New hotels — and recent renovations — bring a host of new dining options in Charlotte. Here’s what to expect at three of the city’s latest additions.
Fine & Fettle
Though it’s located inside Canopy Charlotte, the new Hilton hotel in the heart of SouthPark, Fine & Fettle aims to keep things as local as possible. Led by Executive Chef Daniel Wheeler, the dinner menu at this “gastro lounge” includes shareable plates such as sliders, wings and charcuterie, plus pastas, pizzas and inventive entrees like a roasted hen with celery root, mushrooms, pickled mustard seeds and petite greens. Sunday brunch is a lively affair, with Panthers DJ Vinny Split spinning tunes and items like the crab avocado benedict with poached eggs and yuzu hollandaise on the menu. Mixologist David “Schmidty” Schmidt’s creative cocktail program features libations made with Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne. By day, the space is a coffee bar, serving Pure Intentions coffee, Birch Fine Tea and pastries from local baker Wentworth & Fenn. Take your drinks al fresco in the cozy patio garden or in the bright, airy dining room adorned with mismatched plates and other modern Southern accents.
Cloud Bar and Red Salt by David Burke
Celebrity Chef David Burke makes his Charlotte debut with Cloud Bar, the latest concept atop uptown’s Le Méridien Hotel. Red Salt, a restaurant highlighting steaks prepared with Burke’s Himalayan sea-salt dry-aging technique, will open later this summer on the lobby level. Burke was a pioneer of New American cuisine while at the helm of New York City’s acclaimed Park Avenue Café in the 1990s. Today, his hospitality group operates more than a dozen restaurants, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Cloud Bar occupies the former City Lights space and features a menu of small bites and shareable plates like tuna tartare tacos, a mini lobster roll, southern pork belly steam buns and Burke’s signature DB maple-glazed bacon clothesline. Sip a spicy Testarossa — vodka, red bell pepper juice, habanero syrup, lemon and basil — or cool your palate with the Uptown Girl, made with gin, pineapple, coconut, lime and cucumber, and take in some of the best skyline views in Charlotte.
Atop the new AC Hotel Charlotte SouthPark is Cordial, a rooftop cocktail bar with a tapas menu highlighting Spanish-inspired cuisine: hand-rolled empanadas, albondigas and flan along with shareables like a charcuterie board and yuca fries with a black bean dip. AC Hotels are designed with a modern, minimalistic aesthetic, and the SouthPark location is no exception. The cocktail menu by food and beverage director Amanda Gibbons complements a European-focused wine selection, prosecco on tap and local craft beer. Try the Pink Gin & Tonic or the Cordial Mojito — Queen Charlotte’s Reserve rum, Bacardi 8 rum, lime and Moroccan mint tea soda, while enjoying views of Charlotte’s iconic tree canopy and the uptown towers in the distance. SP
— Cathy Martin
top photo of Cordial provided by the Plaid Penguin