Sunday, March 09, 2014
The Tagliatella signature pizza with eggplant.
I have been meaning to blog about La Tagliatella for quite some time so I am glad I am finally able to post about this relatively new Italian option in Charlotte. La Tagliatella is a chain restaurant, but unlike most that we know, most of its locations are in Spain with only 6 locations in the US. The Charlotte location opened early last fall and we enjoyed a friends and family night and media night. A few weeks later, we took my mom for a special birthday dinner and had a very enjoyable meal. The above pizza, actually called the Tagliatella, is one of my favorite menu items - how could it not be delicious with fried eggplant and drizzled with honey and balsamico glaze? We also really enjoyed the Caesar salad and several pastas - I can't recall exactly what is in every photo but we did enjoy everything. For dessert, try the bocconcino - a cheesecake topped with delicious custard. There is a lot to choose from and the dining room has a neat, unique European feel. There is a special lunch menu, kids menu and bar menu and regular specials including some great specials in March - see the website for details. I encourage you to try La Tagliatella if you are uptown - it is definitely a great option at Epicentre.
Beef Carpaccio with pierina.
Caesar Salad - very good!
Pasta with red sauce and meatballs. There are a variety of handmade pastas including several stuffed pasta options.
Garlic Shrimp with Ravioli - much of the pasta is made in house.
Another tasty pizza - you fold it over so you taste all the components.
Desserts including the special cheesecake (right) - one of my favorite cheesecake renditions ever!
Monday, March 03, 2014
I know he will be absolutely thrilled to wear it and help stir the soup, break eggs, use cookie cutters and mix in chocolate chips (among other things) while wearing this professional-looking outfit! He already likes to pretend to help!
The kids chef jacket is available in white, blue, red, pink and lime green and as you can see, monogramming is available. Can you think of a cuter gift for the foodie-in-training or even as a baby shower gift for parents who love to cook? What a unique gift! Check back for an update in a year or two when he is actually using this jacket and helping prepare meals and treats with me!
Friday, February 28, 2014
Pulled Pork Platter with sweet potato casserole, marinated slaw and green beans with Texas toast.
Moe's Original BBQ has locations - they call them "joints" - in 9 states, with the majority of the restaurants located in Alabama. I was invited to try the location closest to me (Matthews, NC) last fall. While I am not in the Matthews area often, we were thoroughly impressed by Moe's and enjoyed every bite. I wish they would open another Charlotte location closer to uptown - maybe this is a possibility?! Everything we tried was truly delicious. I also like the fact that Moe's has special side dishes each day, so there is always something different to try in addition to the regular tasty sides that they have. We tried both the pulled pork and the ribs and we also had a few wings. The pulled pork was great and the ribs were extraordinary. My favorite sides include the sweet potato casserole and the marinated slaw. Even my son who wasn't quite 1 year old at the time, loved it and ate the BBQ and the green beans.
In addition to the regular menu, which includes smoked turkey, smoked chicken, a salad and even a smoked tofu sandwich in addition to the pork and ribs, there are daily specials and brisket is featured on a weekly basis. You can check out Moe's Original BBQ Facebook page for more information on the daily specials. Even vegetarians would be happy here with either the tofu sandwich or a veggie platter since there are so many sides to choose from. Some recent side specials include cornbread dressing, squash casserole, roasted brussels sprouts and Mississippi mud pie - yes desserts count as sides! There are also party packs available for small or large groups and catering is offered as well. Click here to see the Events Calendar for the Matthews location - there is a kids eat free night as well as other special events listed.
This photo, taken the same day we ate at Moe's back in October, demonstrates how long I took to get this post up. I promise I will try to be a better blogger!!
Moe's Original BBQ features indoor and outdoor seating.
Ribs platter with banana pudding and cabbage. Yes, you can get banana pudding as a side dish! YES! The ribs were fantastic - tender and juicy.
Fries, crisp and tasty.
Next time I am in Matthews I will definitely seek out Moe's again, but in the mean time I will be hoping to hear about a location closer to home!
