March/April 2010 - Epicurean Charlotte Food & Wine Magazine

March/April 2010 - Epicurean Charlotte Food & Wine Magazine

agapple lassie winery

draws fans from near & far

eat, enjoy and save!

charlotte’s d’vine


veni, vidi, vici!

rudy’s italian restaurant & bar

brings an italian style trattoria

to piper glen

march • april 2010


The Best Wines on Earth.

The Lowest Prices Anywhere.

You don’t have to choose between great service and low, low prices.

We are committed to having the lowest prices on wine and beer. With over

60 superstores (and counting), we have the buying power to deliver on that promise.

We are committed and dedicated to bringing you the Total Wine Experience .




Park Town Village

(704) 295-9292


Grand Promenade Phase II

(704) 714-1040


Birkdale Village

(704) 895-6115


Crossings Shopping Center

(704) 849-2022

14 fans come from near and far

to visit ragapple lassie winery


in each issue

eat, enjoy, save

with premier dining card


06 ripe for the picking

beer and wine picks

for the cold months

08 out on the town

the ultimate jam session

09 juicy morsels

now is the time to plant

your summer garden

10 seats & eats

lebowski’s neighborhood grill:

truly a family affair

12 profiles of passion

celebrate wine, help those in need

veni, vidi, vici!

rudy’s italian restaurant and

bar opens in piper glen

32 through the grapevine

news & gossip within the

charlotte epicurean scene

33 places to go, people to see

a calendar of local events

34 scene around town

take a look at who’s been out & about

36 local flavor

thaw out your taste buds with

two tasty spring recipes

37 ripe for the picking

hot spots in and around town


a winemaker d’vine

volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m




“Ode to Joy”

C10_Beethoven_CharFood&Wine_0212.indd 1 2/12/10 11:21:52 AM

D’Vine Wine Cafe

Gourmet Casual Restaurant and Winner of

City Search’s ‘Best of Charlotte’ in six categories

Wine Shoppe with 600

labels & 1500+ bottles

Ballantyne Village

14815 John J. Delaney Drive

Charlotte, NC 28277


Epicurean Charlotte is published locally by Charlotte

food and wine lovers for Charlotte food and wine

lovers. We hope you enjoy our publication and find it

helpful when choosing wine, a place to dine or events

around town. Copying or reproduction, in part or in

whole, is strictly prohibited.


Linda Seligman

associate editor

Ashley Blake Summerlin

design & production

Ashley Blake Summerlin

advertising sales

Linda Seligman • 704.606.5072

Clinton Michael Dowell


Linda Seligman

Ashley Blake Summerlin

contributing writers

Michaele Ballard, Carol Barsin,

Dianne Chase, Zenda Douglas, Charles Jenkin,

Don Rosenberg, Christine Yarbrough


Indexx Printing

James Jones

direct 864.335.5085 • mobile 864.354.7100

web design

LL Web Designs


cover image

Ashley Blake Summerlin

Bringing Charlotte the very

best selection of artisanal, small

production and naturally made

wines the world has to offer in a

relaxed and inviting atmosphere…

Wine Bar Open Nightly Till 11 p.m.

7824 Fairview Road • Charlotte, NC

704.365.6550 •

Half price wine

every day!

10822 Providence Road

Suite 100 • Charlotte


Eclectic Cuisine

Ballantyne Village

14815 Ballantyne Village Way • Suite 170 (near the escalator)

704.369.5777 •

4 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0

ipe for

the picking

Cameron Matthews from Pasta &

Provisions is talking up the 2006

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico.

Bottle $24.99

The wine shows gorgeous transparency

in its perfumed fruit, sweet herbs and

flowers, with excellent persistence and a

long, refined finish. This is a fresh Chianti

with plenty of verve, and it will offer its

most enjoyable drinking at the dinner table.

Anticipated maturity: 2009-2014.

Katy Kindred from Good Food on Montford

is excited about the Bastianich Colli Orientali

del Friuli Sauvignon Blanc 2007.

Bottle $35.00

A refreshingly crisp white wine, this wine offers

citrus and tropical fruit flavors with very

aromatic notes of green chilies, grass, herbs,

asparagus and gooseberries commonly contributing

to the bouquet. Sauvignon Blanc is

generally unoaked allowing the fruit to shine

and highlighting the delicacy of the grape.

Robert Rondelez of the Common Market

is saying bring on Spring with the Mas

Que Vinos Ercavio Blanco 2007.

Bottle $9.99

Pale straw in color, it offers attractive

grapefruit aromas. On the palate, it is

light bodied and flavorful with crisp citrus

notes. A nice, persistent pithy finish with

some hints of pine or cedar. This wine is

wonderfully with pork.

Thierry Garconnet of Terra Restaurant

is recommending the 2007 Bodegas

Piqueras Valcanto Monastrell.

Bottle $40.00

This satisfying red is made from Monastrell

(Mourvèdre) grown in the Almansa region

of Spain. This is a rich, deep-colored wine

with plenty of blueberry and blackberry

fruit on the nose and palate. It is smooth

and well-structured, with a long, full finish.

Jeff McNeice from Dolcetto Wine

Room is bragging about the

Errazuriz Cabernet.

Bottle $20.00

Bright ruby-red in color with an intense and

attractive nose that features aromas of ripe

red and black fruits with a balsamic, spicy

edge. The palate is juicy and well balanced

with tannins that are firm yet friendly. The

fruit is echoed on the palate, where it melds

beautifully with spicy, chocolaty notes. Ends

on a pleasingly balanced finish.

Conrad Hunter from The Wine Shop

at Foxcroft is raving about the Valle

dell’Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2007.

Bottle $19.99

This full-bodied and complex wine combines

the dark spice notes of Nero d’Avola with

the high-toned floral aspects of the Frappato.

This harmonious blend displays supple tannins

and sound acids to keep the wine fresh

and bouncy on the palate.

Amy Weaver from Lebowski’s Neighborhood

Grill is really excited about

the Ironberry Cabernet Blend.

Bottle $24.00; Glass $7.00

From the Margaret River area of western

Australia, this wine is a blend of 36 percent

Cabernet, 33 percent Shiraz and 31 percent

Merlot. It shows oodles of berries on the nose

with suggestions of plum and spice. The fruit

and spice follows through to the palate.

Sean McCormack of Johnny’s Red

Bowl is bringing in the Spring with

the Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay.

Every day ½ bottle price $20.00

It shows aromas of sweet vanilla, mango and

pineapple fruit against a creamy, toasty background.

In the mouth it shows intense apple,

vibrant citrus, honeydew and pear notes

through the creamy, subtly toasty finish. It’s

a classic example of Carneros Chardonnay.

Margaret Barry, Reid’s Fine Food wine

manager is excited about the 2007

Anderson’s Conn Valley Chardonnay.

Bottle $36.99

The 2007 Chardonnay looks superb, with terrific

tropical fruit such as pineapple intermixed

with some poached pear, brioche notes and

citrus oils. The wine has beautiful intensity,

full-bodied power and zesty acidity, no doubt

from the lack of any malolactic fermentation.

Terry Miller of D’Vine Wine Café is

recommending the 2007 Bodega

Séptima Gran Reserva.

Bottle $23.99

A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and

Tannat, it boasts an intense ruby color with

purple hues. Complex and aromatic in the

nose, it’s pleasant and balanced oak flavor is

complemented by violets, dark chocolate and

strawberry jam. It unfolds in many pleasant

sensations with tannic structure, good body

and balance in oak-granted flavours.

Come for the Taste. Stay for the Lifestyle.

