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As we say goodbye to 2016, here’s a look back at some of the restaurants that opened around town.

Stoke Charlotte, Uptown

This doesn’t feel like your typical hotel restaurant, but it is located in the Marriott Center City. The high-end cockails and creative menus makes Stoke feel like new restaurant hotspot. The charcuterie plate is ridiculously good. The pork shank is the most popular menu item.

Kid Cashew, Dilworth

I’m a fan of the chicken salad, but it’s the atmosphere and the craft cocktails that made Kid Cashew a popular hotspot in Dilworth. Kid Cashew, which features Mediterranean fusion, was hyped like crazy before it opened. Definitely try the chargrilled octopus.

Babalu, Dilworth

We can’t seem to get enough of Tex-Mex. Babalu is more a shareable eating spot for friends than a sit-down meal. It features small plates, really small, and tacos. The restaurant chain is known for its table side guacamole.

Essex Bar & Bistro, Uptown

Essex is another hotel restaurant that’s making a name for itself. The Mediterranean-influence gastropub features falafels, lamb kefta sliders, and veal meatballs. Like Stokes, Essex, features high-end creative cocktails that will help you leave those fruity martinis in the dust.


Nellie’s Southern Kitchen, Belmont

The father of the famous Jonas Brothers opened Nellie’s in honor of his grandmother. The menu features  Nellie’s Chicken N Dumplins and four-cheese mac with bacon and onions and of course banana pudding.

WP Kitchen + Bar, South Park

This revamped Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar concept now features craft cocktails and handmade meatballs and grilled prime rib-eye with house sauce. WP still features pizza, but the menu is more varied and worth a try.

Sea Level, Uptown

If you’re a fan Crepe Cellar and Growlers Pourhouse then you’ll be excite to know that this group has opened a seafood restaurant uptown. There’s a raw bar, oyster slider, shrimp & grits and oyster shooters that feature a choice of vodka, gin or tequila.

Haberdish, NoDa

This another concept from the folks at Crepe Cellar and Growler’s Pourhouse. Try crispy fried chicken, southern vegetables and other locally inspired side plates. The cocktail menu that will include amaros, digestifs and herbal concoctions. The “pre-Prohibition” cocktails and use of a 1950s soda foundation for an apothecary style drink.

Inizio Pizza Napoletana, South Charlotte

If you’re looking for Neapolitan-style pizza then this your place. The wood-fired oven cooks pizza in less than two minutes. The signature pizzas are the margherita, or artichoke and prosciutto-topped capricciosa. Don’t leave without trying the house-made cannolis.

@Dawn Cafe, Steele Creek

If you’re looking for a breakfast spot then south. This is the team that brought us Yolk in Rockhill. They have good eggs, the TN fries and SEC with red pepper jelly.



Year In Review 2016: New Charlotte Restaurants  was originally published on