maintenance facility on the west side of Uptown. “I wouldn’t even look at this building for three months... I just didn’t know much about the area. But the first time I finally saw it, I walked into the building and said, ‘My goodness, this is the spot.’” It hit everything on Jim’s wish list — high ceilings, historic bones, garage bays and doors, plenty of parking, a location central to the city, and, perhaps most important, the building sat near the interstate. “I could’ve gone a lot of other places, but I want to be a regional barbecue destination where people traveling the state, like I did with my dad, can stop in. If you love barbecue, you’ll go out of your way twenty or thirty miles on a trip just to eat. Anybody coming up the East Coast on 77 or 85 can eat here, and that is just beautiful.” The architectural design process, led by the renowned firm The Johnson Studio in Atlanta, took about three months, and Jim tapped back into his own industrial engineering background with his vision for how to lay out the kitchen, bar, and overall flow.
“The first time I finally saw it, I walked into the building and said, ‘My goodness, this is the spot.’”
The restaurant, wood-dotted with splashes of bright yellow, white, and black, is a blended combination of both Texas and Carolina barbecue joints: spectacle and efficiency meet here in earnest. Flags to represent the United States, France, North Carolina, and Texas cover the expansive walls, and the high ceilings make this feel like a true dining hall. Inside, 200 people can dine and an additional 200 can overtake the outdoor patio and huge, custom-made hickory bar. The open kitchen in the front allows diners a peek at the action, as the chefs chop, slice, and sling barbecue, and a Legends Counter holds 23 seats with plaques for different iconic barbecue pitmasters. Through a bright yellow door on the side, carry-out orders can be picked up, and a row of parking spaces in front of that area serve as a Toot n’ Tell throwback to Carolina carhop days, allowing guests to place an order from the car. Beside Noble Smoke, just a stone’s throw away from the beer garden, Jim’s next concept, a fried chicken shack called Bossy Beulah’s, will open this August. Not to remain unmentioned is the restaurant’s pride and joy, an attached 1,800 square-foot smokehouse, open for viewing, with six smokers and two masonry pits with a firebox between them. A friend and fellow barbecue enthusiast, Reid McMillan, introduced Noble to Travis Cauble of Salisbury’s
Smoking Steel Works. Cauble worked diligently to handcraft each smoker, and Roger Koontz, the mason for Lexington Barbecue, consulted on the pit design. Here, the backbone of the whole place is created day in and day out. “This is the biggest operation we’ve ever taken on,” says Jim’s right hand man and longtime Noble Food & Pursuits Chef Zack Renner. “I see it as Jimmy’s magnum opus: Although he’s far from being done, he’s dreamed about this for nearly as long as I’ve been alive.” The day to day in the restaurant is carried out by General Manager CJ Harvey and Executive Chef Wayne Mason while Renner helps oversee the whole production.
“We aren’t here trying to make money, we’re here trying to make great barbecue. If we can do that, everything else will be alright.”
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On the Meat — There’s no room for mediocrity when it comes to a barbecue restaurant's meat, so Jim Noble isn’t playing around. His normally gentle, soft-spoken demeanor gets dropped for a moment as he leans in to discuss the star of Noble Smoke’s stage. “One thing I tell my staff every single day is, ‘I don’t know if I told you this yet, but we’re serious about barbecue here’ and I’m telling you, we are serious about barbecue here. We aren’t
“I never met anyone who didn't really like barbecue, and I've never met anyone who wasn't an authority on it. You have to walk lightly because someone always has a better way. That's just the way barbecue is. But, for us, we're just serious about barbecue.”
