Bernardin’s: An Uptown Surprise

Uptown eatery becomes the latest destination for preshow dining



Pan-seared N.C. Ostrich with a cumin fennel crust, braised  cabbage, wild rice corn cake,  and cranberry Madeira sauce.

Taylor Mathis

When you’re inside Bernardin’s, it seems surprising that this former Ratcliffe on the Green space remained empty so long. Located across Tryon Street from the Levine Center for the Arts, the elegant restaurant has already become popular with those looking for a pretheater dinner or postmuseum lunch. And with its arched ceiling, charming dining room, and contemporary American fare with Asian and French inflections, it’s easy to see why the intimate space is filled most nights.

Chef and owner Freddy Lee’s original Bernardin’s opened in 1992 in Winston-Salem and has long been a fine dining favorite in the Triad. The new location offers the same menu, which features delightfully unusual options like pan-seared ostrich with a cumin fennel crust ($26.95) or grilled venison in a lingonberry and raspberry sauce ($25.95).
Appetizers are heavy on the seafood options, with crab cakes, mussels, fried oysters, seared scallops, fried calamari, and shrimp cocktail (those range from $10.95 to $12.95). But the Tuna Tuna stands out from the seafood crowd with slices of seared tuna served alongside a small, glistening mound of tuna tartare. Both are slightly spicy, but the bright flavor of the tender fish stands out.

The menu is diverse, with a selection of soups and salads, as well as a pasta section with offerings like a vegetarian goat cheese ravioli ($16.95) and a rich take on fettuccine with grilled chicken breast drenched in a Gorgonzola cream ($17.95). The entrées, which range in price from $18.95 for a sautéed, Brie-stuffed chicken breast to $30.95 for a grilled bone-in rib eye, offer a large variety of meats and seafood, all of which arrive in hearty servings.

While Bernardin’s is open for lunch, the restaurant really shines in the evenings. Changes to the space, like white banquettes along one wall and additional lighting, were minimal but effective for modernizing the main room. At night the room has a convivial atmosphere—especially in the early evenings as servers hurry to accommodate guests who have theater tickets and uptown workers stop in for drinks or dinner. It only recently opened, but with its full tables, familiar setting, and established menu Bernardin’s already feels like a local favorite.

Location:

435 S. Tryon St.
704-332-3188

L (Mon-Fri), D (Mon-Sat),

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Drinks with Augusto Conte

The Italian owner of Luce, MezzaNotte, Coco Osteria, and Toscana toasts to sixteen years in the business

Local Flavor: Savory Spice

Getting spicy in South End

Gnocchi: You Say Potato

January is the perfect month for gnocchi, and these five restaurants do it right

Veg Out on Upscale Vegan

No longer relegated to the markets, vegans now have some fine-dining choices

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by signing up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Newsletter Sign Up
Email*
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Blogs »

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Revue

Andy Smith on Charlotte Arts & Culture

Levine Museum President to Retire in November

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Easter Lilies

Keep your favorite seasonal flower looking good on the table or in the yard

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Free to Discriminate

As we knew they would, lawmakers float a bill that would allow discrimination against LGBT people—and two of Charlotte's own are leading the charge.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Are You a Champion?

Nathan’s Famous announces the 2015 qualifying circuit for Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Championship

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Immigrant Song

Charlotte's immigrant community is changing, and changing the city it occupies. An immigrant task force report shows how.

Comments

Edit ModuleShow Tags