• In-Home Wine


Wine Club

• Personalized Labels

• Gift Baskets

• Artisan Stemware

Gail Penny • Independent Wine Consultant • 704.577.3851

Scott Luetgenau from Vivace Contemporary

Italian Trattoria is interested in the

2006 Boccella Campi Taurasini Rasott.

Bottle $48.00

This 100% Cabernet Franc features a dark

purple color and aromas of jam-like red

fruits. The full and round mouth is intense,

but the powerful body does not alter any of

the freshness of the young vineyards.

Monte Smith of Café Monte French

Bakery and Bistro is looking forward

to the Spring with the 2007 Delas

St. Esprit Côtes du Rhône.

Bottle $32.00

This Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and

Carignan blend is loaded with spice and

black fruits, and displays a beautiful opulent

texture as well as a gorgeous finish with

impressive purity. It is an exceptional fullbodied

wine with fine tannins.

Breakfast, Lunch

and Dinner



…a French bakery


2009 Best Of The Best


By Charlotte Magazine

:: online ordering :: instant reservations ::

Monday - Friday 7 AM - 9 PM

Saturday 8 AM - 10 PM Sunday 8 AM - 3 PM

6700 Fairview Rd. ~ Allen Tate Building ~ Phillips Place

704.552.1116 ~

6 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m

out on

the town

the ultimate

jam session o

big ed’s garage live

by christine yarbrough

brio tuscan grille

every wednesday 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

4720 piedmont row • charlotte

village tavern

april 29th, june 3rd and july 8th

all shows are outside and begin at 7:00

4201 Congress Street • charlotte

look for upcoming dates at ed’s tavern

and buckhead saloon

ne of the things musicians enjoy most is an

old-fashioned jam session. And that’s exactly

what they do every Wednesday night at Brio Tuscan

Grille, when Big Ed’s Garage performs starting at

7:00 p.m. For the guys, it’s a chance to “sing the

music [they] love and play for a crowd.”

Band members Scott Smith (vocals, guitar,

harmonica), Dave Haywood (vocals, bass), Jason

Atkins (vocals, keyboards), Denis Bostok (vocals,

drums) and Stacy Leazer have fun with their music,

mixing different genres with their own unique sound

and laid-back vibe. The perfect example was their rendition

of Aretha Franklin’s “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.,” where the

collaboration was one part Aretha, one part Big Ed’s

and one part improvisation. Their sound is distinct—

Scott Smith on lead vocals makes you think that

you’re lounging in Maui listening to Jack Johnson—

yet organic.

Although they’ve only been playing together

for a little under a year, they have picked up on

each other’s vibes quickly. Their renditions of

Ben Harper, Bob Marley, Prince and the Beatles

(all with the Jack Johnson laid-back flare) rocked.

In the spring, their music will be the perfect

compliment to the festivities at Alive After Five at

the EpiCentre and at Buckhead Saloon. But even

in the winter, listening to them play makes you feel

like you’re on a beach somewhere enjoying all your


Christine is a freelance writer living in Charlotte. You can contact her at

think summer… gardens! by don rosenberg

almost everyone would like to have their own

organic vegetable garden, but the traditional

approach requires too much hard work—digging,

tilling and, worst of all, weeding! With today’s big

houses and small yards, few families have enough

room for even a small, 20’ x 20’ garden.

The solution, however, is to build your own raised

beds on top of your existing soil using weedless

potting mix. This means you won’t be digging in the

clay and exposing thousands of dormant weed seeds

to sunlight where they can germinate and take over.

Your workload basically consists of planting your

seeds and watering as needed.

Because your space is limited, (two 3’ x 8’ beds will do


watermelons and okra are examples. The good news is

you can grow pretty much everything else.

April 15th is a good day to start a summer garden.

Be ready to cover your transplants if a late frost hits,

though. Your garden should face south so the tallest

crops won’t shade out the shorter ones during the

day, so following is a list of summer crops from tallest

to shortest:

• Green beans. Look for ‘pole beans’

not ‘bush beans’ for a longer harvest.

• cucumbers. Again, climbing plants,

not bush varieties.

• Tomatoes. Plant at least three feet apart.

Grow them up 8’ stakes and remove the ripe

ones as you go. Tie loosely with jute twine.

Buy transplants from the local garden center.

• Green peppers and eggplants. Buy plants

instead of starting from seed to experiment

with different colors, shapes and varieties.

• Squash or Zucchini. One plant for three people.

Building a raised bed garden takes a bit of time

to start, but you’ll more than make up for it with the

time you save! Finally, you can enjoy your garden!E

Don Rosenberg is founder of Instant Organic Garden, a business that installs easy-to-manage raisedbed

vegetable gardens in back yards. For more information visit

or call 704-910-6498.

8 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0

©isTOckPhOTO.cOm/chris Price




& eats

a family affair

by christine yarbrough

images by ashley blake summerlin

looking for a neighborhood restaurant with that nonchain,

owner-operator feel? Look no further than

Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill on East Blvd. in Dilworth—

a true family affair. Kirk Weaver, along with daughters

Jessica and Amelia, opened Lebowski’s in April 2009. Being

an independently owned and operated enterprise, you can

sense the hands-on feel of the place. Most of Kirk’s shifts

involve kitchen duty, while Amy and Jessica take care of

the front of the house greeting and serving their guests.

The feel of Lebowski’s is casual, comfortable and a little

bit Buffalo. Kirk hails from Buffalo, NY, and borrows a

bit of its flavor for the menu. Those who know Kirk will

remember him as the founder/operator of both Standing

Room Only (’80) and Township Grill (’97).

Weaver, someone who has been in the local restaurant

business for what he describes as ‘a long time,’ wanted

to create an atmosphere where people could come and

enjoy themselves, but also have a menu with diversity and

quality. They use all-natural ground beef and cook their

own roast beef and pulled pork BBQ, for example. Weaver

and his daughters have made Lebowski’s very welcoming.

With its bookshelf full of board games, free wi-fi, flat-screen

TVs, live music or the pub-inspired decor, there is always

something to keep you occupied.

When I go to a restaurant, I always take a look at the beer

list—you can tell a lot about a restaurant by their beer list—

and Lebowski’s is no exception. I decided to sample one of

Weaver’s favorites, Genesee Beer. It’s brewed in upstate New

York, and as Kirk fondly recalls, his “first indulgence with

beverage of the malted variety.” They have an impressive

list to choose from, which includes over 50 foreign and craft

beers like Big Boss Angry Angel, Duck Rabbit Milk Stout

and Pilsner Urquell. Their wine list consists of several well

chosen and modestly priced styles, including Morro Bay

Chardonnay and Gouguenheim Malbec.

With my Genesee in hand, I start out my tasting

experience with every Southern girl’s favorite appetizer: fried

pickles. Now, I’ve had some really good fried pickles, and

Lebowski’s rival the best of Charlotte. They were crisp with

just enough heat and perfect when dipped in the homemade

ranch dressing. For an appetizer, I suggest the Buffalo

chicken nachos. With the tang of the blue cheese and the

heat of the buffalo sauce, it’s an explosion of flavor! If you

want to stay the spicy route, try their Legendary Buffalo

Wings. They are meaty and crisp—just the way a wing should

be. If you like your wings with a little more sweetness, the

Carolina Gold or the signature Jerkiyaki is probably the way

to go, with the perfect ratio of sweetness and spice.

No neighborhood grill would be complete without a great

burger or sandwich and Lebowski’s has a few standouts. The

signature Beef on ‘Weck is an excellent alternative to their

impressive char-grilled burgers. When I took a bite into the

sandwich, I was astonished at the roast beef’s tenderness.