Disclosure: The meal described in this review was complimentary.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Mixed Berry Margarita.
I was recently given the opportunity to sample the fruit bouquets from 1-800-FLOWERS. I received the mixed berry margarita, above, from the Charlotte location. To order in Charlotte, you can call the store directly at (704) 910-1199. Of course you can call 1-800-FLOWERS.com or go to their website to have fruit bouquets or flowers or other gifts such as cookies, popcorn and candy delivered anywhere they serve (most states). The berries presented as a beautiful bouquet - very impressive and tasty, although I would love to see a dark chocolate option - these use milk and white chocolate and various toppings including sprinkles, coconut and ground toffee. This is a unique gift in lieu of traditional flowers and can be delivered the same day they are ordered.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Il Diavolo (back half) and San Gennaro (front). The Il Diavolo was spicy and one of our very favorite menu items!
Soon after moving back to Charlotte in 2012 I visited the Ballantyne location of Libretto's - post here. Now a third Charlotte location at Parktowne Village (corner of Woodlawn and Park Rds.) joins Ballantyne and Epicentre. I recently had two very enjoyable meals at Libretto's - Parktowne and even had the opportunity to speak with owner Mike Libretto about his restaurants and the restaurant business here in Charlotte.
All of the food was good and the atmosphere at this location is pleasant, nice for couples and families with a bar available for single diners as well. The eggplant parmigiana remains a personal favorite. However, this was my first time trying the pizza and it was also very good - so many delicious specialty pies to choose from. My husband and I both love spicy foods so the Il Diavolo was right up our alley with pepperoni, spicy sausage, jalapenos and roasted garlic - yum! The stuffed mushrooms were also fantastic as an appetizer and we enjoyed the linguini with clam sauce as well. The best news is that this new location delivers to where we live - awesome! I look forward to returning to Libretto's to try more soon, including the wings, Square pizzas, Calzones and Strombolis.
Neat bar/outdoor area. When the weather is nice you can sit outside overlooking the fountain!
Half of a Roasted Beet Salad - kitchen was nice enough to split this for us.
Linguini with White Clam Sauce - garlicky and delicious!
Florentine (right half) and New Yorker (left).
Display of pizzas and garlic knots. Easy to stop in for a quick lunch.
Tasty garlic knots with the wonderful tomato sauce.
Stuffed Mushrooms with sausage in a creamy alfredo sauce - so good!
Eggplant Parmigiana - a beautiful rendition and still one of my top picks.
Eggplant Rollatini - awesome appetizer - would be enough for small appetite meal.
Side of meatballs. Must try. The baby also loved these!
Cannoli we tried was good! Tiramisu, cheesecake and a brownie are also available to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Grilled Prawns with Chilled Peanut Noodle Salad.
I recently had the opportunity to sample P.F. Chang's summer seasonal menu at the Phillips Place location in Charlotte. This location, along with several others, have been recently remodeled, with the new dining room now lighter and brighter, with a comfortable feel. The large horses inside are gone but there are still terracotta statues around the restaurant. We had a fabulous server for our meal - very upbeat, nice and attentive without being overbearing. The summer menu can be found here and includes several dishes in addition to what we tried such as Korean BBQ Chicken stir fry, Quinoa "fried rice", Smoked Duck spring rolls and sushi selections.
We tried the heirloom tomato and basil salad to start, which was very tasty and fresh. That, along with the grilled prawns dish (above) were my favorites that we tried. The sauce on the swordfish was also very good - I think they could add a bit more of it to go over the rice. For dessert we tried the mandarin key lime sweet treat, a delicious after-dinner selection that is essentially key lime pie with a twist. I like that P.F. Chang's has these smaller desserts since you are often too full to enjoy anything too substantial after partaking in all of their other tasty dishes.
Wine pairings and seasonal cocktails are available as well to complement the summer dishes offered. Come try the summer menu before it is too late!
Inside shot - love the remodel!
Heirloom tomato and Thai basil salad with avocado.
