Crisp

With a few notable exceptions, salads are a neglected category for Charlotte restaurants. At Crisp, salad has a starring role, not a supporting one—and that makes all the difference. Every salad is made to order. Guests choose from several existing recipes (steakhouse, Roma, Caesar, Cobb) or request their own combination of toppings, dressings, and protein. Avocadoes are kept whole, rather than prechopped—a testament to the restaurant's emphasis on freshness.

Crisp's gray and green interior feels cool and contemporary. Even the translucent green trays and oval plates are especially chic.
The dressing for the Cobb salad is creamy, but not overpoweringly rich. Cucumbers, bacon, tomato, egg, lettuce, and chicken blend together seamlessly. Similarly, the Asian salad dressing is not excessively sweet, and the Caesar dressing is not as salty as others I've tried. If you like your dressing on the side, be sure to ask for it that way—otherwise you may find your greens drenched. Portions are large enough to present some difficulty in finishing. The menu also includes soups and sandwiches (the Roma, with red peppers, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar, is a standout) and there are plans to add a dinner menu, with wine and beer.

1961 E. Seventh St. (704-333-9515) $, L, P


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