It was so moist and tender it literally melted in my mouth.

Weaver suggested I add a little horseradish sauce to the

sandwich, and it was the perfect compliment!

As someone who also enjoys a vegetarian meal, I am

always looking for non-meat substitutes. Lebowski’s has

several vegetarian options, but I have found

my favorite with Lebowski’s Veggie Panini.

It can be difficult for a vegetarian dish to be

filling, but this sandwich was as satiating as

it was delicious. Grilled between two pieces

of sourdough bread is the perfect medley of

mushrooms, baby spinach, red and yellow

bell peppers, zucchini, tomato bruschetta, red

onion and provolone cheese.

I wanted to finish the entire sandwich, but I

was told to leave room for the Haddock fish fry

and the cheesiest macaroni & cheese I’d ever tasted. The large

Haddock filet was crispy, flaky and mild. Both were old-school

and reminded me of my grandmother’s cooking. It was just

another reason that Lebowski’s feels like a little bit of home.

As I mentioned before, beer lists say a lot about a

lebowski’s neighborhood grill

When I took a bite

into the sandwich,

I was astonished

at the roast beef ’s

tenderness. It was

so moist it literally

melted in my mouth.

1524 east boulevard (across from cantina 1511)

704.370.1177 •

clockwise from

top left: beef

on 'weck with

garlic french

fries; grilled

veggie panini,

beef on 'weck,

sizzle salad,

mac & cheese;

buffalo nachos;

lebowski's interior;



wings; kirk,

jessica and


restaurant, but their top shelf signature White Russian and

martini menu says even more about Lebowski’s. All named

after characters of the namesake movie, each drink has its

own personality to match the character. The Stranger is a

dessert in itself with Bailey’s caramel, and Donny’s Element

will make you exclaim “I am the Walrus”!

Look for new menu items like the Tuscan

Turkey burger with tomato bruschetta, pesto

aioli and provolone or the Pimento Cheese

Burger with panko dipped onion rings (on

the burger) as well as an array of French

bread pizzas. Also, get a true value taste of

Lebowski’s with their ‘¢heap Date Night’

specials, which offer $20, $30 and $40 allinclusive

meal options.

Lebowski’s is easily located on East

Boulevard, and with the delicious food, superb

beer and wine selection and the fact that they’re open late

(even a special late night and service industry menu are

offered), you can’t go wrong with Lebowski’s. It’s sure to

become your new favorite neighborhood bar and grill.E

Christine is a freelance writer living in Charlotte. You can contact her at

10 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m 11


of passion

celebrate wine, help those in need

what could be better than combining good food

and great wine, unless maybe it’s an event

that raises millions of dollars for people in need in

the Charlotte area.

In 1989 when a group of philanthropic-minded wine

and food enthusiasts had a vision of offering a series of

events to raise money for those in need, the Charlotte

Wine & Food Weekend (held every other year) was

born. Since then, the wine and gourmet dining event

has attracted thousands. In the last 21 years, more than

$3.2 million dollars has been raised for local charities.

Now it’s time to begin planning for the 2010

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend April 21 through 24.

The weekend is a smorgasbord of delicious food and

superb wines, plus a chance to talk to vintners.

Make reservations for the Vintner Dinners ASAP, as

several will already be sold out by the time you read this.

Two dozen of Charlotte’s most recognized restaurants

are paired with some of the world’s best winemakers

for the dinners. Each multiple course dinner menu is

by charles jenkin

painstakingly planned to pair perfectly with each wine

selection. It’s your chance to rub elbows with internationally

known grape experts and learn more about

winemaking and viticulture. It is also an opportunity

to get your questions answered by the guest vintners,

which is a rare opportunity.

Following are just a few examples of the Vintner

Dinner offerings (go to

for the full list): Bonterra Dining & Wine Room will

host the Arietta Winery with owner Fritz Hatton;

Gallery Restaurant in the Ballantyne Hotel will offer the

wines of Marimar Torres, who will be there in person

and describe her winemaking techniques; Morton’s

Steak House will serve the wonderful wines of Silver

Oak Cellars and Twomey Vineyards; and Ruth’s Chris

Steak House Uptown will host the Joseph Phelps Vineyards’

fine selections. Price is $65 to $175 per person,

depending on the venue.

The Big Bottles & Blues event includes sampling

of over 50 winemakers. You’ll have an opportunity to

12 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2

spend time with the vintners, enjoy some fine cuisine

and listen to live music. This has become one of the

most popular events, attended by over 600 wine enthusiasts

in 2008.

All of the guest wineries pour premium selections

from large format bottles. There are live and silent

auctions, featuring rare large format autographed bottles

of wine, jewelry, artwork and wine dinners. You’ll

also have an opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind wine

country trips. It all takes place at Gateway Village.

Tickets are $90.

The Sommelier, Connoisseur & Enthusiasts Tastings

are a chance to swirl, sniff and sip with participating

vintners. Outstanding and unique tastings are a signature

of the popular wine & food weekend.

The 2010 Sommelier Tasting is an ‘Almost Perfect’

tasting featuring 10 wines that have achieved near

perfection (98 to 100 points) by the country’s leading

wine critics. The Connoisseur & Enthusiast Tastings

feature national superstars and celebrity guests Tastings

include various regions, grape varieties and a

collection of winemaking stories. They take place at the

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, ranging in price from $75 to $325.

For $35 you can attend the Vintner Tasting, a

splendid way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday

afternoon! This is one of the weekend’s most popular

events. You can taste a terrific selection of wines from

several grape varieties and winemaking styles. It is also

a good time to pick up tips on selecting, drinking and

buying wine, because these are the folks who know.

The Wine & Beer Education Series is a crash

course for novices and connoisseurs alike. There are

three offerings. The first is “Italy: From Tuscany to

Barolo,” which takes you from the hillsides of Tuscany

to the Piedmont with Giovannella Stianti, owner of

Castello di Volpaial, Roberta Ceretto, owner of Ceretto

Estate, and Clint Harris with Winebow.

charlotte wine & food weekend

april 21-24 •

“Beer: Grab a Cold One,” features brewmasters

from Flying Dog Brewery and Bell’s Brewery. There

is a unique selection of craft beers, and you can get

answers to all your questions about beer.

The third class takes you to Spain. Emily Peterson

of Eric Solomon Imports/European Cellars will guide

you through the popular wines of Spain. Classes are

limited and priced at $50.00 per person.

Start making plans today. Go to www.charlotte for all of the events and details. Select

the venues you wish to attend before they are all sold

out, and enjoy this unique opportunity to indulge while

helping those in need.

A toast, to wine and the great deeds it brings


Charles Jenkin hosts This Show Is Cookin´ on WBT radio, Sundays at 12p.m.

epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0


fans come from near and

far to visit ragapple lassie

by michaele ballard

it’s no wonder RagApple Lassie Winery

has repeat visitors from around the

country—not only can they sample awardwinning

Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot

Gris, but they are guaranteed a barrel of

fun with BBQs, concerts and tastings with

owners Frank Jr., and Lenna Hobson.

Just 90 minutes from Charlotte through the

rolling hills of Yadkin County, RagApple Lassie

Winery is set on a 500-acre plot of land in Boonville,

NC, that has been part of the Hobson family

farm for over 100 years. Frank Jr.(even his mother

called him Frank Jr.), has carried on the family

tradition, farming wheat, corn, soybeans and


But in the late 1990s when tobacco began

to lose its luster, Frank Jr., began to think

about what was next. He wanted to protect the

14 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m


left to right:

the ragapple

lassie winery


frank and his

prized holstein

cow, ragapple

lassie; frank and


integrity of the land his family had farmed for three


“His biggest fear has been that this beautiful

land would be turned into a housing community,”

explains Lenna. In 2000, he decided to grow grapes

to sell to the winemaking market; within a year he

and Lenna built RagApple Lassie Winery.