here trying to make money, we’re here trying to make great barbecue. If we can do that, everything else will be alright.” “Alright” is the humble way of putting it. In addition to serving traditional North Carolina pork, Noble Smoke is also cranking out Texas-style brisket; cooking the two requires a different type of pit. Short ribs will make an occasional special appearance, and the crew is regularly smoking spare ribs, turkey, chicken, and fish. The similarity between each meat is Noble’s touch, instilled too in each pitmaster he’s trained. The result is melt-in-your-mouth, fall-off-the-bone tenderness from the rich, buttery cuts and the simple salt-and-pepper seasoning that enhances the flavor of the meat itself as it’s married with the taste born of the smokers and pits. It’s not the easiest way to cook meat, to be certain, especially when the team made the decision to run the smokers twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. “It’s a pain in the neck to cook with wood and smoke meat,” Noble says simply. “Wood’s dirty: you’ve got to store and clean wood, and it makes a mess, but I don’t know if I’d really want to be in the restaurant business if I couldn’t cook with wood… and if it doesn’t have wood in it, it isn’t barbecue, I don’t think.” On the Sides — When it came to sides, Noble wanted consistency but also a touch of modernity. He’s got classics you’d expect, like slaw,
beans, and hushpuppies, but he also wanted sides like the sliced heirloom tomato and cucumber salad, white acre field peas, and stewed squash. It’s invitation to diners of all kind, similar to the style he perfected at Rooster’s where the sides toe the line between light and rich. Like Rooster’s, there’s enough of them to mix-and-match, creating variety in your meal each time. As with everything, the sides and the whole menu remain open to tweaks and changes. His pursuit of culinary excellence and perfected technique is always evolving, and that type of heart and passion is something you can taste. On the Beverages — The beverage program did not come secondary to the food at Noble Smoke. On site, Suffolk Punch joined forces with the Noble Pursuits team with a 1,700 square-foot facility and blendery that can produce and age sour and wild ales using Old World techniques. Master Brewer Scott Christofell traveled to Europe to receive a formal education on the “Méthode Traditionnelle”, and Suffolk Punch became only the third US brewery to be certified in the tradition. They’re every bit as passionate and meticulous about beer as Noble’s team is about barbecue, making for a wellsuited partnership. Then there’s the wine, Noble’s original love. The list was compiled in part with Eric Solomon, an importer of wine from France
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“Family and food and memories all just go together, and they stay with you for a lifetime.” and Spain who attended the Institute of Masters of Wine before founding European Cellars in Charlotte. He’s lead several wine dinner menus with Noble over the years, and the wine lists have been the foundation of Noble’s other restaurants, as well. “This process of smoked meats and wines is a very old tradition, just not a very old tradition in the South,” Jim explains. Still, he’s hesitant to push the wine too hard, cautious because “I don’t want anyone thinking we’re some lofty barbecue restaurant… We have a great beer selection, we have great iced tea, we have Coke and Cheerwine, we have great bourbons. But we also have wine, and the wine is stunning. If I have something to eat, I’m going to have wine with it. This barbecue we do really is such good wine food. So, you don’t have to have all these great wines or great vegetables, but it sure does make the dinner better.” A great chef can pull off surprising couplings with ease, and that’s exactly what happened when Noble insisted wine tastes great with barbecue — a few sips in, you’ll be surprised you didn’t think of it yourself.
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A Wood-Smoked Legacy — One day, shortly after the buzzed about soft opening, Noble recounts his son, on staff, looking over at him and saying, “This is going to be here in a hundred years.” “I said, ‘Yeah it will be... as long as y'all don’t mess it up!’” Jim laughs. Of course, in the end, Noble’s meticulous dedication to barbecue and all the years leading up to the opening all comes down to one thing: family. From the team he carefully assembled to the names he lovingly bestowed on the smokers and pits to the intentional space he dreamt up for barbecue lovers to gather, Noble Smoke is a nod to legacy, to traditions, and to heritage. “For us,” explains Renner, “as long as the people we are working alongside are enjoying their time, and the people who come to dine have a great experience, we’ve succeeded. If we get some recognition along the way, that’s just gravy. We just want to make great food for people.” Noble is certain of one thing: The next hot trend of barbecue will fade and another will follow, but barbecue itself will always remain. “People cooked with fire before they ever cooked with a stove… and food is one of those things that’s a necessity but it’s also one of the great pleasures of life,” Jim says. “Family and food and memories all just kind of go together, and they stay with you for a lifetime.” info noblesmokebarbecue.com / @noblesmoke
“Food is one of those things that's a necessity, but it's also one of the great pleasures of life.”
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U PLI FTI NG CH A RLOTTE, ON E DISH AT A TI M E Chef Gregory Collier brings his culinary genius to the QC through his restaurant The Yolk— all while helping local, young chefs through his work with Soul Food Sessions. words LIZA CARRASQUILLO / The Yolk photos JAMEY PRICE Soul Food Sessions Charleston photos courtesy SOUL FOOD SESSIONS by JONATHAN COOPER
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“I read a book that said, ‘Do what people know you for to find your passion.’ I realized then that everyone knew me from Chings Hot Wings, so I decided to follow that advice and go to Culinary Arts school.”
Chef Gregory Collier didn’t always know he wanted to cook for a living. Like many now-renowned chefs, his early memories are filled with scenes of his family kitchen, of freshly baked butter rolls filling the house with a heavenly scent. Although his grandma never revealed her secret recipe, Chef Greg knew he would some day want to make people feel just as excited about food as his grandma made him feel. But, even with a love of food ingrained into his whole life, it took Greg until college to seriously consider cooking as a career. “I was working at my friend’s father’s hot wing spot back home in Memphis,” he recalls. “I had two jobs: the restaurant, and then one with benefits and better pay. I read a book that said,
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‘Do what people know you for to find your passion.’ I realized then that everyone knew me from Chings Hot Wings, so I decided to follow that advice and go to Culinary Arts school.” After graduating from school in Phoenix, AZ, Chef Greg began working in kitchens throughout the area. Eventually, he and his wife Subrina, who he met while working at Chings Hot Wings, made the move to North Carolina. Now, Greg spends his days running the breakfast and lunch hotspot The Yolk. This family-owned, chef-driven restaurant takes pride in their ingenuity without sacrificing their roots. Through his cooking, he is able to find a delicate balance between new, exciting dishes and warm, old-fashioned flavors.
