Global Restaurant's Chef Bernard grew up along the sun-soaked shores of the southern French village of Nice, where his grandfather was a pastry chef and his father owned a fish shop. This rich familial and Francophilic culinary heritage inspired him to take chef apprenticeships in Paris, the United Kingdom, Russia, and upon globe-roving cruise ships. His travels infused an eclectic edge into his cooking, which still incorporates traditional meals, fusion concepts, and a French spirit. His journeys also yielded him more than recipes — during one of his cruises, he met his wife, Shannon, whose experience with the front end of the food-and-beverage industry led the pair to open their own restaurant in Charlotte.
Inside the duo's creation, Global Restaurant, electric blues and oranges brighten the space, and crisp tablecloths lay a canvas for dishes with inventive flavors and artistic presentations. Chef Bernard's specialties include cauliflower-goat-cheese sauce, boldly splashed across a seared sea bass, and date chutney and caramelized apples that dance across an all-natural duck.
The menu, which is in many ways a travelogue of Bernard and Shannon's journeys, has snagged the attention of the Charlotte Observer and of WCNC's Charlotte Today, which invited Bernard on air for a live cooking demo, where he seared some of his famous diver scallops atop the weatherman's greenscreen.
Savory small plates, including mac ?n? cheese and sliders made with locally farmed and organic Angus beef, pave the way to Crave Dessert Bar's main attraction?decadent desserts. The bar's sweet treats, which earned it Charlotte's best location for To Die For Desserts in 2012 by Elevate Lifestyle Magazine, include carrot and walnut cupcakes and chocolate fondue with seasonal fruits and marshmallows. Chocolate-swirled cheesecake rests atop a fudge-brown crust, and the red velvet cake, cream-cheese frosting, and toasted pecans of the Scarlet Letter layer cake pay homage to the only foods Nathaniel Hawthorne ate while writing The Scarlett Letter.
To complement the tapas and desserts? flavors, diners can puff on hookahs in more than 16 fruit varieties, including peach and watermelon. Bartenders craft more than 40 signature cocktails, which make the bar?s photographs and canvases by local artists more and more appealing as evenings progress. The loft's hardwood floors, exposed brick, and comfy chairs and couches accommodate guests until 2 a.m. Tuesday?Sunday, and after 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the bar transforms into a 21+ hot spot.
A visit to Habiba Mediterranean Restaurant begins with a puff of smoke. Seated on the patio, groups of friends share conversation and hookahs bubbling with a variety of flavors. Inside, these aromatic fumes give way to the appetizing aromas of traditional Moroccan, Lebanese, and Indian cuisine. Here, chefs slide ground lamb onto skewers and blend chickpeas into hummus using nothing but a stern gaze. Lamb shanks are slow roasted in a spice mix, and their refreshing tabouli salad combines bulghur wheat, parsley, tomato, mint, lemon, & olive oil. Bartenders pour wine and beer at a full bar paneled in glossy wood, which reflects walls awash with rich reds and greens.
Headed by So You Think You Can Dance veterans Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, Complexions Contemporary Ballet has blended classical and modern dance styles from around the world into dazzling routines for more than 15 years. Armed with a repertoire of dozens of custom pieces, Complexions' dancers showcase the expressive possibilities of the human body more effectively than live tattooing competitions. Starting at 6:30 p.m., a preshow discussion with Dwight Rhoden will let audience members grill the rhythm-making maestro on his methods and inspiration. Inside the Heymann Center's sweeping modernist structure, an intimate auditorium's clear sight lines allow guests to watch each leap and bend ripple through the athletic forms onstage and opera glasses to return to their original role as trendy fashion accessory.
Every weekend, The Comedy Zone puts on a three-act standup show, each headlined by nationally-touring comics often boasting credits from such programs as Last Comic Standing and Sirius XM Radio. On Thursday nights, the floor opens to a flurry of local up-and-comers, giving nascent comedians the chance to cut their teeth on a live audience and a microphone-shaped chew toy. Its partner restaurant and bar, Madison’s on the Corner, provides the show floor with a menu of drinks and pub grub such as steaks, burgers, and pasta.