Grilled Pineapple-Citrus Swordfish with Summer Rice.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Kalbi Burger with Garlic Fries
Since I love all Asian foods, especially Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean, I was very excited to try out Nom Nom Burger which opened fairly recently across from Park Road shopping center on Woodlawn Road. We met and talked with one of the founding partners, Tung Ngo, who is very energetic, personable and dedicated to making this creative concept work. We visited on a Tuesday night and it was "kids eat free" night for kids age 10 and under with purchase of an adult meal. Once our little one is old enough to actually eat his own meal (it won't be long!) this will be a great place to go. There were lots of families as well as some couples and groups of friends. The dining room has a neat waterfall that all the kids were fascinated by.
Finding myself missing Korean food the most since I moved back to Charlotte, I knew we had to try the Kalbi Burger. It includes kimchi, a fried egg, sesame roased nori (seaweed), spicy aioli and roasted garlic. Wow. This was a fantastic burger. Part of the excellence is because of the meat that is used, which is Sterling Silver ground beef, but the flavors in the Kalbi really make it top-notch. The signature Nom Nom burger was also good - it includes Provolone cheese, sauteed Shiitake mushrooms with mirin, caramelized onions with ginger orange marmalade and mayo. It is really a toss-up with the Kalbi but my favorite item we tried is the Ahi burger - a thick piece of Ahi tuna seared and put on a sushi rice "bun" with avocado, spinach and sprouts with both wasabi and citrus soy dipping sauces. Sushi lovers - you must try! We also tried the calamari, which was light, spicy and delicious. The shrimp chips (a Vietnamese item) were really tasty, but regular fries (can be made garlic or jalepeno) as well as sweet potato fries are also options.
For dessert we wanted to try the Honey Bunz with ice cream but since they were unavailable we had the fried cheesecake "Xango", which was good. There is a Ben & Jerry's right across the patio so that is another option if you have any room after trying the delicious offerings at Nom Nom. Next time I'm trying the Banh Mi Burger (it's actually chicken) - if I can keep myself away from the Ahi! There are also more burger options (including a plain one for the non-adventurous), chicken sandwiches, fish sandwich/tacos, salads, noodles and even a veggie burger on the menu so vegetarians and even vegans should be able to find something. We will see you soon, Nom Nom!
Ahi Burger - for the sushi lover!
Nom Nom Burger with Shrimp Chips.
Xango - fried cheesecake.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Awesome biscuits. Seriously the best I have ever had with delicious sorghum butter.
While Malika of Atlanta Restaurant Blog was here in town, we also had the opportunity to check out Block & Grinder. I was psyched to try this place since I missed the media event they held prior to opening. Block & Grinder is unique in that in addition to being a full-service restaurant and bar, there is also a butcher counter where you can purchase meats to cook at home. The restaurant focuses on premium beef as well as natural, organic meats and wild game so carnivores will be in heaven. However, there are options even for vegetarians including an "anti-burger" made from lentils and the house-smoked salmon is sure to please any pescatarian as well.
We had a lovely Sunday brunch here and we were table to try a good portion of the brunch menu. The above biscuits were outstanding and everything else was very good. My favorite dishes (although very hard to choose from the items we tried) were the house smoked salmon - my son's first taste of smoked salmon and he loved it - and the corned beef hash. The coffee (French press) was also wonderful.
As of July 2013 Sunday brunch is no longer being offered as there is a high demand for cooking classes and private events during that time. However, as noted here, many of the brunch items are available on the lunch and dinner menus.
House smoked salmon with cornmeal cake.
Shiitake and Gruyere Burger - fantastic flavor and great fries. This is also available for lunch and dinner.
Crawfish & Grits.
Corned beef hash with egg.
Cute decoration and the famous butcher counter.
More neat butcher tools on display.
Full bar. I didn't sample any alcohol this visit but the cocktail offerings sound fantastic! I look forward to returning to try the lunch and dinner menus. The pork belly, duck and quail options sounds particularly enticing and I'd wager this would be a great choice if you want a good steak.
Disclosure: The meal described in this review was complimentary.