“He’s the only career farm-

er that owns a winery,” she


The unique RagApple

Lassie logo, a black and white

Holstein cow in a proverbial

little black dress and single

strand of pearls, is an adult

replica of Frank Jr.’s prized

calf—RagApple Lassie (Rag-

Apple was her world-famous father; Lassie her

mother). The Grand Champion show calf was a

4-H project when Frank, Jr., was growing up.

“She was a pet. She would go everywhere Frank

went, she would run behind him when he rode his

bike,” recalls Lenna. The calf had two offspring and

“Frank was ahead of his

time. He saw the change

coming. Farmers are

naturally conservative, but

Frank embraces change.”

continued to live at the farm for 16 years until her

death. “She had been so much a part of his life that

he teared up when she passed.”

So RagApple Lassie was the obvious choice for

a name and logo to identify the wine labels and an

array of memorabilia: aprons, mugs, bottled water,

magnets and other items in the gift shop.

In 2000, the Hobson’s planted

nine acres for Chardonnay and Cabernet

Sauvignon, and later Frank

added another 30 acres of grapes.

Soon after, they decided they might

as well build their own winery.

“Frank was ahead of his time. He

saw the change coming. Farmers

are naturally conservative, but Frank

embraces change,” adds Lenna,

who handles the marketing of the wine, off-site

special events and gift shop.

Today, RagApple Lassie Winery has 35 acres

planted with 15 varieties of grapes that produce fine

Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon,

Viognier, even a red Zinfandel. To the delight

of winemaker Linda King, all of their wines have won

at least two awards. The Hobsons estimate they sell

about 7,000 cases of wine—300 bottles to a barrel—

each year.

The environment is a high priority at RagApple

Lassie. “We want to protect our heritage,” says

Frank. “We have four grandsons (three children

between them), and we want to protect the planet

for them.”

The main building, constructed of common galvalume

and concrete, was designed by UNC-Charlotte

School of Design architect Greg Snyder to look like a

typical farm building with a silo. A gravel parking lot

(instead of pavement), allows rainwater to soak into

the ground instead of running into storm drains.

As visitors enter the building they can see the fermenting

tanks, the Wine Tasting Room and the Gift

Shop. The silo at the front of the winery houses a circular

stairway that leads to an underground Wine Cellar

where the wine is aged in French and oak casks.

RagApple Lassie Winery recycles wine bottles

rather than adding to landfill. Cardboard, plastic

bags, shrink wrapping, containers and bottles are

also recycled as well as grapevines, which are made

into wreaths.

For visitors who want to stay a night or two, they

can stay at the Hobson House, the family home built

in the 1930s. Rental rates are posted on the website.

Tours and wine tastings are available daily from noon

to 6 p.m.

On any given day there is a crowd, the majority

of which are there for a return visit. For them, it’s

like seeing an old friend again.

For the Hobsons it’s a labor of love. “We want

people to have a good time, feel welcome and most

of all enjoy themselves.” E

ragapple lassie winery

3724 ragapple lassie lane • boonville, nc

888.ragapple •

open daily from noon to 6 p.m.

Veni, Vidi, Vici!

A Roman-style Trattoria in Piper Glen.

6414 Rea Road • Charlotte

704.544.4949 •

16 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 17

eat, enjoy, save by zenda douglas

with premier dining card

LefT: ©isTOckPhOTO.cOm/weBPhOTOGrAPheer; riGhT: ©isTOckPhOTO.cOm/Andresr

there’s a new dining card in town,

and it’s welcome at a rapidly growing

number of Charlotte’s finest restaurants.

Following several months of work to

develop partnerships with restaurants,

Premier Dining Card, LLC has launched

the member card that encourages frequent

diners to “Eat, Enjoy and Save.”

“The Premier Dining Card program brings a new

dimension to the dining experience in Charlotte,”

says managing partner, Gerry McCrudden. He is

joined in the business by Partners, and together

they bring years of advertising and marketing

experience from within the Charlotte area, specifically

the restaurant industry.

Priced at $35, the Premier Dining Card allows

members to access discounts and promotions

offered by participating restaurants for an entire

18 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m 19

12 months. The company’s user-friendly website

invites card members to peruse restaurants by

neighborhood, cuisine and price point. “Diners

won’t arrive at a restaurant and get a big surprise.

They’ll have a feel for what to expect.”

Among the restaurants currently included are

Bombay Grill, Miró Spanish Grille, Pewter Rose

Bistro, Solé Spanish Grille and

Terra Restaurant, just to name

a few. Restaurants that partner

with Premier Dining Card agree

to provide a minimum of a 10 to

25 percent discount; more if they

like. There is no fee for restaurants

that sign up during 2010.

With 50 restaurants currently

on board, the company’s

target is to have 100 restaurants

by mid-year and 200 the next year. Participating

restaurants represent more than a dozen Charlotte

neighborhoods including Dilworth, Myers

Park, SouthPark, NoDa, Uptown, University area,

Ballantyne, Pineville and more.

“We see a shift in the market and feel that

people are looking for a new value opportunity

for dining out—a way to save money,” explains

McCrudden. “At the same time, restaurants need

to attract more customers and a way to market on

an on-going basis without huge program costs.”

While the concept of discount dining cards

has been around for years, the partners behind

the Premier Dining Card believe they have developed

a unique program

to benefit the community

The average family

dining out one time a week

spending $70 to $100 can

save as much (or more)

than $1,300 a year with the

Premier Dining Card.

at large. While residents

save money, restaurants

gain customers, which

increases their opportunity

to grow and hire additional

staff; all of which is a

positive return to the local


“We are local; not a

franchise or national business,” stresses McCrudden.

“The roots of this business are firmly within

this community, and we want to continuously give

back to this community.”

Restaurant lovers may think the company’s

slogan—Eat, Enjoy and Save—says it all, but

there’s more to the card, which extends its benefits

20 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2

TOP LefT: ©isTOckPhOTO.cOm/weBPhOTOGrAPheer; riGhT: ©isTOckPhOTO.cOm/PidjOe

to the community. For every card sold, five dollars

is donated to a local charity. Currently, the Premier

Dining Card donations are serving Levine Children’s

Hospital, Charlotte Breast Cancer Fund, McKay

Urology Research Fund, The Humane Society

and Hope Haven—all Charlotte charities.

Non-profit organizations can partner with

Premier Dining Card to use the card as a vehicle

for fundraising. “This is a very important part of

our program,” says McCrudden, who explains that

non-profits can retain up to 50 percent of proceeds

for the cause or charity of their choice. Organizations

can also extend recognition by having the

card branded in their name.

The dining card makes a great gift, according

to McCrudden, who suggests using the card as

an employee incentive or customer reward. For

example, a realtor might give new homeowners

a card to show customer appreciation while also

steering them to try restaurants in their new neighborhood.

