"When you hear hoofbeats," the famous poetry-school adage goes, "don't think zebras. Think black swans piloting Pegasuses." Today's Groupon takes your taste buds to new poetic heights: for $30, you get $60 worth of elegant French cuisine at Zebra Restaurant and Fine Catering near Southpark Mall.
Executive chef and owner Jim Alexander has created an upscale dining experience worthy of a world-class New York or London eatery, with a menu of contemporary French cuisine that remains accessible to all diners. Educated at New York’s Culinary Institute of America, Alexander has been widely recognized within the restaurant industry, including earning a stint on the 1996 gold-medal-winning U.S. Culinary Olympic Team. His mastery of the kitchen shines not only in the well-flavored meals, but also in Zebra’s characteristic, artistic presentation. Entrees include the flavorful tournedo of beef tenderloin, served with prosciutto roasted asparagus, rosemary-roasted fingerling potatoes, and a kiss of sauce ivoire ($28), as well as the popular Zebra Signature—a French take on surf and turf with beef tenderloin, lobster, shrimp, and scallops served over a bed of angel-hair pasta and tarragon white wine ($44). Endings come together sweetly with French flair in desserts such as house-made ice cream or the hot soufflé of the day.
Zebra’s décor reflects subtly on both its name and French focus, with elegant black-and-white furnishings overseen by charming, blond woodwork evocative of an upscale safari lodge. A large zebra painting oversees the dining area near a rustic rock wall set between wooden wine cabinets. Warmer weather opens up the lush patio, where charming metalwork furnishings sit atop a brick floor.
The Charlotte Observer praises Zebra Restaurant and Fine Catering’s casual elegance, and Citysearchers named it Best Charlotte French Food in 2009, presently giving it a 3.5 star average-rating. Yelpers give the establishment an average of 3.5 stars, and 78% of Urbanspooners recommend it.
- From soup to nuts - or amuses-gueules to mignardises, if you prefer - co-owners Pete Pappas and Jim Alexander are creating an experience no one else in town is attempting: a blend of the formal and the accessible in contemporary French food. And it works. – Helen Schwab, Charlotte Observer
- Fine dining has become a hobby for my wife and I and we've had the Chef's tasting menu with wine pairing multiple times and every time the food (and wine) was fantastic. Chef Alexander has to be one of the very best chefs in Charlotte; this is the restaurant that we compare all others to. It's classic French cooking done very well. – shannonrsmith, Citysearch