“We also want to begin a Black restaurant fund… In order to change the status quo, the playing field needs to be leveled from a financial perspective.” When he’s not cooking at The Yolk, Chef Greg spends his time working with Soul Food Sessions. “Soul Food Sessions started as five Black chefs who wanted to cook with each other in the kitchen, instead of being the one Black chef in the room,” says Chef Greg. “We later realized we could have an impact on what is still a very non-diverse leadership class in our industry.” As a movement to support people of color in the culinary arts, Soul Food Sessions makes it a point to host dinners with lesser known African-American chefs. The organization also helps them set up their own events and provides scholarships to local culinary students in the area. “We do four plated dinners a year that feature up to nine Black chefs,” notes Chef Greg. “This includes the founding members Jamie Turner, Michael Bowling, Greg Williams,
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and Jamie Barnes, along with Subrina, who runs the service piece of the dinners.” As The Yolk and Soul Food Sessions continue to grow, Chef Greg plans on reaching more customers and more young chefs. “We want to be able to pay for some students’ full college tuition,” Chef Greg says of Soul Food Sessions. “We also want to begin a Black restaurant fund… In order to change the status quo, the playing field needs to be leveled from a financial perspective.” To taste Chef Greg’s culinary creations, stop by The Yolk in Uptown’s 7th Street Market. You can also learn more about Soul Food Sessions by visiting their website: soulfoodsessions.org. info soulfoodsessions.org / @soulfoodsessionsclt / @uptownyolk
OrderFire Peter Taylor and Marc Jacksina's video series ushers in a new culinary era in Charlotte. words ELEANOR MERRELL / portraits JAMEY PRICE photos courtesy ORDER/FIRE
OrderFire on set at Kindred in Davidson with Joe and Katy Kindred.
Peter Taylor of OrderFire
Peter Taylor, the producer and director behind Charlotte’s culinary video series OrderFire, has lived all over the country: Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Washington, DC, Arizona... Yet Charlotte is the city he has called home for more than a decade and, as a food photographer, he has found himself in a particular kind of paradise. “Unlike other cities I’ve lived in with huge food scenes and superstar chefs, Charlotte is just blossoming, and we are making our own chef superstars,” says Taylor. And he’s not wrong; Charlotte’s culinary culture is in the midst of a coming-of-age moment, when new restaurants are opening almost faster than Queen City residents can sample
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them. Thrillingly, most of Charlotte’s newest additions are chef-driven ventures designed to showcase innovation and an unadulterated passion for food. Taylor has noticed another quality unique to Charlotte’s food scene: cooperation. “The way the chefs here work together and help each other is incredible,” says Taylor. “I’ve been in a local kitchen where a delivery of something didn’t arrive. In the middle of dinner service, that chef called another chef, who offered whatever they had and saved the night.” Not only is this cooperation unique, it’s also hidden. At most restaurants, guests have no idea what’s happening behind the scenes—the blood, sweat, tears, and love that comprise a successful culinary enterprise.
Peter Taylor, Chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom, and Marc Jacksina.
“The more time I spent with chefs and farmers, the more I realized their conversations and their lives were full of fascinating stories that the average person never got to hear.” On location with Sammy Koenigsberg of New Town Farms and Chef Paul Verica of The Stanley
Host Marc Jacksina talks to renowned food writer Kathleen Purvis at Dot Dot Dot
“The more time I spent with chefs and farmers, the more I realized their conversations and their lives were full of fascinating stories that the average person never got to hear,” explains Taylor. Thus fell the seedling that germinated into OrderFire. Each 30-minute episode of OrderFire spotlights a different food service personality based in the Charlotte area. Jamie Lynch, the Kindreds, Ashley Boyd, and Greg Auten are just a few of the Charlotte big names lighting up Taylor’s screen, conversing casually with OrderFire’s host, award-winning chef and OrderFire co-founder Marc Jacksina. Rather than focusing on the cooking techniques and food flavors so often prioritized on food shows, Taylor and Jack-
sina wanted to shift viewers’ attention to the more human elements of the food and drink business. Their dedication to humanizing Charlotte’s culinary scene continues even after the camera cuts off. Taylor forged a partnership between OrderFire and Free Range Brewing, which hosts viewing parties for each new OrderFire episode release. The spirit of the viewing parties is celebratory and convivial, in keeping with the dynamics among Charlotte’s food and beverage purveyors. Although the parties are free, OrderFire invites guests to purchase $10 raffle tickets, the proceeds of which are donated to a charity chosen by the featured guest of each episode. Since the airing of OrderFire’s first episode in 2017, the viewing parties have raised over $25,000.
