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“Valentine’s Day is coming up. What’s the most romantic restaurant for a date with my girlfriend?” – W
Thanks for the question. If you’re looking to try something new, here’s our list of Charlotte’s 17 best new restaurants and bars of 2017. If you’re looking for an overall ranking, here’s our Top 50 restaurants in Charlotte, ranked.
#3 A restaurant that means something to you matters more than what I have to say. My husband and I met on Tinder (gasp) and went on our first date at Thai Taste. We went back every month on the 27th for our first year dating and now we go back annually. It wouldn’t make anyone else’s list but that’s romantic for us.
#2 Soul Gastrolounge. A Plaza Midwood classic that’s cool without trying. An extensive menu of tapas-style small plates makes for a perfect sharable experience with the only person you love enough to let them eat your food.
#1 McNinch House. No question. The intimate AAA Four Diamond restaurant in a historic Queen Anne-style home in Fourth Ward defines special occasion dining in Charlotte. Splurge on the wine pairing if for no other reason than to interact with wine steward Anthony Wesley.
#3 Alexander Michael’s. There’s a reason Al Mike’s makes almost every list I’ve ever contributed to, and it’s this: While it’s not upscale (or one of the first places that would pop into your mind for the holiday), it’s super cozy and intimate, which makes it feel romantic, especially if you’re lucky enough to land a booth near the back.
#2 Angeline’s. Nothing says love like not judging your S.O. for how gracefully they don’t eat their pasta in a gorgeous restaurant with a wine wall, open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows. Head upstairs to Merchant & Trade for a drink afterward to top it all off.
#1 McNinch House. If you’re looking to really up your game, McNinch House, with its set menus and tasting menu, is how you’re going to want to do it. Each menu has multiple courses and top out at $185 for the Chef’s Tasting (6 courses plus wine pairings).
#3 Zio. It’s not fancy or super expensive, but it’s cozy and delicious. It’s a kid-friendly spot, but they have an adults-only space on the left with a bar that seats about 10. Sit in a booth. Order the Fried Ravioli ($6) and the Spaghetti A La Zio ($14). I also love their pizza.
#2 Stagioni. Cutting pizza with scissors is romantic, right? The only downside of Stagioni is that all for all of us millennials is that the dim lighting makes for a tough Instagram shot — you won’t be able to showcase how in love you are. Ugh. Good news, they’ve got Prosecco on tap. And for Valentine’s Day, Stagioni will have a set menu – four courses, $75/person. And, here’s their winter cocktail menu.
#1 Fig Tree. If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for you. You’ll likely see an engagement (or at least a couple that just got engaged), which will be entertaining. When I was dating my wife, I told her, “I just booked a reservation for us at Fig Tree on Friday.” She said she knew immediately that I would ask her to marry me that afternoon. Correct. Order the Elk Chop.
#3 Haberdish. There’s never a bad time to go to Haberdish, and your sweetie will be impressed that you know about what I consider to be the hottest restaurant in the city right now.
#2 Bistro La Bon. The outside doesn’t look like much, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you walk inside this Plaza Midwood strip mall spot. Try the Duck 3 Ways and you won’t regret it.
#1 Rooster’s Wood-fired Kitchen. Upscale, Southern and delicious. Go with the pork shoulder or the salmon. I’m a big fan of the SouthPark location, but they have one Uptown as well.