The scents of fresh breads, stuffed pastries, and decadent sweets fill Golden Bakery. Customers can peruse halal-friendly items such as naan bread, baklava, and fatayer—a pastry filled with cheese, spinach, or meat. To complement these eats, Golden Bakery serves drinks such as jellab juice and banana or strawberry fruit cocktails with milk.
At Table 274, talented chefs are dedicated to crafting wholesome lunch, brunch, and dinner menus. In order to support local agriculture, they work to forge a sizeable portion of their entree roster from locally acquired produce, which freshens their culinary cast more than Will Smith freshens a room when he films a sitcom in it. Their outdoor patio and spacious indoor dining area grant varied environs for sampling wood-fired pizzas topped with roasted vegetables, braised short ribs, or figs and prosciutto. To complement the diverse cuisine offerings cataloged on the menu, Table 274's mixologists shake and stir specialty cocktails with vodkas, citrus, and liqueurs, while curating a list of draft beers with selections from local breweries within the state.
At Intermezzo Pizzeria and Cafe, brothers Branko and Djordje Avramovic draw patrons to their European–style eatery with fresh, hand-tossed pizzas and Serbian family recipes passed down from their grandmother. Their kitchen contains no freezer or microwave, ensuring the staff cooks all meats and melts all toy army soldiers by hand. In keeping with this commitment to freshness, they also grow their own herbs and create their own mozzarella, bread, and pastas from scratch. These top-notch ingredients assemble in dishes such as Balkan-style pizzas stuffed with ham and sour cream and eggplant musaka, which guests can devour on an outdoor patio overlooking Charlotte's skyline.
College kids often dine on junky pizzas and sandwiches made from processed meats. Though their friendship was formed during those college days, Michael Gordon and Vaughan Lazar realized that their tastes had matured. So they opened Pizza Fusion, a place where diners can get organic, fresh-made pizzas and sandwiches. At each location, the dough is made from scratch, and the sauce is crafted from organic California tomatoes. The produce is sourced from local farms when possible, and even the meats are free of hormones. The delivery drivers pull up in hybrid vehicles, and they always have smiles on their faces because they're treated just as well as their customers.
Revolution Pizza & Ale House keeps its menu local by relying on fresh local pork and hand-selected produce, as well as stocking North Carolina craft beers. Revolution affirms its commitment to fresh food through the Italian phrase "Produzione Propria"—meaning "made in-house"—on its logo, along with an image of Demeter, the Greek goddess of harvest. All dishes are made from scratch on the premises, from the freshly baked pizza dough to the Mediterranean-style dishes such as eastern BBQ pork sandwiches, mushroom fettuccine, and housemade fresh mozzarella and focaccia bread. New beers are added to the mix weekly, with choices such as Big Boss Monkey Bizz-Ness, a Belgian-style ale from Raleigh that packs a Donkey Kong-sized punch with its 9% ABV and propensity to leave guests talking about their secret banana hoards.
When one steps inside, Geisha House "can feel like another planet," says the Los Angeles Times. A self-described "surreal, high-class brothel," Geisha House pays homage to Japan's late-night history and adds modern twists such as backlit neon panels in sultry shades of red and pink. A curved mezzanine grants a bird's-eye view of candlelit tables crowned with specialty rolls full of burdock root, tempura flakes, torched lobster, and other adventurous ingredients. Chatter emanates from a 50-foot sake bar serving the Japanese rice liquor straight or poured into specialty cocktails, sips of which flank bites of carpaccio, mongolian lamb chops, and udon noodles in fragrant broths. A lively dance floor invites diners to remember the simple joy of motion and lets method actors cast as sprinklers fit in.