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An OrderFire showing at Free Range Brewing
“Everyone has a great story. Everyone. We could do twenty seasons of OrderFire and still not tell all the stories found right here in Charlotte.”
For Taylor and Jacksina, OrderFire is a labor of love. Both founders have full-time jobs—Jacksina as Executive Chef at Earl’s Grocery and Taylor as a lifestyle, outdoors, and food photographer. Yet, as Season Five perches on the edge of its launch, Taylor doesn’t anticipate ending the series any time soon. How could he, when he believes one simple thing: “Everyone has a great story. Everyone. We could do twenty seasons of OrderFire and still not tell all the stories found right here in Charlotte.” Inevitably, as Charlotte’s food scene continues to proliferate, so too will the stories, and the city is all the tastier for OrderFire’s work to bring them to Charlotte gastronomists. info orderfire.tv / @orderfiretv ptpix.com / @ptpix
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Host Marc Jacksina with Chef Wiliam Dissen of Haymaker.
TH E PL A I D The talented creatives leading the charge as Charlotte becomes a food destination.
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The Plaid Penguin's new Brevard St. office designed by the talented folks at Mary Haubenhofer Interior Design
PENGU I N
SUNNY HUBLER photos JAMEY PRICE THE PLAID PENGUIN
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“We support our clients’ initiatives with a mixture of strategic thinking, creative horsepower, and reliable instincts."
For any city, making its name as a foodie destination takes time, talent, and craft. In 2016, Zagat named Charlotte one of the top ten fastest growing food cities in the United States, and the scene has only continued its expansion since then. This wave alone is helping Charlotte secure its rightful spot on the map like never before. As the explosion of mouth-watering options stretches across the furthest reaches of Charlotte’s Trade and Tryon, it’s clear the growth and visibility is as much the consequence of an influx of talented chefs and savvy restaurant groups as it is the end product of some of the less visible companies behind them. One such business, quietly making a big name for itself, is The Plaid Penguin. The company, a one-stop, no-holds-barred branding agency, was born in 2009 in a NoDa garage. In those days, it was a two-person operation that served small businesses across a variety of industries. Helping Joe was his brother Conor
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Merrigan. Back then, Joe helped clients brand and market by day and worked as a personal chef by night. A Minnesota native, Joe is quick to laugh, effortlessly hospitable, and bursting at all times with creative ideas. He lives and breathes food; it’s clear this is his passion, his love language, his bread and butter. Married with his eye for design and a knack for storytelling, a branding agency seemed nothing short of a natural turn for him. Today, in a spacious (and immaculately hip) Charlotte office, The Plaid Penguin has settled into a real niche within the food and beverage industry. Joe has a talented team behind him, all with a variety of specialties that help clients best establish strong identities and practices. Beyond the branding basics, The Plaid Penguin has also collaborated in the design of restaurant spaces, working frequently alongside architects and industrial designers to do everything from selecting the curtains and the colors to designing menus and tap handles.
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“Looking ahead, we want to continue to push ourselves so that we’re always ready for the next thing. We couldn’t be more optimistic about the opportunities we see as our city grows.” The Plaid Penguin is a force for some of the biggest players in Charlotte’s food scene. Their client list includes wellknown restaurant groups such as Noble Food & Pursuits (Rooster’s, King’s Kitchen, Copain, Bossy Beulah’s, and Noble Smoke), Marriott (Stoke and Cocoa and the Director), and Rare Roots Hospitality (Dressler’s, Dogwood, Fin & Fino, and The Porter’s House). It also includes development groups like White Point Partners (Bowers and Optimist Hall) and The Durban Group (The Suffolk Punch), along with companies that span everything from food service to hospitality, like Compass Group, 3 Fish, Inc, and North Corner Haven. Right from the early days, The Plaid Penguin’s offerings could almost always be summarized by these two words: invention and reinvention. Their growing team of creatives clearcuts paths through an evolving industry for food and beverage clients in the process of opening, expanding, or transitioning. “We support our clients’ directional shifts or initiatives with a mixture of strategic thinking, creative horsepower, and reliable instincts,” explains Joe. “This potent combination allows us to provide comprehensive services and holistic counsel.” The way Joe sees it, there is no finish line for The Plaid Penguin’s work.
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“Looking ahead, we want to continue to push ourselves so that we’re always ready for the next thing,” says Joe. “We couldn’t be more optimistic about the opportunities we see as our city grows.” Those opportunities are already taking them beyond Charlotte, too, to other cities with hot food scenes, like New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Despite all the good eating on the road, though, Joe keeps a long list of favorites here at home. We couldn’t help but ask him, then, what his favorite meal in Charlotte was. True to form, he gave one… for every day of the week: Sunday, you can find Joe picking up a couple pounds of carnitas and tortillas for the neighborhood, Monday it’s Copper for chicken tikka masala at lunch, Tuesdays are Shake Shack for take-out, Wednesday is Chris' Deli for the Daily Special, Thursdays are Rooster's for the fried shrimp and wedge salad and whatever’s in Bin 19, Friday his spot is Dogwood for a cheeseboard and cocktails. And Saturday, he stays home and cooks for the family. Cheers! info theplaidpenguin.com / @theplaidpenguin
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This page: NC Red. Opposite page: The Crunkleton.
