Last week was Charlotte’s 2010 Queen’s Feast (or what they call their Restaurant Week). It was originally scheduled from Friday, January 22th to Sunday, January 31st which seemed to be a great amount of time until a winter “storm??? hit the Charlotte area and shut down the city during its final weekend. While the Husband and I had reservations for Sonoma Modern American for Sunday the 31st, we were concerned about dealing with inexperienced drivers in this city. Luckily, Sonoma (along with many other Queen’s Feast restaurants) extended their deals into this week. Using OpenTable.com, the Husband and I easily changed our reservation for Monday night.
Upon arriving, we laughed at the fact we had a reservation as we were the only ones in the restaurant at 6:30 (Monday nights are traditionally slow nights at restaurants). It was nice enjoying the generally empty restaurant at first as I took pictures from our table. Unfortunately most of them didn’t turn out! Around 6:45 or 7, a handful of other tables arrived giving the restaurant a bit more energy.
We spent a good amount of time exploring the menu. As the Husband mentioned in a previous post, Queen’s Feast has local restaurants provide (generally) a 3-course meal for $30. Some menus have limited items, but Sonoma offered their entire menu. Included in the meal would be a Conversation item (appetizer), an entree, a side dish, and a dessert. So much to choose from!
Something fun about their menu – they actually offer 3 for $30 more often than Queen’s Feast. Being close to the theatre (they’re at Trade and Tryon Streets in Uptown), you can have a similar meal. On that menu, they have smiley faces next to each item eligible for this deal.
To start, we both decided we’d like a glass of wine. The Husband ordered a pinot noir, but unfortunately they were out Our waiter brought him a Merlot to try and he enjoyed it and kept it. (Unfortunately we don’t remember the name.)
I ordered a glass of the Santa Ema Chardonnay. It went quite well with my meal
After we ordered, we received a complimentary basket of bread. The Husband dug right in as he had had a small lunch. I enjoyed a piece as well. The bread was crusty on the outside and warm and soft in the middle.
For our courses, I insisted that we order all different items to ensure we’d each get to try 8 items instead of 4. Boy am I glad I did! (The Husband and I have an uncanny similar taste and often end up ordering the same thing so planning in advance here was important!)
To start, I ordered the Escargot with Chorizo, Mushrooms, Butternut Squash Puree & White Truffle Oil. What a great way to kick things off! All of the ingredients went so well together and nothing was masked by another. I’ve had escargot a handful of times in the past and they’re usually coated in butter. Not that I dislike butter, but this was so much better!
The Husband ordered the Kobe Beef Sliders with Gruyere, Bacon, & Pommes Frites. The beef was flavorful and fries crispy and salty. The buns were a bit stiffer than we would have liked (potato rolls would have been awesome!), but not a bad start on his side of the table.
For my entree, I went with the Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Citrus Peppercorn Sauce, Fennel & Orange Salad. I liked the citrus and peppery combination with the salmon along with the crunch of the fennel and orange salad.
The Husband had the Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Olive Oil Béarnaise & Tega Hill Micro Greens. The bernaise was unlike anything I’ve had before and I liked it.
And of course, mac and cheese! This was the Husband’s side and we made the declaration that we believe this is the best mac and cheese we’ve had in a restaurant in a long time (if ever)! The cheese was flavorful, but not overpowering. The cheese to pasta ratio = perfect. And then the bit of baked crispiness on top – wow!
Last but not least, the dessert course. I ordered the Pear Tart with Vanilla ice cream. I was excited at the idea of trying a pear tart, but it was just okay. Perhaps my taste buds were pushed to a higher standard with the earlier courses. It might also be that I’m a savory versus a sweet person so the earlier courses provided more pleasure
The Husband ordered the Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. He loved it!
I have wanted to check out Sonoma Modern American ever since our friend Kath recommended it nearly two years ago! I am so glad that we finally made it there before our big move. Perhaps we’ll be able to sneak in one more visit for their mac and cheese before we head west?!?!
Oh, can’t forget to mention – we were quite impressed with the staff. They were all so friendly, gave us the appropriate amount of space (didn’t come to our table too often but were always available when needed), and made our dining experience quite enjoyable. Our waiter Allen was great!Sonoma Modern American 100 N. Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202