All of the hype about Carpe Diem is warranted. It is a great family-owned restaurant and great experience all around. Trip Advisor ranks it as the #1 place to eat in Charlotte. For such a top-notch ranking, it’s relatively friendly on the wallet.
The food and service was top notch. You never have to worry about having an empty water glass, or even bread bowl. They will refill your bread bowl infinite times (huge plus). I thought the bread was decent – could have been seasoned more (I say this despite the fact I ate 3 pieces).
They have an extensive cocktail list – all between $10 and $12. They don’t offer a huge selection of wines by the glass; probably 4-5 glass options of red and white. You’re better off ordering a bottle.
I started with the house salad – great combination of flavors: local farro, butternut squash, cauliflower, hazelnuts, arugula, lemon-herb dressing.
I came in set on ordering the fried chicken because that is what people rave about and it’s been on their menu for 20+ years. I was mentally prepared to not even look at other options. However, I then glanced at the menu and saw the duck confit option over pumpkin waffles that couldn’t be ignored – so we were set on that. And then, I was just craving some scallops and reviews have been pretty solid on them. They were delicious and served over a medium-sized crunchy piece of pancetta, a handful of brussel sprouts and parsnip puree.
The crispy fried duck confit leg should be your go to choice. It comes over two triangle pumpkin waffles with maple butter, atop crispy kale. I don’t know how, but somehow the kale works in this dish, and works well. The crispy duck is amazing fall off the bone. It was so tender and flavorful and wins in originality, creativity and all around awesomeness.
We didn’t get dessert this time – maybe next time. I’ll be back, Carpe Diem!