Pimento Cheese Fritters, $5

THE PLACE: Letty’s, 2121 Shamrock Dr., 704-817-8702

THE DISH: When Letty Ketner opened this new spot, she brought her pimento-cheese fritters from the old Hotel Charlotte with her, and this classic dish still delights. The panko-crusted little rounds of cheese come mounded on a lettuce-lined plate and are perfect for sharing—if you can resist eating them all yourself.

INSIDER TIP: These fritters are at their best with a dunk in the sweet-tangy tomato jam served alongside. But save some jam (or ask for extra): It’s also fantastic on the restaurant’s buttery biscuits.


Biscuits & Gravy, $2.79

THE PLACE: Dish, 1220 Thomas Ave., 704-344-0343

THE DISH: This satisfying, homey appetizer offers two fresh-baked, fluffy biscuits, split in half and smothered with creamy, lightly spicy white pepper gravy.

OR GET THIS: Dish’s Cajun meatloaf sliders ($4.79). This twist on the classic leftover dish offers four mini meatloaf sandwiches topped with American cheese and sweet-and-spicy ketchup.


Chicken Liver Pate, $7

THE PLACE: Block & Grinder, 2935 Providence Rd., 704-364-2100

THE DISH: Served in a small jar with a mound of thinly sliced toast, this is the classic midcentury party-pleaser. Velvety and rich, it’s topped with bourbon and fig compote for a sweet contrast.

OR GET THIS: The smoked Carolina trout mousse ($7) is creamy and smoky—a nice contrast to the bright flavor of the lemon gastrique topping.


Deviled Eggs


6401 Morrison Blvd., 704-364-6255

True to its roots, this rendition of deviled eggs ($9) doesn’t stray too far from the traditional. Creamy, rich yolk filling is brightened with chopped sweet pickles and the addition of sugar bacon—bacon cooked in sugar until it tastes like the most amazing candy ever. This appetizer feels like the edgier cousin of the old standby.


The King’s Kitchen

129 W. Trade St., 704-375-1990

The addition of tarragon and black mustard elevates the deviled eggs ($4) at The King’s Kitchen, which are served four to a plate. The deviled goodies are served only at lunchtime, however, so head there in the afternoon to get your fix. Tip: Pair them with the grilled meatloaf ($13), another classic dish served only during lunch.


The Peculiar Rabbit

1212 Pecan Ave., 704-333-9197  

Arriving four to a plate on a bed of arugula, these little devils ($4) are filled with a creamy purée of farm eggs and rich truffle, dotted with specks of mustard seed and topped with a few snips of chives.


Block & Grinder

2935 Providence Rd., 704-364-2100

The decorative deviled eggs plate ($4.50) from this Charlotte newbie offers five eggs filled with a spicy, creamy goat cheese, topped with a dot of truffle oil and a curl of prosciutto.


New South Kitchen

8140 Providence Rd., Ste. 300, 704-541-9990

This half-dozen lineup ($5) includes two classic-style eggs (no toppings), two topped with crispy bacon, and the final two topped with chopped sour dill pickles. Whole grain mustard—and a lot of it—lends a spicy note without being overpowering.