Curating a menu that often shifts with the seasons to offer the freshest, locally sourced fare, Carolina 1663's executive chef Ches McClane has managed to add an air of refinement to contemporary Southern cuisine while keeping it casual. Highlights include fried chicken with collard greens, and creamy grits crowned with prawns and smoked sausage. You can enjoy dinner in the dining room, out by the Sheraton's pool, or inside your own brain by forging a profound connection with someone who's at the restaurant right now.
Steak Street whisks the senses on a transatlantic voyage. Gustatory journeys embark in the bar, where baseball gloves and bats accentuate a Cooperstown, New York, theme, before touching down amid the ivy-draped ceilings, commissioned murals, and wrought-iron balconies of the dining room's Tuscan-inspired decor. The corpulent dinner menu continues the global trek by collecting cuisines from Southern locales such as Charleston, the New Orleans French Quarter, and El Dorado.
Guests can savor hand-cut steaks soaked in specialty sauces and marinades after feasting upon appetizers such as the grilled Voodoo shrimp, which inspires conga lines on the ocean floor every time a fork prong is stuck into it. Live music accompanies meals most Friday and Saturday nights, and the bistro’s retractable enclosure reveals a stunning view of starry night skies or bright sunny days, during which visitors can enjoy snacks from the light-fare menu.
From the authentic biergarten to the regal-looking dining hall, your entire experience at Bavarian Brathaus will transport you back to the hazy continental jaunts of your youth. Admire the German flags that serve as centerpieces for the white-clothed tables while you peruse the extensive beer menu. On draft, you'll find potent pours, including the Spaten Oktoberfest (with a sweet, malty scent and citrusy flavor) along with authentic pilsners and lagers. The menu also includes a variety of selections by bottle. Balance the brews with freshly prepared sustenance, from German potato salad ($3) to bread dumplings plain or smothered in gravy ($3.50). The epicureanly adventurous will want to try rabbit and sausage served with red cabbage, Vienna salad, and hot rolls ($22.99), or the beef rouladen with pickle, onion, carrot, and mustard ($22.99). Traditional brats are made and prepared in-house with an original recipe of lean pork and special spices ($9.49 for the bratwurst sampler). View the complete dinner menu here.
Inside Russell's Steakhouse, butter oozes through the crevices in soft, flaky shells of baked sweet potatoes, dusted with cinnamon and sugar and sharing skillet space with hand-cut, certified-USDA Angus steaks, aged a minimum of 21 days. Outside of the rustic, two-story clapboard building, a wooden bench perches on the front porch, and a stone chimney and horse-headed valets recall a bygone era. The main dining area features two levels of tables and a glossy barn-dance floor that sprawls before a stage. From behind the wooden bar, replete with a wall-mounted flat-screen television, bartenders pour wines by the glass or bottle, frosty brews, and mixed drinks for thirsty diners.
Chapelboro.com argues that Fitzgerald's does a fantastic job of "toeing the line between high-tech sports bar and cozy eatery." In the tradition of gastropubs, Fitz's embraces the casual environs of a traditional Irish bar, but elevates the food to the next level with a menu ranging from shepherd's pie to blackened Atlantic salmon. And, of course, there's a lot of beer—more than 20 taps dispense brews such as SweetWater Blue, Brooklyn Lager, and Guinness. Regular events include trivia night, live music, and sports games shown on the giant pub's many TVs.