However acquired, the card represents incentive—

maybe temptation—to eat, enjoy and save money,

all while also finding satisfaction in giving back to

the Charlotte community. E

Participating Restaurants

1300 Southend Tavern Dilworth/SouthEnd

18 Modern Asian and Sushi Ballantyne/Piper Glen

88 China Bistro Elizabeth

Bombay Grille Pineville

Brazas Bar & Grill East Charlotte

Chima Brazilian Steakhouse Uptown

Cinco De Mayo Concord

DeeJai Thai Restaurant Myers Park

Dilworth Neighborhood Grille Dilworth/SouthEnd

Dinner Afare SouthPark/Park Road

Fiamma Italian Restaurant Dilworth/SouthEnd

Fiji Sushi Bar and Lounge Uptown

Fujo Asian Bistro Uptown

Fusion 108 Huntersville

Genero Rotisserie at Indian Trail Indian Trail

Genero Rotisserie at Park Road SouthPark/Park Road

Giacomos Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant University/N. Charlotte

Ginbu 401 Chinese and Sushi Dilworth/SouthEnd

Hotel Charlotte Restaurant SouthPark/Park Road

Jade Asian Fusion • Sushi Bar Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Ma Ma Wok Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Makons Authentic Thai Cuisine Northlake

Mexquite Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Miró Spanish Grille Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano Southwest Charlotte

Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano University/N. Charlotte

Monterrey Restaurante Mexicano Cornelius

Namaste India East Charlotte

Pewter Rose Bistro Dilworth/SouthEnd

Pio Pio Dilworth/SouthEnd

Providence Road Sundries Myers Park

Roly Poly Dilworth Dilworth/SouthEnd

Romanos Pizza Concord

Royal Buffet Dilworth/SouthEnd

Saffron Indian Cuisine Restaurant & Bar Southwest Charlotte

Sebastianos Due Restorante Cornelius

Sebastianos Pizzeria & Restorante Mooresville/Statesville

Solé Spanish Grill Dilworth/SouthEnd

Terra Restaurant Myers Park

Topz Healthier Burger Grill Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Tria Terra Pineville

Turn 4 Pizza Mooresville/Statesville

Twilight Caribbean Restaurant & Bar University/N. Charlotte

Village Bistro Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Wan Fu Quality Chinese Cuisine Ballantyne/Piper Glen

Zen Asian Fusion Dilworth/SouthEnd

Visit for more information.

epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0


y dianne chase

a winemaker d’vine!


my passion!” With a warm smile and

a sparkle in his eyes, Terry Miller chuckles

his wine mantra as we chat from big comfy chairs

at D’Vine Wine Café in Ballantyne Village.

To know wine, to love wine, to live wine and to

actually make wine is to be Terry Miller, owner of

D’Vine Wine Café and award-winning winemaker.

Most people know the avuncular, gregarious man

who runs one of Charlotte’s finest wine establishments,

but fewer know of his years of actually

making wine from his own home—and winning

acclaim in highly-regarded competitions.

You could say Miller’s love of the grape comes from his

DNA. His family heritage includes a long line of winemakers

from Italy; he remembers being at his grandfather’s knee

learning about winemaking.

“He was my biggest inspiration,” says Miller, “It was such

a labor of love for him, and there’s no substitute for that. He

was a steel worker during the Great Depression who would

put aside a week’s salary so he could buy grapes and make his

wine.” (Miller was still using his grandfather’s 1925 hand-crank

22 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m


crusher until just five years ago when he bought

an automated machine.)

Miller began making wine 30 years ago as a

hobby—now it is a passion to which he gives no

small investment of money, time or energy. He

flies out to Napa every August to personally select

the grapes for his hand-crafted wines. “I pick the

grapes from some of the best vineyards in the

country, have them packed in bins and shipped in

refrigerated trucks to my home winery where we

crush them immediately and begin our winemaking.”

This is certainly

Right now, Miller is

driven purely by his

dedication to making

the best wine he can,

enjoying the fruits of

his labors, sharing with

friends and winning those

gold medals. For now,

that is enough.

not your ‘home wine

making kit’ operation.

“Now that fine grapes

are more affordable,

we’re able to really

do what the ‘big guys’

do,” he explains. Like

a micro-brewery, this

is a micro-winery with

capacity for 700 bottles.

Miller has partnered

with Matthews dentist

Dr. Jamie Garden and

fellow oenophile Rick Armstrong. Together they

buy about a ton and a half of grapes a year, which

Miller then turns into 50 to 60 cases of wine. He

makes Sangiovese, a Super Tuscan, Zinfandel, a

Zinfandel/Cabernet, a Cabernet and a Rosé. He

likes to use American oak to make some big Zins

and French and Hungarian oak for his Cabernet.

Miller has won various medals for his Bordeaux

wines, in particular.

“This year I purchased the best fruit I’ve ever

owned,” he says fervently, “from Tyson Family

Vineyards in Rutherford. I just know I’m going

to win some gold medals with these grapes,” he

adds with enthusiasm.

Miller is nothing short of meticulous as he

turns the best fruit he can get his hands on into

sumptuous wines. “There are three things I can

control: the grapes I buy, the fermentation and the

style—the barrels and aging.” He uses chemical

analysis instead of the trial and error taste and

smell method. He keeps detailed journals of the

entire process from visiting the vines to hand

corking the bottles.

“My goal is to consistently win gold medals for

my wines. Once I start doing that, I would love

to be able to have some of my wine as the house

wine for D’Vine,” he says.

So what is the name of his wine and what

about the label?

“I’m not going to create a label until I start

winning a lot of ribbons, but the name is Sandy

Pond Cellars, because I live on Sandy Pond Lane,”

he explains. Miller does know that his first official

label will likely be for that fabulous fruit from

Rutherford–Row 17. It will be called ‘Tyson Family

Rutherford Cabernet’ for its place of origin.

Right now, Miller is driven purely by his dedication

to making the best wine he can, enjoying

the fruits of his labors, sharing with friends and

winning those gold medals. For now, that is

enough. But in the not-too-distant future, look for

some delicious wines from our very own Charlotte


“The day I hear someone taste my wines and

say ‘This is as good as a Flora Springs or a BV

Tapestry’ then I’ll know I’ve arrived,” he says with

a big grin. “I simply love to have people enjoy

wine. After all, wine is good food!” E

d’vine wine café

ballantyne village shopping center

704.369.5050 •

open daily at noon

contemporary italian trattoria

1100 Metropolitan Ave. Building E, Suite 100 | 704.370.7755

Authentic Thai cuisine

made with only the

freshest ingredients


thai restaurant

613 Providence Road • Charlotte

p. 704.333.7884 • f. 704.333.7793

Mon-Fri: 11-3, 5-10; Sat-Sun: 5-10

terry, partner

rick armstrong

and chas

salomone sort

through bins

of cabernet

grapes; a

farm worker

harvests the

rutherford cabernet


Chas stands

with 3,000

pounds of

crushed rutherford



24 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 25

ombo farcito—rolled flounder fillet filled with lobster, shrimp & crab meat

baked and served with creamy cognac sauce

by carol barsin

images by ashley blake summerlin

rudy’s italian restaurant & bar: a

roman-style trattoria in piper glen

veni, Vidi, Vici. “I came, I saw, I

conquered,” so said Julius Caesar,

who would have admired the modern-day

Roman Rodolfo Amadio, who has swept

into South Charlotte to compete in the

restaurant trade.

Rodolfo (Rudy) had already made his mark with wife

Luisa in Dilworth at their Dolce Italian Restaurant,

which is still popular but a bit inconvenient for

South Charlotteans. Now, with his Rudy’s Italian

Restaurant & Bar, he is fulfilling a lifelong dream

to operate a trattoria—a style of eatery well-loved

in Italy for being small, friendly and affordable. It’s

normally a neighborhood place where you can drop

in for a drink, a good meal or just a bowl of pasta.

The owner usually knows your name and makes

you feel most welcome. So it is at Rudy’s!

