The Restaurant Spotlight is a series I started that highlights local restaurants in the Charlotte area. As a dietitian, I truly believe in the power of a balanced lifestyle, and eating out can definitely fit in it. I use these posts as a way to show off new dishes and give local restaurant recommendations, but this post also shares my healthy tips for eating out.
Past Restaurant Spotlights:
Since I heard about the opening of 204 North in Charlotte, it’s been on my bucket list to get there for eats and cocktails. They are all about the craft cocktail scene, which is one of my dining loves. They also have 30 draft beers on tap, which is also quite impressive. They are even open for lunch now, if you work in the uptown area and need a new place to try.
The inside is absolutely stunning. It has a 20’s, speakeasy, rustic blend feel. I’m a sucker for brick walls and wooden floors so I felt right at home.
There’s a beautiful chandelier you can’t miss upon walking in that was custom made in Asheville.
The bar is beautiful and is mirrored on both the first and second floors.
As for the cocktails, I recommend the Ballyantyne and Ed recommends the banker. Our server informed us that they are the most popular orders. Upon trying the Ballyntyne, I knew I didn’t need to try anything else. It was so refreshing with the blend of strawberry and mint!
While waiting for your plates to come out, make sure to try the ciabatta bread with seasoned butter. The butter flavors change daily – we got to try a fennel orange butter, which was absolutely delicious. There was just a slight hint of orange – enough to notice, but far from overpowering.
For appetizers, I recommend starting with the fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and a cabbage chow chow. The chow chow is a delicious vinegar topping with country ham mixed it that gave the tomatoes a bit of a sweeter taste. It was delicious!
We also went with the fried oysters, which were soft fried, not greasy fried. I think they could have used a little bit more flavor. The quick pickles they are served with though, are absolutely amazing! They are quick fried. And the housemade buttermilk ranch is not to be missed.
The kale salad was good, but I thought it would have been better with some fresh, seasonal fruit or a fruit vinaigrette dressing. The radishes and manchego cheese were winning toppings!
Ed will almost always order pork chops when we’re out, so I knew that was coming. The pork chop was very succulent and flavorful. It comes served over a jambalaya type rice with black eyed peas. My favorite part was the coffee and bacon au jus -Ed loved this and wouldn’t let me grab a 2nd or 3rd bite, so I had to sneak some!
We also tried the salmon, which came with a fennel puree and glazed beets. The beets come glazed with honey and are pretty addicting. The salmon was a little oily, but very tender and flavorful. I would have liked the serving size to be a little bigger!
Their dessert menu is simple: a strawberry tartelle (with black pepper ice cream – i was intrigued!), chocolate terrine cake, or a sorhgum sticky bun. We went with our server’s dessert recommendation: the sticky bun. The rye bourbon ice cream that comes with it was amazing! We got the pecans on the side (because yours truly is allergic). The only thing I would have preferred is for the sticky bun to have been served a little warmer.
All in all, we definitely love the atmosphere inside 204 North. It’s a great spot for groups or for a romantic, intimate date. They are still very new and will improve with time, but they have a great uptown location and definitely provide a different small plates dining and cocktail experience than other places off Tryon! They also offer a fabulous upstairs space that can be rented out for events – that’s what I’m talking about!
Are you a speakeasy fan?
Ciabatta bread – yes or no?