Bask On Seaboard’s executive chef Chuck Herrick and his collaborating crew artistically etch a seasonal menu of modern American delicacies crafted from fresh, local produce worthy of a spotlight on Charlotte Today. Small plates wallop taste buds with petite portions of intense flavor combinations, such as the roasted-garlic-and-black-bean blend in the hummus or the spiced cheese fondue served with the butternut squash fritters. Sweet potatoes and haricots verist dance across a large plate of North Carolina trout, entertaining tongues with fresh, savory flavor and astounding card tricks. Appetites unable to determine tummy cravings can hedge their bets with surf and turf, a platter overflowing with spicy shrimp and hanger steak aside creamed spinach with pecan orzo.
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.
Tate Street Coffee grinds and brews only the noblest of beans, the fair-trade coffees of Larry's Beans, and serves up classic coffeehouse fare including sandwiches, baked treats, and specialty beverages. If you opt for the $5 deal, pop in any time and grab a steamy mug of fresh-brewed bean juice ($1.35) with a bagel and cream cheese ($2), one of the day's selected muffin flavors ($2), or a glass of locally brewed beer ($2.95). The 334, Tate Street's popular ciabatta sandwich piled with turkey, ham, pepper jack, and baby spinach with a sweet Vidalia onion spread, is served with salsa and chips ($4.95).
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.
Cultivating a boisterous sports-bar atmosphere, the West End Station is stocked with seven TVs broadcasting gridiron matches and full-contact primary debates. After diners fully load bellies, they can imbibe in friendly competition with four pool tables, darts, and a smattering of arcade games.
Moxies Comedy Zone hosts top-tier and up-and-coming standup talent and pairs them with live music, a full bar, and a food menu. While watching laugh-inducing lines pour out of the mouths of comedians such as Sid Davis (Friday, June 17 to Sunday, June 19) and nationally touring stars who have graced the stages of America's Got Talent, Last Comic Standing, and several fruit conventions, chucklers can share a plate of hot wings doused in mild to hot sauces ($9.99 for 12) or a jalapeño burger ($8.99). Guests may also engineer a starch tower at the build-your-own pasta bar ($8.99).
Boy-band juggernaut and Nickelodeon sensation Big Time Rush shines like the sun’s sons as its hotly anticipated Big Time Summer Tour enraptures flocks of fans with pop bliss. The fab foursome, known as BTR to fans and preteen stenographers, first snatched the hearts of millions with its eponymous TV show, recognized as the most-watched live-action series in Nickelodeon’s history. On the group's choreographed carnival of a tour, expert hoofer and crooner Kendall Schmidt leads the affable cast of personalities, which includes James (the ladies' man), Carlos (the joker), and Logan (the smarty warty), through hits from its gold debut, BTR. Their chart-topping sophomore album, Elevate, will also see its hooky anthems represented, such as “Music Sounds Better With U” and “All Over Again.” Expect elastic dance moves from the dapper quadratic and possible numbers from the just-released Big Time Movie, in which BTR covers tunes by obscure boy band The Beatles. Wunderkind Rachel Crow of The X-Factor fame and Australian heartthrob Cody Simpson start the show with peppy rallies and aural morality plays about how love can be tough and why stealing your dad’s head to sneak into R-rated movies isn’t cool.