5 Longtime Gems of Queen City Cuisine

George Fine's Beef 'N Bottle on South Blvd.

George Fine’s Beef ‘N Bottle on South Blvd.

New bar at Upstream seafood restaurant in South Park

New bar at Upstream seafood restaurant in South Park

When Pewter Rose served its last brunch on Sunday, Charlotte lost yet another landmark restaurant. Known for butterscotch scones and southern cuisine, Pewter Rose joined a growing list of shuttered local eateries including Providence Cafe (2012), Manzetti’s (2010) and McIntosh’s (2009) . Though plenty of fabulous new restaurants have opened in recent years, many of my favorites still pack in crowds after decades in business. Below is just a sampling of Queen City dining spots winning praise year after year:

  • Beef ‘N Bottle – You can envision many business deals going down over dinner at this legendary steakhouse on South Blvd., easy to spot with its retro signage and paneled exterior. Since opening in 1958, Beef N’ Bottle remains a favorite for meat-loving locals and travellers.
  • UpstreamOpened by the Charlotte-based Harper’s Restaurant Group in 2000, this upscale seafood spot attracts the stylish South Park set and accolades from Esquire Magazine and Zagat’s. The newly renovated bar is perfect for drinks and sushi before/after a movie at Phillips Place theater – the Spicy Hawaiian Tuna roll is my favorite in town!
  • Penguin Drive-In – Known for its addictive fried pickles, the Plaza Midwood diner founded in 1954 has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel. With offerings like the “I Hear You Getting Fatter” hot dog and “The Freak Flag Fly” burger, you’ll have fun just reading the menu.
  • McNinch House – This one is on my dining bucket list. Set in a Victorian house in uptown’s 4th Ward neighborhood, the restaurant debuted its gourmet multi-course meals in 1989. Guests (reservations required) choose from prix fixe menu options and wine pairings – check out the drool-worthy sample menu.
  • Selwyn Pub – A popular gathering spot in Myers Park , the pub offers tasty bar fare such as wings, burgers, pizza and sandwiches. One of the few places in town you can run into your college roommate and VIP’s like Michael Jordan, the Selwyn patio remains a place to be seen after more than twenty years in business. We go out less frequently after entering parenthood, but most of our nights on the town end up at Selwyn.

So many great local restaurants to add as longtime favorites – Bonterra300 East, Fenwick’s, Providence Road Sundries and Eddie’s Place. What other places belong on the list?


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