ON TH E M A P 19 new Charlotte restaurants helping the city garner national attention.
W words SUNNY HUBLER / photos JAMEY PRICE
When it comes to Charlotteâ€™s burgeoning culinary scene, 2019 was a continuation of 2018, characterized by a strong surge of visionaries with different interpretations of various cuisines, and a city of foodies ready to eat well. From seafood to comfort food, classic American steaks to modern Asian street food, new chefs and old, these are the 19 new spots that we hope youâ€™ll clear time in your dining schedule to try.
The Exclusives Hill institution. The bar, designed like a mixology library, tells a story of traditional drinks with a contemporary twist. Order the Jungle Bird or the Bourbon Bramble, and pair it with the charred wings or the crispy calabash. The Dunavant The Dunavant is one of the latest culinary gifts to Charlotte’s South End neighborhood, brought to us by head chef and owner Travis Hearne. Hearne has perfected the “prix-fixe steak-frites” restaurant, bringing us this exceptional local steak joint that’s casual enough for a weekly after-work dinner and fancy enough to bring a date. Bonus points if you can beat their record for bottomless truffle fries consumed in one go. They also just introduced a full brunch menu. Hawkers Walking into South End’s Hawkers is like being transported to the streets of Southeast Asia: The restaurant is a scratch kitchen where all of the plates are conceptualized and prepared like you would find them at a hawker center. Not only are their numerous small plates, noodle, skewer, and salad dishes to try, Hawkers has a cocktail and sake menu to explore as well.
Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar has locations from Colorado to Georgia and, now, this sliver of Spain has nestled in South End, dishing out tapas and offering a selection of hundreds of wines from all over the world. Come for the wine, but stay for the cosmopolitan combination of Mediterranean food flavors. Bardo At Bardo, Head Chef Michael Noll is turning heads with a compelling selection of eclectic small plates. Paired with an original cocktail and a decadent dessert, Bardo entrees engender an unforgettable gastronomic experience that you’ll want to share with a fellow foodie. Bar Marcel Bar Marcel, the new, nearly 4,000-square-foot SouthPark restaurant with a courtyard patio, features a menu focused on European dishes, with the majority of the influence coming from Italian, Spanish, and French cuisine. The menu rotates seasonally, but it always includes four made-in-house pastas and a collection of desserts. Crunkleton The Crunkleton, in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, a cocktail bar and restaurant, effuses the same skill and passion that comes from the decades of tradition that began at the Chapel
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Idlewild Idlewild, in NoDa, is a stylish member’s only bar (with a $1 entry fee) that comes stocked with generously-sized shareable plates (like charcuterie and avocado toast) and with a full, diversely curated bar. What they don’t have is a cocktail menu—rather, you tell the bartender each time what you’re in the mood for, from the type of liquor, to the flavor profile, to how boozy you’re going for. There are, of course, classic cocktails available, like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, so if you already know what you want, they have you covered with that, too. La Belle Helene Transport your taste buds to France without leaving the Queen City by visiting La Belle Helene, which serves up authentic brasserie-style, hearty fare in a space that powerfully conjures the City of Lights from the heart of Uptown. The Manchester Pack up the family or rally your friends for a trip to The Manchester, where gastropub grub dishes out in an English-style pub setting. Save space for a brew, selected from The Manchester’s wide selection of craft ales. NC Red NC Red, a “New England-New South” restaurant in Plaza Midwood, is helmed by Chef Bruce Moffett and executive chef Drew Dodd. This is a casual take on seafood staples and comfort food classics—the perfect mix of north meets south—from a Nashville hot chicken to fresh fried fish, lobster rolls and clam chowder, and a raw bar stocked with sustainably farmed oysters, mussels, and clams.
