Dining Local from a Native Charlottean’s Perspective – Guest Blog by Caitlin Sellers

Special thanks to Caitlin Sellers for featuring Dine Out Charlotte Spring Restaurant Week on her blog this week.

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FINALLY!!!! The weather is beautiful. One of my favorite things to do is look at all of the blooming flowers and especially the cherry blossom trees lining the streets.

Today I enjoyed my lunch outside in Dilworth off of East Blvd…. talk about vitamin D in 70 degree weather! Al fresco dining reminded me of how soon Dine Out Charlotte’s first ever Spring Restaurant Week is (April 12-21).

There are many great aspects I admire about this spring restaurant week:

  1. The 30+ participating restaurants are all LOCAL
  2. The type of restaurants participating are a wide variety and a price range for 3+ courses is $22-$32….affordable for anyone!
  3. The $2 proceeds go to Charlotte’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s Child Hunger Programs. One of the Child Hunger Programs to benefit includes the Johnson & Wales Kids Café Prepared Meals program.

Dineoutcharlotte.com allows you to:

  • Book in advance
  • See what pocket of Charlotte, NC (neighborhood) the restaurant you want to enjoy is in
  • The price tag
  • The type of cuisine
  • The menu itself
  • Al Fresco (outdoor) dining (They ALL do!)

I am so excited to see locals thriving in the community. I am so proud to see my hometown city growing rapidly. The Queen City is the best place to be in the spring! Get excited for the newest type of restaurant week Charlotte has to offer.

To all you foodies out there, appreciate the beauty of dining local!

Make your reservations TODAY before they fill up at Dine Out Charlotte

 *Photo Credit*

Spring Break “Foodcation”

If you could travel anywhere for a week, where would you go?  What if money were no object?  Where would your perfect Spring Break vacation be? The French Riviera? Cancún?  Greece?  Does your perfect getaway include adventure, leisure, or a mixture of both?

For me, my personal travel destination would be Italy.  I would love to go and spend a week strolling (or boating) through the streets.  I would love to experience the Italian culture in all of its richness and diversity.  With three kids, a mortgage, and college to save for, though, a trip to Italy is not in my immediate future.  What I can do is go on a culinary Spring Break.  Thanks to Dine Out Charlotte, I will be doing just that.

I think I’ll start my culinary journey at Osso. Located at NC Music Factory, Osso is a great starting place for my food vacation.  I will start by choosing to dine al fresco.  Just choosing to dine outside seems to lend a more European, laid back atmosphere to the dining experience.  They offer DJ music, too, so I will be able to enrapture all five senses into my dining destination.

I’ll also visit Rudy’s.  Named after the owner, Rudy Amadio, Rudy’s offers neighborhood Italian fare.  I imagine small, neighborhood restaurants like Rudy’s all over Italy, and I know that I will capture some of that down-home Italian cooking at Rudy’s.  It has a more casual feel to it, so taking the family is a great idea.

I will round out my foodcation by visiting Fiamma.  This is what I imagine Italy’s great Trattoriasto to be like: Homey décor, sumptuous food, and an incredible wine list.  Nestled in posh Dilworth, Fiamma promises to delight the senses and deliver fine Italian dining.  If you’ve ever wondered what an Italian vegetarian would eat, go to Fiamma!  They have an incredible selection of vegetarian dishes.  I was delighted to find out that they also have gluten-free options, something I have to tell my friends about!

Since flying off to Italy is not a budget-friendly option for me, I am going to take advantage of Dine Out Charlotte week (April 12-21) and enjoy the best of Italy right here in Charlotte.  If I see you there, I’ll raise my glass to another savvy restaurant connoisseur.

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Feed Hungry Kids (and yourself) with Dine Out Charlotte – Guest Blog by Charlotte Foodie

Here’s a new twist on the traditional Charlotte Restaurant Week: Dine Out Charlotte. The “week” runs for ten days (April 12th – 21st) just like the traditional CRW, but this one has a charitable kick to it: $2 of each meal is donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Feed Hungry Kids program. 

 
Traditional CRW happens each summer and winter, but Dine Out Charlotte gives local diners a springtime option. The 3 course prix fixe meals are either $22 or $32 dollars, depending on the restaurant. To view the participating restaurants, their special menus for this week, and to make reservations, go to: http://dineoutcharlotte.com/restaurantlist.php
 
Some highlights: Restaurant Week favorite Blue features a Bison Osso Buco and their sublime Sticky Toffee Pudding. Fiamma has almost their entire regular menu on their event menu, and Maestro’s Bar and Bistro in Pineville is featuring their Apricot & Brandy Lacquered Duck Breast and my personal favorite, their Filet Mignon Medallions with Cabernet Demiglace. For the budget conscious,  both Cantina 1511 locations are offering their 3 course menus for $22 AND  the second course has pairings that include a beer or glass of wine.
 
The Dine Out Charlotte event is focusing on local independent restaurants and chefs featuring menus with fresh, local spring produce. Second Harvest Food Bank’s Feed Hungry Kids program will be able to buy 8lbs of food with each $2 dinner donation. Great food, great cause, what else could you ask for? Come on Charlotte, Let’s Eat!
 
 
Make your reservations today at: http://dineoutcharlotte.com
 
“Like” Dine Out Charlotte on Facebook for latest updates: https://www.facebook.com/dineoutcharlotte?ref=hl 
 
 

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Dine Out, Charlotte, and do good – Guest blog by Helen Schwab “Helen Dining”

Locally owned restaurants pitch in to help the hungry through the new Dine Out Charlotte, a spring kind of restaurant week that’s offering dinner at more than 30 area places.

April 12-21 (yes, it’s a 10-day “week”), you can get three courses for $22 or $32 (depending on the restaurant’s price ranges), and $2 of that is donated directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Feed Hungry Kids program, says founder Jeff Ahmadi. The website lets you book tables, and restaurants are still being added to the list, Ahmadi says. Among those on the current list: Blackthorne, Blue, Cafe Monte, Campania, Cantina 1511 (whose ownership includes area folks), City Tavern, Dressler’s, Fiamma, the Harper’s/Mimosa Grill/Upstream siblings, Hot Stone Grill, Maestro’s Bar and Bistro, Miro, Miyagi’s, Nick’s Steak, Old Stone, Osso, Pisces, Prickly Pear, Red Rocks, Rudy’s, Santé, Senor Tequila, Wooden Vine and Zen Fusion.

 
 
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***Photo taken at Blue Restaurant and Bar