26 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 27

The décor is more

elegant than the

average trattoria

but has the

same coziness.

clockwise from top left:

vongole oreganata—

baked little neck clams

stuffed with italian

breadcrumbs; frutti di

mare—linguine, mussels,

shrimp & clams in a

lightly spiced tomato

sauce; rudy and chef

rios sample signature

dishes; rudy's interior;

pasta sorrento—

fettuccine with shrimp,

sun-dried tomatoes &

baby spinach in a pink

alfredo sauce

The weeknight that my husband and I

entered the restaurant from the cold and rain,

we saw a good group at the bar. This stylish

semi-circular bar has remained from the former

restaurant, Firenze. Across from it, though, is

a nice new addition—a wine

cellar. My sommelier husband

took a long look and was impressed

by the focus on Italian

wines and the depth of selection

available at reasonable


Beyond the bar and wine

cellar is a dining room that

glows with warmth, thanks to

its peachy terra cotta walls and candlelit tables,

covered with burgundy linen cloths. The décor

is more elegant than the average trattoria but

has the same coziness.

The wait staff too seems typical of a high-end

restaurant, with their black uniforms and professional

demeanor. Several are Italian, and all are

well trained in the European style of serving.

This was most refreshing to me, as I don’t like

a server who is ‘in my face’ and asking what I

want to drink before I can sit down at the table.

Another pet peeve is when a waiter (usually waitress)

abruptly breaks into my conversation with

“Is everything okay?” Fortunately, our waiter,

Robert, knew better, but yet was around when

we needed him.

More important than that, though, was the

food selection. I liked what I saw on the menu

and was glad the print was large enough to

read. The appetizers included baked stuffed

mushrooms, fried calamari, baked stuffed

clams, sauteed mussels in a garlic and white

wine sauce and crostini. Most of the appetizers

are priced at $8.95 (less at lunchtime).

I tried the baked mushrooms, which were

deliciously creamy and pungent and went well

with my glass of Santome Prosecco. Meanwhile,

my husband was savoring his tasty and tender

baked clams, along with a glass of Pinot Grigio

from Friuli (Cantina Trentino). One of the pleasures

of dining at Rudy’s is that the wine selection

permits the possibility of sampling three

different Pinot Grigios from three different

areas of northeastern Italy by the glass—the

best way to pick up the nuances from each.

After our appetizers, we skipped the salad

and went right to the pasta. On a warmer night,

I might have tried their spinach salad with

gorgonzola, or maybe the Caesar salad or field

greens with caramelized walnuts and pears.

For now though, I craved hot comfort food and

accordingly ordered the pasta amatriciana,

which was recommended by Rudy as a favorite

Roman dish. It featured bucatini sautéed with

pancetta and shallots in a light tomato sauce.

28 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine

rudy’s italian restaurant & bar

6414 rea road | 704.544.4949

volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m


The kitchen staff is

trained in the Italian

style of cooking

and uses the family

recipes to achieve

the consistency and

quality required

by Rudy.

left: chef charlie

rios and owner

rudy amadio enjoy

a late lunch on the

restaurant's patio;

involtini di pollo—

chicken scaloppini

stuffed with shitake

mushrooms, asiago

cheese & spinach

sautéed in marsala

mushroom sauce

I liked the rich tube pasta with the crunchy

pancetta but longed to also try one of Rudy’s

other pasta dishes, ranging from penne alla

vodka, cannelloni stuffed with

spinach and ricotta, fettuccine

alfredo with shrimp, gnocchi

or spaghetti bolognese, to

name a few. The average

price of the pasta is $15.95

on the dinner menu and half

that for lunch, with variations

in choice and size portions.

My pasta dish was shared

with my husband, and I still

couldn’t finish it all, though

I tried.

To complement it, I chose

a Chardonnay (La ‘Vis’ from

Trentino), while my husband selected a Nebbiolo

from Paolo Scavino. The labels on the majority

of wines in Rudy’s cellar indicate he has

located small family vineyards not well known

in Charlotte. I asked specifically how he found

Scavino—a small vineyard we had visited in La

Mura (Piedmont) Italy—and, in general, how

he selected his wines. Rudy said he has made

extensive trips and recently traveled in the

Piedmont, the Veneto and Alto Adige regions

of Italy with the objective of finding fine winemakers

who would be willing to export to his

distributors in the U.S. at competitive prices.

His cellar shows his success, following in the

tradition of trattoria owners in Italy, who stock

their wine cellars by going to the farm and

getting to know the growers/makers.

At Rudy’s, all of the pasta and main dishes

are from recipes that he and Luisa perfected

over the 20 years that they have been in the

restaurant business, starting with Luisa’s Brick

Oven on Montford Drive. The kitchen staff is

trained in the Italian style of cooking and uses

the family recipes to achieve the consistency

and quality required by Rudy. He also stresses

freshness, which is the benchmark of Italian

cooking—and good bread. Rudy claims “I

must have it for me,” and so he does with his

crusty pane paesano. That and a glass of Chianti

Classico could have kept me happy.

Nonetheless, I went on to order the entrée

after deliberating over the many choices on the

menu and the specials. These include pollo alla

marsala, chicken scallopine, flounder filled with

lobster, shrimp and crabmeat, grilled stuffed

eggplant, saltimbocca and sogliola (sole). I chose

the sole special and found it to be delicious.

It had been lightly fried and then baked for


martini night—

half price


cozy, rustic-chic

wine bar featuring

fresh fun food and

funky wood pieces

weekly specials


steak night—

specialty cuts

of meat at

excellent prices



gnocchi with

your choice of

five sauces

231 n. tryon street • charlotte

p 704.376.VINE • f 704.376.2929 •

crispness and placed on a bed of sautéed spinach.

On the side were mashed herbed potatoes mixed

with Asiago cheese as well as broccoli topped with

a dab of sun-dried tomato cream. Both were tasty,

fresh and not too heavy. Vegetables come with

each entrée, which range in price from $15.95 to


While feeling pleasantly full and in a happy wine

glow, I was asked to order dessert. I didn’t need it,

but who could resist Rudy’s homemade gelato? He

and Luisa started Dolce as an ice cream (gelato)

parlor years before they turned it into a restaurant.

In addition to gelato, the dessert menu at Rudy’s

also offers tiramisu, Italian cheesecake and cakes

of the day. I chose a vanilla gelato that came in

a large champagne glass, topped with whipped

cream, strawberry bits and a splash of Vin Santo

on the bottom. This nicely completed my meal.

Next time I go back to Rudy’s, I’ll bring friends and

take advantage of his fixed price, lunchtime group

special that includes three courses. Periodically,

he will offer other specials for events, so be sure to

check out his website. You’ll discover that you don’t

have to be a Roman to mangia bene!E

Carol Barsin, currently of Charlotte, lived for many years in Italy where she learned to

cook from the natives.

4521 Sharon Road • Charlotte

7am to 10 pm, Mon to Fri

4pm to 10pm Saturday

Call 704-442-9525 for

reservations or catering

Simply Fine Dining…

At Our Place or Yours

The experience

you’ve always


30 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 31

through the


Uptown institution Rí Rá, gutted by a

fire last May, is fully restored and open

for business. Be sure to check them out

for St. Patrick’s Day.

704.333.5554 •

Charleys Restaurant at Cotswold

Village Shops is closing in March

after 20 plus years of business.

Taste of Terra—Tuesday, Wednesday

and Thursday nights during the

months of March and April, Terra

Restaurant will feature a pre-fix

tasting menu for two for just $55.00.