This page clockwise from top left: The Queen and Glass, Superica, Bardo octopus, and La Belle Helene Opposite page: Sukoshi
This page: Bar Marcel octopus Opposite page: Hawkers, The Dunavant steak
Noble Smoke Chef Jim Noble’s long-anticipated barbecue joint, located in an old bus storage facility off Freedom Drive, is the culmination of Jim’s long-time love (and years of deep research) of Carolina cooking traditions. As an NC native himself, Noble has long been one of the preeminent leaders of barbecuing traditions across his restaurants, but now he will have a brick-and-mortar spot dedicated to just that. There will be full table service inside but a grab-and-go walk-up window out front. The sides will be traditional, but Noble will also include healthier options like roasted beets and kale salad. Expect to see a wine program (another of Noble’s passions), taps of craft beer, and high-end bourbon at the bar. Peppervine Impress your date with an evening at Peppervine, which earned a spot on Food and Wine magazine’s list of “The Most Anticipated Spring Restaurant Openings.” Nestled in Charlotte’s luxe SouthPark neighborhood, Peppervine delivers out-
standing gourmet food and offers over 3,000 bottles of wine to choose from in an elegant setting, where world-class art rotates on exhibit. The Queen & Glass Mixologist Bob Peters teamed up with Cory Duran, the owner of the beloved People’s Market, to open The Queen & Glass last year. The bar, serving inventive small plates, tapas-style, and craft cocktails, is a small, tucked-in space on the side of People’s Market—look closely, or you’ll miss it and get there early, because The Queen & Glass only sits 50. The Stanley On your next special occasion, treat yourself to an evening at The Stanley, where James Beard-nominated chef Paul Verica dishes out farm-to-table deliciousness, from small plates like steamed buns and surf & turf to mains like duck breast and rib eye. You can walk next door and grab a cocktail after at the iconic Crunkleton, an import from Chapel Hill.
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The Exclusives Sukoshi Steve Palmer, Kimball Brienza, and Head Chef Michael Chanthavong, the same team that brought Charlotteans O-Ku in 2016, have delivered a lunch break boon to the Uptown workforce with Sukoshi. Within a brightly-lit, hip interior, Sukoshi is becoming Uptown’s go-to, fast-service destination for a fresh and flavorful take on creative sushi. Superica These days, there are many restaurants duking it out in South End for Charlotteans’ lunch and dinner business. Do yourself a favor and put Superica at the top of your to-visit list for a Tex-Mex experience, characterized by fresh ingredients and tantalizing tastes. Sweet Lew's BBQ A perfect edition to the Queen City, Sweet Lew's dishes out some truly delicious brisket, pork ribs, and an assortment of great sides. There's boiled peanuts too! The Waterman Comfort food meets Lowcountry at Paul Manley’s new neighborhood seafood joint, The Waterman. Perfect for postwork happy hour with coworkers or a sunny Sunday with friends, The Waterman dishes out the same comfort classics you’d find at your favorite weathered beachside haunt like po’ boys, steamed mussels, and fish camp platters. The Yolk Chef Greg Collier is the force behind Uptown’s newest breakfast spot. Culinarily and geographically, he and Subrina Collier made the move to 7th Street Public Market in Uptown Charlotte with purpose. As always, the two are committed to make The Yolk a special community spot, focused on local food resources with a touch of contemporary flare. Yume Closing in on its one year anniversary, this modern ramen and sushi spot in South End next to Bardo has garnered lots of attention out of the gate for its high quality fish and delicious bowls of noodles.
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This page: The Waterman oysters Opposite page: Peppervine dessert, Yume ramen
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T H E F O OD A N D DR I N K G U I DE
T H E 2019 GU I DE Six restaurants and caterers helping put Charlotte on the culinary map. photo of The Dunavant JAMEY PRICE — Table of Contents — THE DUNAVANT | DELECTABLES BY HOLLY | LA BELLE HELENE MIDWOOD SMOKEHOUSE | RED ROCKS | YUME
SPONSORED PARTNER SECTION
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STEAK & FRITES
THE DUNAVANT South End
he Dunavant is one of the latest culinary gifts to Charlotte’s South End neighborhood. Chef and owner Travis Hearne worked for Passion Food Hospitality in Washington, D.C., before returning to the Queen City, and took a spark of inspiration from his experience with D.C.’s Medium Rare, a prix-fixe steak-frites restaurant. “There didn’t seem to be a lot of places around South End with a nice, relaxed atmosphere where you could get really good food at a reasonable price-point, the kind of place a typical Charlottean… could eat out without breaking the bank but that felt a little bit nicer than your average place,” he says. The restaurant itself occupies a mid-century mod building in South End, just a few blocks from Sycamore Brewing. Inside, brass
and gold accentuate smooth, gray tones and natural wood finishes. Hearne set to work designing a model that would allow for both the excellence and affordability they dreamed of providing and realized that by offering a limited menu, they could source fewer ingredients at a higher quality. The menu is built around their premium steaks, served with a starter and bottomless truffle fries, and made with your choice of three different sauce flavor profiles. All of The Dunavant’s dishes and sauces are made from scratch, with the exception of their bread, sourced from the local Nova’s Bakery. Recently, they also added a full-service weekend brunch, with classics and modern twists (like a chicken and funnel cake dish) as well as a mimosa flight and other midday-friendly cocktails.
