Counter-, a new tasting menu restaurant out to ‘shock’ your tastebuds, opens Wednesday

Counter-, a new tasting menu restaurant out to ‘shock’ your tastebuds, opens Wednesday
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A new restaurant exclusively offering seasonal tasting menus for small dining experiences is opening Wednesday, September 9 in Wesley Heights.

Counter- is chef Sam Hart’s first brick and mortar restaurant. After working in Chicago as a private chef, Hart says he’s ready to return to his hometown.

The dash after the word “Counter” is supposed to represent the restaurant’s counter culture.

In an effort to immerse diners’ every sense, each course at Counter- will be paired with specially selected music. Hart says Counter- will be the first restaurant in the country to offer music pairings.

“The goal is to shock the system of our guest,” Hart said in a release. “From sound, to touch, taste, sight, and even smell, we want to fully immerse every sense.”

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Hart has been intentionally vague when describing his restaurant’s menu and musical pairings. He wants guests to be surprised each time they visit, with no preconceived notions about the food or the experience.

[Related Agenda story: Now open: 30+ exciting openings from the past six months (yes, even in a pandemic)]

Counter- home dining

Counter- chef Sam Hart. (Photos courtesy of Jon Mullen Photo)

Food: Counter-‘s menu, design, and music will change with the seasons every three months.

The restaurant’s first experience is called “Terroir.” With ten courses it will take guests through North Carolina’s different ecosystems and cultures.

Counter- is open for dinner only, guests should make reservations online.

Drinks: Counter- diners will have the option to get bottle service, wine pairings, or bring their own.

Art: The restaurant will feature pieces from local artists. The featured art will be for sale to be picked at the end of each three-month seasonal tasting period.

For the first three-month rotation, Counter- is showcasing works by Josh Henderson, Ashley Graham, and Laurie Smithwick.

The artwork isn’t limited to the walls, though. Counter-‘s plates, flatware rests, and other dishes were created by local potters.

Ashley Graham Counter- art

Art by Ashely Graham featured at Counter-

Location: 2200 Thrift Rd. in the Wesley Heights neighborhood, which is starting to look a lot different these days. Counter- will be just across the street from the East Coast’s first seltzery, Summit Seltzery.

[Related Agenda story: Spiked ‘seltzery’ opening in Charlotte this summer will be the first of its kind on the East Coast]

Counter- is opening as part of a redevelopment project with The City Kitch, a commercial kitchen company that provides private and shared kitchen spaces around the state.

Counter- exterior

Covid precautions: In an effort to keep diners and staff safe, each guest will have their temperature checked before entering the restaurant. To maintain social distancing, dining experiences will be limited to 20 people with two experiences each evening.

The restaurant also has medical grade air purifiers; staff will wear personal protective gear.

Counter-'s custom flatware rests

Counter-‘s custom flatware rests

Counter- plates

Counter-‘s custom, handmade plates

Counter- pottery


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