Monday, May 23, 2011

What Does It Mean to Have the Best Restaurant or Bar?

I love Indian food, but I have been unable to get my wife to try a Charlotte restaurant, Copper, until recently. At dinner on a Saturday night, we were both amazed by the care of the service, the beautiful presentation on the plates, the quality of the ingredients, and the quality of the cooking.

Clearly, we agreed, must be one of the five best restaurants in Charlotte.

But what does that mean? Who are the other four?

As I have written before, Charlotte does not have very many restaurants that stand out for us. Too many of the local restaurants are for special occasions or for large banking dinners, or are just another outpost of a chain. Too few of the local restaurants show a passion for the food or for the customer.

We have set upon a mission: find the other four best restaurants. We have created a list of local restaurants that we have visited in the past and for whatever reason have not returned to in a while or we will be visiting restaurants others we trust have said are good, but have not yet visited. I will report back on this journey.

In a seemingly unrelated matter, Imbibe Magazine recently published "100 Best Places to Drink in the South," listing all of the places from Virginia to Texas and from Florida to Arkansas that you can drink a good beverage, be it wine, coffee, or a cocktail. Not a single one of these places was in the Charlotte metropolitan area. What can't I get a good drink here? What do these 100 places offer that I can't get in Charlotte?

I'm going to find out. During the summer I'm going to travel to Atlanta, Nashville, Miami, and other places in the South reputed to have a good drink and try to figure this out.

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