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Back for Thirds: Blackthorne Restaurant & Bar

Chef Mark Hibbs returns to the city’s culinary scene



The grilled bone-in pork chop at Blackthorne Restaurant & Bar

Taylor Mathis

After stints as executive chef at Cosmos Café and chef/owner at the now-defunct Ratcliffe on the Green, Chef Mark Hibbs is back—this time with Blackthorne Restaurant & Bar. The upscale bistro in south Charlotte opened in January, featuring a dining room with dark wood and wrought iron accents, generous patio seating, and a large, European-style rooftop with several tables and a full-service bar—certain to draw crowds on warm evenings.

Echoes of Ratcliffe are evident on Blackthorne’s menu, most notably the Fried Quail Bucket ($10), which comes with a buttermilk biscuit and rosemary gravy made with herbs from the chef’s own Linwood Gardens, and roasted Poulet Rouge half chicken ($16), served with whipped potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The small-plates menu offers the most innovative dishes, including Seared Duck Breast Crostini with caramelized onions and a cranberry compote ($11) and Short Rib Wraps ($12), with braised beef short ribs, roasted tomato, and sautéed onion wrapped in crunchy lettuce leaves.

When it comes to mains, the grilled bone-in pork chop ($21) is tender and sweet, served over sweet potato hash and wilted spinach. North Carolina mountain trout ($16) is a standout—grilled over an open flame, it arrives atop a bed of wild rice and seasonal vegetables.

Blackthorne is a solid option for the lunch crowd with a strong roster of sandwiches like Speck & Brie Panini ($8) and Venison Meatloaf on a Kaiser roll ($10) in place of dinner entrées. And as the restaurant matures—a Sunday brunch was added just last month—look for the menu to evolve: Chef Hibbs plans to adapt his cuisine to seasonally available produce. 11318 N. Community House Rd., Ste. 200, 704-817-5554 

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

Reader Comments:
Oct 23, 2012 12:32 am
 Posted by  Me

Hmmm. Hibbs has the exact same food since Cosmos. pork chop with sweet pot hash and spinach, trout, duck breast, red chicken, venison meatloaf wrapped with applewood bacon? Quail bucket from Ratcliffe. Yup, he is out of ideas for ten years now. I feel sorry for the staff. Did not cook then and does not cook now. How about some new ideas "Chef" Hibbs?

Oct 23, 2012 12:34 am
 Posted by  Me

Linwood is the street he lives on. The tiny garden is in his backyard. Mark Hibbs is a total sham.

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