2322 Dunavant St. Suite 200 • Charlotte, NC • (980) 335-0125 • @thedunavant • thedunavant.com
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sponsored partner section
DELECTABLES BY HOLLY Charlotte
ewly relocated to trendy Uptown west, Delectables by Holly is glowing with an urban garden of edible flowers, a buzzing staff, and a gorgeous new office space. Owner Holly McLelland is proud to call this beautiful new place her second home and thankful for the loyal clientele and fabulous employees who, together, make it all possible. The chefs create artistic presentations and succulent food, and their impressive repertoire of internationally influenced dishes provide a higher level of sophistication to Holly’s clients’ events. Custom menus are designed by event planners and executed by the diverse operations and kitchen staff, several of whom have been with the company for many years.
The highest hospitality expectations are required and formed organically by the culture of shared values—inclusivity, respect, and a commitment to a standard of excellence. Delectables is one of Charlotte’s most established female-owned businesses with over 25 years of experience serving brides, grooms, corporations, and social events, as well as the occasional President, Vice-President, Ambassador and celebrity. Even the most discerning guests will be satisfied with menus featuring dishes ranging from winter truffle filet mignon and goldflake sprinkled chocolate ganache to smoky-sweet Memphis spiced fried chicken over Belgian waffles—all quietly served with a smile.
704 342 4800 delectablesbyholly.com 901 Berryhill Road, Suite A
901 Berryhill Rd Suite A • Charlotte, NC • (704) 342-4800 • @delectablesbyhollycatering • delectablesbyholly.com Charlotte, NC 28208
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LA BELLE HELENE Uptown
hat’s more French than a passion for good food and good living? La Belle Helene brings the timeless philosophy to the vibrant Charlotte restaurant scene with a lively and casual take on the classic French brasserie concept. Designed by renowned Parisian designer Richard Lafond, whose family business has garnered more than 50 years of experience creating some of the most famous restaurant spaces in the “City of Lights,” La Belle Helene is equal parts warm and inviting, inspired by 19th century French covered passage architecture and romantic skylit evenings.
Whether you’re joining LBH for brunch, lunch, or dinner, you’ll want to take a seat at the pewter-topped bar that stretches on for days, grab a comfortable leather banquette, or claim an intimate outdoor table for two. Our authentic brasserie-style menu from Chef Jim Stouffer highlights delicious local ingredients and a wide selection of specialty beers, signature cocktails, and French wines by the glass — making La Belle Helene the perfect destination in Charlotte for a leisurely lunch, after-work happy hour, special occasions, or everyday gathering with friends.
300 S. Tryon St. • Charlotte, NC • (704) 969-2550 • @labellehelenenc • labellehelenerestaurant.com
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sponsored partner section
MIDWOOD SMOKEHOUSE Charlotte, NC
idwood Smokehouse is where Charlotte learned to appreciate barbecue styles from across the South. They hickory-smoke Carolina chopped pork, but also pride themselves on their prime Texas brisket, Kansas City burnt ends, South Carolina pulled chicken, and Memphis-style ribs. Executive Pit Master Matthew Barry’s insistence on only using hard wood, and never gas or electric heat, means that they have to staff each location 22 to 24 hours a day to make sure they have enough meat to serve the next day’s crowds. The effort shows in how the meats always come just barely clinging to the bone and fork tender.
With a welcoming atmosphere and an emphasis on hospitality, these urban chapels of smoke have become the centerpieces in each of the communities they serve—some place you’ll always run into a friend. Midwood plays host to anyone and everyone, from vegetarians sampling the smoked vegetables to celebrities stopping in on campaign visits or amid a country-wide concert tour. Watch out for their smoking rig around town because you never know what their pit masters may be slinging. There’s nothing like southern barbecue being stuffed into a taco and handed to you fresh off the smoker.
Central Ave. - (704) 295-4227 • Park Road - (980) 237-7929 • Birkdale Village - (980) 689-2990 Johnston Road - (980) 430-1086 • @midwoodsmokehouse • midwoodsmokehouse.com
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CAFE, BAR, & BAKERY
RED ROCKS CAFE Charlotte
ed Rocks core mission is simple: to professionally and responsibly operate an upscale restaurant and bar, which consistently offers great food at a good value in a clean and pleasant environment. At Red Rocks, there’s something offered for everyone, and guests can come on any type of occasion, whether they’re looking to "eat" or "dine." Red Rocks has served the Charlotte, Huntersville, and Lancaster County areas for many years, all while remaining actively involved in giving back to the communities they serve. The team offers a large beverage program and a wide range of foods including steaks,
fresh seafood, pastas, salads, sandwiches, and more. Their nightly features, led by native Charlottean and Head Chef Jamie Weatherly, are a community favorite; some of the most beloved dishes include their famous spinach and sun-dried tomato queso, parmesan potato cakes, crab cakes, and Jambalaya. Red Rocks has long been known as a neighborhood gem for good reason: They are great for large parties, offer scenic patio dining, dish up a memorable Sunday Brunch, and more, making them a mainstay on the quickly changing Charlotte dining scene.
