214 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Award: New Restaurant
Year Won: 2012
Pick: Editor's Pick
Restaurateur Augusto Conte quietly reinvented Coco Osteria as a tapas restaurant in January, reconfiguring the kitchen to allow for the traditional preparation of paella in wide, flat pans. He didn’t disappoint. The paella at Malabar (there are four kinds to choose from) is fragrant and fresh; the menu is varied and priced well; and the portions are perfect for sharing. Other standouts are the tender and airy braised beef-stuffed Empanadas de Ropa Vieja and the Churrasco, grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and fried yuca.