News, notes, and gossip about the restaurant scene
Veal and Vino
Urban Food Group (of Raleigh-based restaurants Frazier's, Porter's City Tavern, Vivace, and Coquette) is bringing its tasty talent to Charlotte. Its newest restaurant venture, Vivace (1100 Metropolitan Ave.) will open in the Metropolitan development in Midtown this summer. Modeled after a modern Italian trattoria with design by the Atlanta-based, James Beard Foundation Award-winning Johnson Studio (which also did Zink American Kitchen and Mimosa Grill), the restaurant will feature an enclosed cheese-and-meat-aging room and a 500-bottle all-Italian wine list. Lunch entrées will range from $8 to $12 and dinner from $12 to $25.
From constant crowds at Big Daddy's to an ever-increasing number of Five Guys, this town just can't seem to get enough burgers. This month Nick LaVecchia of LaVecchia's Seafood Grill is opening his own burger joint downtown called NIX Burger & Brew (201 N. Tryon St., 704-347-2739). With thirty different burgers made from USDA prime beef, turkey, and bison, this place can satisfy any craving. Not in the mood for meat? Look for appetizers including fried pickles and crab-and-artichoke dip, as well as plenty of salads. Plus, with a late-night bar scene, flat screens on the walls, an extensive beer selection, and an atmosphere LaVecchia calls "polished," this certainly won't be your typical burger joint.
Not Exactly Pub Grub
While pubs have never been known for their gourmet food, Killingtons Restaurant and Pub (10010 Rose Commons Dr., 704-948-3770) in Huntersville is breaking out of the stereotypical mold. Just off I-77 North's exit 23, the recently opened restaurant offers more than fifty items from executive chef Brian Bruce on its menu, including smoked duck spring rolls, pimento-cheese-stuffed burgers, and pecan-encrusted mahi-mahi.
Wine and Dine
Offering wines from around the world, the new D'Vine Wine Café (14815 John J. Delaney Dr.) in Ballantyne Village features thirty wines by the glass. The café also offers live jazz and tapas pairings; check out the tasting room, custom cellar, and retail area to pick up a bottle for home.