Strawberry Hill - (704) 364-0402 - @redrocksstrawberryhill • Birkdale Village - (704) 892-9999 - @redrocksbirkdale Red Stone - (980) 689-2990 - @redrocksredstone • redrockscafe.com
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sponsored partner section
SUSHI & RAMEN
YUME South End
resh sushi and flavorful ramen are a match made in heaven—or, if you live in the Charlotte area, a match made at YUME. As their name suggests, YUME Ramen Sushi & Bar is a casual-to-fine dining restaurant that specializes in Japanese cuisine. Tony Yum and wife Rosena Tong started their first restaurant in North Carolina in 2017, before relocating to their convenient South End location in 2018. Their goal has never changed: to bring authentic Japanese food, for both lunch and dinner, to the greater Charlotte area. Head Sushi Chef Iwan Susanto has over 15 years of experience and specializes in Edomae-style sushi, a technique from the Edo period in Japan, where some of the fish is marinated and preserved for a few days to
bring out its best taste. Kitchen Manager and Chef Yohei Kimaya gained his own 15 years of experience in a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant in New York. YUME serves a variety of cocktails and fresh fare using the highest quality ingredients; try anything from their traditional ramen with house-made broth, to Katsu Don, Berkshire pork, nigiri and sashimi, and more. They also offer a Course Tasting Menu, with 8 to 12 of the best dishes. Starting in mid-summer 2019, YUME has just rolled out a new menu, emphasizing their role as the first restaurant in Charlotte serving Edomae-style sushi. No matter what you’re in the mood for, YUME is the perfect place to find it.
Sushi & Ramen • 1508 S Mint St suite A • Charlotte, NC • (980) 858-5678 • @yumeclt • facebook.com/yumeclt
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IN DEX 2100 Queens ..................................................36
Omni Hotels & Resorts .............................170
AGM Imports .................................................81
Abate Design Group ..................................103
Gerrard Builders .......................................38
Pai CPA, PLLC ................................................28
Amina Rubinacci ..........................................24
Grande Custom Builders .........................30
Pam Harrington Exclusives ....................115
Arcadia Homes ............................................35
Grandfather Homes ..................................43
Premier Sotheby’s ........................................4
Arthur Rutenberg Homes .........................51
Hilton Center City .....................................50
Providence Plastic Surgery ...................63
Ascent Uptown ...........................................45
Hood Hargett ..............................................91
RK Motors ....................................................26
Bechtler Musuem of Modern Art....33
Insight Automation.................................. 29
Reaching Quiet ..........................................103
Blackhawk Garden Center .....................56
Sea Level .......................................................85
Blue Ridge Mountain Club .....................110
Jaguar Charlotte ......................................21
Shain Gallery ..............................................37
Blue Waters Construction .......................8
Karen Kettler Design ..............................90
Shea Custom ...............................................61
Bruce Julian .................................................83
Kingswood Custom Homes.....................27
Simonini Custom Homes ...........................55
Lake Norman Realty ..................................49
Carolina Dental .........................................69
Layne Barter Makeup ...............................123
The Charlotte ...........................................125
Cellars South ...........................................103
The Pink Hanger ..........................................34
Classic Attic............................................... 97
Lucy and Company .......................................67
The Plaid Penguin .........................................14
Classica Homes ...........................................47
Majestic Bath ..............................................86
The Sporting Gent..................................... 23
The Swag .......................................................117
Cope & Stick ..................................................73
McDevitt Agency .........................................17
Cottingham Chalk ....................................53
Mint Museum ................................................36
Towne Bank ...................................................41
Diamonds Direct ........................Back Cover
Myron Greer ................................................97
Uptown Charlotte Smiles .......................77
Dilworth Facial Plastic Surgery.......... 34
Urban Edge ..................................................28
Donald Haack Diamonds .........................25
New Life Building Supplies .......................99
Watermark Lake Norman .........................119
Dwell Nova ....................................................6
North Corner Haven .................................113
Windsor Jewelers ........................................2
Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art .....33
Novel Atherton ..........................................79
Windsor Windows & Doors ...................89
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Engel & Völkers .........................................171
Oasis Outdoor ............................................95
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Plan your next getaway, and experience a fun-filled stay packed with amazing amenities, including complimentary access to the Charlotte Athletic Club, as well as fine dining and much more! 704-377-0400 • omnihotels.com/charlotte
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Banner Elk, North Carolina 610 Banner Elk Highway • Banner Elk, NC 28604 USA Tel: +1 828-898-3808 • Mobile: +1 828-789-9341 Internet: BannerElk.evrealestate.com Mail to: BannerElk@evrealestate.com
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4521 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
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The tastiest issue of the year is here — our annual Food & Drink release — and this year's edition is dedicated to all those out there helpi...
Published on Aug 1, 2019
The tastiest issue of the year is here — our annual Food & Drink release — and this year's edition is dedicated to all those out there helpi...