What a deal! Way to go Thierry.

704.332.1886 •

Roosters Wood-Fired Kitchen will open a second location in Uptown

at One Bank of America Center. The new location, which is currently under

construction, is projected to open in the fall of 2010 at 150 North College

Street. The locally-owned eatery (a Jim Nobles Restaurant) has been a

fixture in SouthPark for the past three years. Welcome aboard Jimmy!

704.366.8688 •

Local grocery chain Harris Teeter is

celebrating their 50-year anniversary

this year. Did you know that devout

Baptist W.T. Harris didn’t allow sales

of any alcoholic beverages while he

ran the company?

Crü Wine Shop features tastings

every Friday night from 4:30 p.m. to

7 p.m. as well as a Tapas menu with

all items under $10.00.

704.541.9463 •

Jon Dressler has opened a second

location of Dressler’s Restaurant

(yes, the great Dressler’s Restaurant

from Lake Norman) beside Vivace

Restaurant in Metropolitan at Midtown.

Epicurean Charlotte Food and Wine

magazine is celebrating its one-year

anniversary! Visit us on the web at,

and become our friend on


Rudy’s Italian Restaurant & Bar

serves their famous homemade gnocchi

on Thursday nights and at sister

restaurant Dolce on Tuesday nights.

704.544.4949 •

Chris Black, former Charlotte wine

guru, has accepted a position with

Northwestern Mutual as a financial

advisor. All you wine friends can

reach him at

Cabo Fish Taco Baja Seagrill in

the NoDa area is expanding their

current location and will re-open

in March.

704.332.8868 •

The Blue Taj is now open in

Ballantyne Village. Sibling restaurant

to Copper Restaurant in Dilworth,

The Blue Taj will offer eclectic,

modern Indian cuisine.

704.369.5777 •

13 Charlotte Goes Green

Saint Patrick’s Day Festival

The 14th annual parade & festival is an

all-day outdoor event featuring a music

stage, crafts, food, beer and area vendors.

18- Charlotte Craft Beer Week

march april

Taste rare and exotic brews from local

and regional breweries, food & beer

pairing events, brewery tours and more.

25 Un Common Market

Sample freaky beers and watch in awe as

flame throwers entertain patrons at the

Common Market SouthEnd starting at 7 p.m.

27 Celebrity Chef Tour

with Tyler Florence

Enjoy a great and flavorsome evening featuring

demonstrations, story-telling, Q&A and more.

places to go

people to see

03 Wine Seminar

Join the friendly staff at Total Wine on Park Road

for their “Grapes Less Traveled” seminar. • $25 • 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

14 Taste of the Nation

This gourmet extravaganza features signature

dishes from over 20 of Charlotte’s finest restau-rants

and culinary schools all while helping to

end childhood hunger in Charlotte.

15- Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival

Enjoy the High Country spring with this four

day event featuring wine seminars, tastings,

live music, shopping and much more.

24 Big Bottles & Blues

Party under the stars while enjoying sample

selections from over 50 winemakers! Mingle

with the vintners while enjoying live music

and fine cuisine with a local flair.

32 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m

©isTOckPhOTO.cOm/dArren fisher



scene around



pre oscar night

at mez

left to right: Mark Mathis of

Fox News Rising, Politics Daily

columnist Mary C. Curtis,

Carlton Hargro, Creative Loafing editor

a family affair at

crü wine shop


left to right: Charles Wilson, Hillary

Watson Holleman, Robin Watson,

Penny Papanastasiou, Dino Papanastasiou

(not pictured: Marty Watson)

dOnnA Bise


wine tasting at

dean & deluca

left to right: Amie Dillon,

Bev Holland, Linda Seligman,

Randy Murray

cru tasting at del

frisco’s steakhouse

left to right: Jan Cameron, WBTV News

anchor Paul Cameron, Dr. John Moore

of Charlotte Gastroenterology, Steve

Burns with Accenture



girls night out—

nobles restaurant

left to right: Dee Peterson,

Karen Nobles, Cheryl Littlefield

anderson conn valley

vineyards dinner at

terra restaurant


left to right: Margaret Barry of Reids Fine

Foods, Anderson Conn Valley President/

Founder Van Potts, Terra owner Thierry

Garconnet, Wood French, Dionysus Wine

34 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0

local flavor

bring your taste buds out of hibernation

with two spring recipe ideas

cannellini bean salad

pasta & provisions


• 1 12 oz. can cannellini beans

• 1 small tomato, finely diced

• ¼ cup white onion, finely diced

• ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

• ¼ cup fresh basil

• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice

• 1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

• pinch red pepper flakes

• sea salt and pepper to taste

Drain and rinse beans in cold water. Toss together

with all ingredients, careful not to crush the beans.

Best served the next day.

Serves four.

falafel appetizer

good food on montford


• 2 12 oz. cans chickpeas,


• 3 cloves garlic

• ½ yellow onion

• ½ bunch cilantro

• 1 tsp. cumin

• ½ tsp. baking powder

• ¼ cup flour, plus some

for dredging

• salt and pepper to taste

Combine garlic, onion and cilantro in a food processor. Purée

until finely chopped. Remove from processor and set aside.

Add drained chickpeas. Purée chickpeas, scraping down

sides of bowl if necessary (should have some pieces not fully

puréed). Strain as much excess liquid from the onion mix

as possible, then combine all ingredients. Form ½ inch thick

patties. Dredge in flour and pan fry in ¼ inch oil or deep fry

until golden brown. Place on top of chopped salad of equal

parts red onion, tomato and cucumber with a dash of lemon

juice and Tabasco. Top with Greek yogurt.



Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill

Located in the heart of Dilworth on East

Blvd., Lebowski’s has quickly become the

place for friends, family and neighbors to

meet, offering an array of salads, sandwiches,

burgers and dinner specials as

well as good wine and cold beer.

704.370.1177 •

Zen Asian Fusion

Enjoy a tasty sampler of dishes from the

Far East, with smatterings of Thai, Vietnamese

and Chinese, and some entirely

original creations. From the tapas, soup

and salads, to the Zen wine list, they’ll be

sure to reach your taste buds.

704.358.9688 •





park road/


Total Wine & More–Park Road

The wine superstore offers a huge selection

of fine wines at dynamite prices. Choose

from everyday wines or some of the wine

world’s most revered labels. Many selections

of beers and gift items are also available.

Tastings and classes are offered.

704.295.9292 •

The Common Market

The Common Market is your stop for eclectic,

neighborhood convenience. A modern

twist on the general store, The Common

Market offers fresh deli sandwiches, cold

beer, knicks & knacks and a great selection

of wine for every price range.

704.332.7782 •

The Liberty

This American Gastropub features an

affordable menu, 20 craft beers on tap,

30 wines by the glass and Charlotte’s

most comfortable bar. Join them for

lunch, brunch, dinner, late night or


704.332.8830 •


The Common Market

The Common Market is your stop for eclectic,

neighborhood convenience. A modern

twist on the general store, The Common

Market offers fresh deli sandwiches, cold

beer, knicks & knacks and a great selection

of wine for every price range.

704.334.5991 •

Total Wine & More–Matthews

The wine superstore offers a huge selection

of fine wines at dynamite prices. Choose

from everyday wines or some of the wine

world’s most revered labels. Many selections

of beers and gift items are also available.

Tastings and classes are offered.

704.849.2022 •

Good Food on Montford

With a focus on the extensive use of local

and organic products combined with comfortably

humble décor, the result can only

be described as Good Food on Montford.

