Amor De Brazil Steakhouse
2225 Matthews Township Parkway
Matthews, NC 28105
Dashing gauchos, the Brazilian version of cowboys, move from table to table at this colorful spot in the Sycamore Commons Shopping Center, slicing pieces of meat from sword-like skewers to pile on your plate. Sixteen different meats, all slow-cooked on a rotisserie grill, are featured in the traditional all-you-can-eat Rodizio tableside service, including several different preparations of lamb, pork, chicken and steak as well as house-made Brazilian-style sausage. Some of the Brazilian cuts of steak, such as maminha, a churrasco favorite, and picanha, the house specialty, may be unfamiliar, but the gaucho chefs are eager to explain and all speak English. Rodizio meals also include a generous salad bar, also available a la carte.
Related: Best Barbecue In Charlotte
201 S. College St.
Charlotte, NC 28244
Owner Jim Emad opened this unique spot on the 27th floor of the Charlotte Plaza building, former lair of the exclusive Tower Club, to reintroduce Charlotte to fine French dining, specifically with presentations using the gueridon, a mobile cooking cart. Bentley’s offers many traditional classics prepared tableside, including a peppercorn-encrusted steak au poivre flamed in brandy, Caesar salad tossed while you watch, Dover sole de-boned at your table, crepes Suzettes and that ultimate romantic date-night special, chateaubriand for two. A wide variety of chef-designed seasonal dishes fills out the menu. Bentley’s intimate dining, combined with its awesome view of the city, creates the setting for an evening to remember.
2501 Crownpoint Executive Drive
Charlotte, NC 28227
Owned and operated by the Ji family, this spot just off Independence Boulevard offers an authentic Korean barbecue experience. The interior was completely renovated to include special tables containing grills where Korean BBQ specials such as bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated beef or pork) and galbi (beef ribs), as well as many other less familiar dishes, are prepared. Knowledgeable staff members willingly explain the menu and make suggestions, then prepare dishes at the tableside grills. Each meal comes with a multitude of little side dishes, called the banchan, filled with condiments intended to be wrapped in a lettuce leaf along with your meat. Wash it all down with a pot of soju, a vodka-like Korean spirit.
446 Tyvola Road
Charlotte, NC 28217
Marvin Minoda founded the popular Kabuto Japanese Steakhouse chain back in the 1990s. Recently he rebranded his original location near I-77 under his own name with the intent of offering a more authentic teppanyaki experience along with new dishes discovered on his frequent visits to Japan. The menu now includes Angus beef and lobster on the hibachi menu, and dozens of izakaya, tapas-style items such as meat skewers, tempura and the signature Panko-fried deviled egg. Dishes are accompanied by some 20 house-made sauces, including the fiery Ghastly Ghost sauce, made with the hottest pepper in the world.
New Zealand Café
1717 N. Sardis Road, Suite 6A
Charlotte, NC 28270
This small spot off Monroe Road in the Sardis Crossing Shopping Center is something of a hidden gem among Charlotte sushi bars. Although there is a menu of grilled and fried items, and a selection of bento boxes, the specialty here is sushi, and it’s some of the freshest and lowest priced in town. Most items on the extensive nigiri menu run $1 to $2 per piece, with rolls priced at $3 and up. Large orders are the norm, and the sushi chefs put on a show as they fill up the popular “sushi boats” with a variety of colorful – and flavorful – bites. Be aware that this is a small spot, and popular for takeout, so waits are common.
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With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.