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Food & Drink

Best Top Chef Restaurants In Charlotte

January 24, 2011 1:51 PM

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(credit: www.bluecharlotte.com)

A quality executive chef is the heartbeat of a kitchen. He is the general who commands, the surgeon who makes the critical cut, the scientist who invents, the teacher who passes along the knowledge. In his (or her) domain, the chef is everything to the kitchen – and the establishment. Here are four top “chef de cuisine” restaurants to experience in the Queen City. – Jeff Hawkins

Blue Restaurant & Bar

206 North College Street
Charlotte, N.C. 28202
704-927-2583
www.bluerestaurantandbar.com

Uptown award-winning executive chef Gene Briggs created a sophisticated, multi-cultural menu at Blue Restaurant & Bar. Drenched with sounds of live jazz Wednesday through Saturday, the international cuisine is highlighted by the Moroccan Tagine, Tenderloin a la Blue and Whole Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass. There is free parking for patrons attending Time Warner Cable Arena or NC Performing Arts Center. Bar hours: Monday and Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Bonterra Dining & Wine Room

1829 Cleveland Avenue
Charlotte, N.C. 28203
704-333-2433
www.bonterradining.com

Stationed in a renovated century-old Dilworth church, executive chef Cory Sharpe, since 2001, has developed a critically acclaimed American cuisine menu at Bonterra Dining & Wine Room. Utilizing a philosophy of using local, seasonable ingredients, Sharpe helped Bonterra claim The Knot’s Best of Weddings selection for reception sites. More than 200 wines are available, along with valet parking. Hours: Monday through Friday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The bar opens at 4:30 p.m.

The Capital Grille

201 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, N.C. 28202
704-348-1400
www.thecapitalgrille.com

Highly decorated by Charlotte Magazine for its “huge and flavorful streaks,” The Capital Grille, a DiRoNA Award recipient for distinguished restaurants, has been a proving ground for executive chef Anthony Watkins’ dry-aged steaks. Located across the street from The Blumenthal Performing Arts center, the Grille offers complimentary valet after 6 p.m. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Fig Tree Restaurant

1601 East 7th Street
Charlotte, N.C. 28204
704-332-3322
www.charlottefigtree.com

Chef-owned and operated by Greg Zanitsch, The Fig Tree Restaurant specializes in country European cuisine. A disciple of the New England Culinary Institute, Zanitisch cultivates his Italian and French influences at a restored 1913 bungalow, a registered historic landmark in the quaint Elizabeth Neighborhood. A fireplace adds to The Fig Tree’s atmosphere. Hours: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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