One downside of going out to eat is that you ultimately have to pick one dish for your meal. Luckily, the popularity of tapas, or small plates, has made its way to Charlotte and offers diners a sampling of many various tastes. These restaurants know how to get locals started with tapas and small plates that allow for great conversation in unique locations.
Good Food on Montford
1701 Montford Drive
Charlotte, NC 28209
This name says it all, but maybe the description will help you visualize. Good Food on Montford serves small plates classified as chilled, warm, pasture and sea. Customers may be skeptical of plates featuring chicken-liver mousse and quail lettuce wraps, but will not be disappointed. Bruce Moffett, award-winning local chef and his brother, Kerry, opened these doors to be a “tapas-inspired restaurant.” They use fresh local and organic products to create tapas sensations priced $6 to $12. Looking for something to wash down those American farmhouse cheeses? Locally brewed beers are available for $5 each — another reason to give this restaurant a visit. Take a glance at the online menu for a full list of selections.
118 W 5th St
Charlotte, NC 28202
Dandelion Market offers a little something for everyone. Small plates range from house-made chips to mac and cheese or pan-seared ahi tuna, with prices ranging $4 to $12. Finish off these plates with a bottle of wine from the list of 25 bottles for $25. These beverages are sure to fill any craving featuring Charles De Fere (rice apple, spice and butter) to William Hill Chardonnay (citrus, vanilla and a touch of oak). Dandelion’s convenient location in the heart of Uptown Charlotte makes it a great first stop for your next Saturday night out.
300 N College St
Charlotte, NC 28203
Cosmos serves up its tapas with daily specials. Leave satisfied with two-for-one tapas every day between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Calamari, grilled octopus, crab con queso and mini meatballs are some of the featured items at this restaurant. The Crab Con Queso features crabmeat mixed with pepper jack and cream cheese, onions, peppers and scallions. As if the tapas specials are not enough, Cosmos also offers daily drink specials. Visit on Mondays for half-price cosmopolitans or Wednesdays for half-price martinis. For a full list of drink and menu specials, visit the Uptown location online. Cosmos’ décor features a Thirsty Camel Lounge with an inviting view of the Charlotte skyline. There’s no going wrong with this atmosphere at a reasonable price.
1500-B Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205
Put a little soul into your small plate for $5 to $15 each on the east side of town. Take a bite out of the anchovy fries – whole anchovies that are freshly fried with a tomato-lemon tartar sauce – or lamb lollipops with some friends while taking in the sleek ambiance of Soul Gastrolounge. Still hungry? Indulge in one of many featured or Soul original sushi rolls. Try the Soul Roll, which stuffs spicy salmon, cucumber, jalapeno into a sushi roll and is topped with white tuna, wasabi aioli, chili and spicy mayo sauce. Accompany your order with a side of sake (seven varieties offered) or a glass of wine, and you will not regret it. For a full list of food and drinks, visit the online menu. Soul also offers a late-night menu available until 2 a.m.
Harry’s Grille and Tavern
2127 Ayrsley Town Blvd, Suite #103
Charlotte, NC 29273
Harry’s has sparked fans in Southwest Charlotte since its opening in March 2012. This restaurant has earned a reputation for lunch specials and dinner entrees, but also for its delectable tapas. Join the crowd for small cold or warm plates, such as Chef Keith’s cheese board – with fresh baguette and spiced apple butter – and the already-famed Harry’s crab cakes. Another perk of Harry’s is the full-bar service, so if your favorite drink is not listed, just ask. Harry’s has built itself on quality food but also quality service with its saying, “Harry is everybody’s friend; he’s never met a stranger.” The staff focuses on treating customers as friends while serving up these plates, and has been successful at it thus far.
Kate Heaton has literally lived up to her college mascot the Soaring Seahawk, as a flight attendant and graduate of UNC Wilmington, with a degree in Sociology and Communication Studies. When she is not soaring above clouds or at her base assignment in Roanoke, she resides in her hometown of Charlotte. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.