704.525.0881 •


ripe for

the picking

East Boulevard Bar & Grill

Focusing on great food, service and cold

drinks, East Boulevard Bar & Grill has

remained a favorite spot for customers

of all ages for almost 25 years.

704.332.2414 •

Solé Spanish Grill

A touch of Old Spain awaits you just

minutes from Uptown. Relax after work

with an array of tapas and sangria, or

settle in for a feast of steaks, chicken and

fresh seafood accompanied by a bottle

of Rioja from their excellent wine list.

704.343.9890 •

Reid’s Fine Foods

This upscale grocery with a prepared-food

section boasts lunch and dinner with hot

meals, sandwiches, sushi, salads and more,

aisles of wines and specialty grocery items,

spacious patio, sinful desserts and regular

wine tastings and cooking classes.

704.377.1312 •


Lulu has everything a restaurant freak

could want: a playful menu, ingredients that

span heirloom history to ‘say-what?’ novelty,

funky-but-not-too-funky decor in funky-butnot-too-funky

location. It even has a price

range to accommodate just about anyone.

704.376.2242 •

Total Wine & More–University

The wine superstore offers a huge selection

of fine wines at dynamite prices. Choose

from everyday wines or some of the wine

world’s most revered labels. Many selections

of beers and gift items are also available.

Tastings and classes are offered.

704.714.1040 •

Portofino’s Italian Restaurant

Continuously searching for the most original,

old Italian recipes Portofino’s tireless

dedication to finding the finest ingredients

is a tribute to the Italian heritage.

704.527.0702 •

Amélie’s French Bakery

Open 24/7 for your French connection

to pastries and much more.

704.376.1781 •

36 M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0 epicurean charlotte food & wine volume 2 • issue 2 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m


myers park

Terra Restaurant

This intimate bistro’s casual atmosphere is

perfect for dining with friends, co-workers

and family. The creative menu features

a wide array of great selections, always

made from the highest quality ingredients.

704.332.1886 •


Uniquely modern Chinese cuisine and a

menu that combines the best of the old

traditions are complemented with today’s

fresh ideas. Specializing in seafood, soft

shell crab, beef, chicken and pasta dishes,

as well as many health conscious items.

704.552.8899 •

Café Monte French Bistro

This French bakery and bistro has a delectable

dish for everyone, offering French

fare along with freshly baked Artisan

breads, pain de croissants and crêpes. Open

every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

704.552.1116 •

Zebra Restaurant & Wine Bar

Zebra offers a world-class dining experience.

From their 800-bottle wine list and four

diamond award-winning service staff, to the

à la carte and nightly gastronimique grand

tasting menu, Zebra consistently delivers the

best Charlotte has to offer.

704.442.9525 •



Johnny’s Red Bowl

Featuring a full-service bar and Asianinspired

dishes, each dish is handcrafted

and prepared with the finest and freshest

ingredients. Boasts a create-your-own stirfry

bar and award-winning Sushi bar.

704.814.7777 •



Deejai Thai Restaurant

Each dish at Deejai is prepared with fresh

ingredients by Thai chefs using recipes

passed down from generations. Wine and

beer is carefully selected to compliment

the spices and sauces in Thai food.

704.999.7884 •

Vivace Italian Trattoria

Taking its name and cue from the Italian

word meaning ‘lively,’ Vivace introduces a

modern convivial Italian restaurant in

a stylish setting.

704.370.7755 •

Barrington’s Restaurant

Bruce Moffett brings culinary sophistication

to the area with his highly imaginative

cuisine. Meals are served in an intimate

atmosphere by skilled servers who know the

wine list as well as they do their own names.


Dolcetto Wine Room

Dolcetto Wine Room is chic and trendy.

Enjoy wines by the glass or bottle, along

with artisanal cheeses, appetizers, desserts,

salads and sandwiches. Outdoor patio seating

is the place to watch the crowds.

704.295.1111 •

lake wylie/

fort mill

The Blue Taj

Located in Ballantyne Village, The Blue

Taj is sibling restaurant to Copper Restaurant

in Dilworth, and will offer eclectic,

modern Indian cuisine.

704.369.5050 •

Miró Spanish Grill

Enjoy favorites like paella, sangria and

Spanish wines at this bustling Stonecrest

establishment. This restaurant is meant

for those who enjoy life to the fullest.

704.540.7374 •

Total Wine & More–


The wine superstore offers a huge selection of

fine wines at dynamite prices, from everyday

wines to some of the world’s most revered

labels. A variety of beers and gift items are

also available. Tastings and classes offered.

704.895.6115 •

Pasta & Provisions

Charlotte’s primo Italian gourmet food

store features homemade pasta, sauces,

olive oils, imported and domestic cheeses,

etc. and a huge selection of Italian wines.

704.364.2622 •


Brio Tuscan Grill

Brio offers its guests ‘La Dolce Vita.’ The

food is all simply prepared using the finest

and freshest ingredients. The menu’s emphasis

is on prime steaks and chops, homemade

pasta specialties and flatbreads prepared in an

authentic Italian wood-burning oven.

704.571.4214 •

The Wine Shop at Foxcroft

A most enjoyable wine learning and wine

shopping experience awaits you at The

Wine Shop at Foxcroft. Enjoy a glass or

bottle of wine while you snack on great

food prepared by Chris Zion.

704.365.6550 •

The Wine Shop at RiverGate

The Wine Shop’s newest edition offers

40 wines by the glass, 150 beers, and

lunch and dinner menus seven days a

week. Great patio to enjoy food, friends

and sip great wines or cold beer.


D’Vine Wine Café

Casual, relaxed environment with two

separate lounge areas featuring 35 wines

by the glass and over 500 wines for retail.

Menu is focused on gourmet small plates

at reasonable prices.

704.369.5050 •

Rudy’s Italian Restaurant & Bar

This neighborhood Italian restaurant

boasts a casual atmosphere, friendly

prices for food and bar and great food.

704.544.4949 •

The Wine Loft

Among the best ambiance & social environment

in the Lake Norman area, they have

great patio on which to relax and enjoy

the day. Featuring wines, Bloody Mary’s,

mimosas and sangrias by the carafe, and

a summertime lunch/brunch menu.

704.664.3230 •

The Neighborhood Grill That Truly T Abides!

Try Our New w

Menu Items!

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MARCH 9, 2010

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1524 East Blvd Charlotte, NC 28203 704-370-1177 puts over a

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APRIL 19, 2010

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New in Town...

A Charlotte Tradition...


SINCE 1928.

Good Food on Montford

1701 Montford Drive

Charlotte, NC 28209


7822 Fairview Road

Charlotte, NC 28226


Committed to Local

Committed to Independence

Committed to Excellence

A Moffett Restaurant Group, LLC

38 w w w. e p i c u r e a n c h a r lot t e fo o da n dw i n m volume 2 • issue 2 epicurean charlotte food & wine M a r c h • a p r i l 2 0 1 0




Whether it’s providing fresh

groceries, fine wines, unique

gifts or flavorful catering,

Reid’s has been serving

Charlotte with our oldfashioned

commitment to

service and style for more

than 75 years.

Let us know how we can be

at your service.

7th Street Station

225 E. 7th Street

Charlotte, NC 28202


4720 Piedmont Row Drive | Suite 150 | Charlotte, NC 28210 | phone: 704-571-4214 or 888-45-BRAVO |

45 wines by the glass. 400 by the bottle.

Daily Drink specials. no corkage fee.

half-price appetizers Mon-fri 4:30-6:30

4625 Piedmont Row Drive,

Suite 1115D, Charlotte



545-b providence road • charlotte, nc 28207 • 704.332.1886

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