Charlotte Restaurants: Healthy, Casual, Lunch, Juice Bars, Caterer

I haven’t had time to post many new recipes lately, but I am providing more restaurant reviews and ideas around Charlotte!  All opinions are my own, and nothing is sponsored.  Because I record almost everything I eat, including when we go to restaurants, I want to share my eating-out recommendations.  I posted some fancier, foodie options last week.  Today, however, I am switching gears and giving a list of healthy, casual places.  And I am also including a catering company that I have worked with and personally recommend.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Luna’s Living Kitchen.  Todd took me here for my birthday lunch last year.  It is plant-based, organic, local, mostly raw food in a bright and pretty setting.  The atmosphere and food were both great.  I had an almond milk chai latte that was really really tasty.  It has been awhile since eating there, and I’m ready to go back soon!

best restaurants in Charlotte; Luna's Living Kitchen

Juice Bar.  Charlotte has 2 locations, one on Providence and one in Park Rd shopping center.  I have personally only been to the one on Park Rd, but I am sure they are both equally great!  I am a healthy eater, but for some reason I was scared to try fresh green juice.  But now I wish I had tried it sooner!  And I especially wish one of those locations was right down the street from my house!  I have had the Sweet Greens, the Orange You Glad, and the Sniffle Stopper shot – all fantastic. They also offer spring rolls, salads, smoothies, and other snacks.

best green juice in Charlotte

Juice Bar; Orange You Glad

Viva Chicken.  Unfortunately I always forget to snap a picture when we eat Viva Chicken!  We all love this restaurant, which is a huge bonus as a parent.  We typically order the Peruvian rotisserie chicken with sides (their green beans are my favorite) and get plenty of the dipping sauces.  If you only need one reason to try this place, let that reason be the sauces!  We also love the Quinoa Stuffed Avocado.  And most recently we tried their salads.  The Andina Quinoa Salad was amazing.  The Herbal Limeade was another hit – it is fresh and has lime, mint, rosemary, and basil!

Chop’t.  Todd and I ate lunch at Chop’t in New York when we were there a couple of years ago.  One just recently opened very close to our house and we couldn’t wait to go!  On a recent day when we were having a bunch of work done on our house, and Davis was in school, we took a little salad lunch break to get away from the chaos.  We were very impressed by the service and the food.  I love their salad concept – they toss all of the ingredients together, then chop them up as finely as you prefer.  Everything is evenly mixed and you don’t have huge pieces of lettuce hanging from your fork!  Todd tried one of their Hot-Top Salads, the Braised Greek (spicy Greek chicken and quinoa, millet, lentils; served hot over feta, olives, pita chips, kale, spinach, and cabbage). I made my own salad and included kale/leafy greens/cabbage mix, broccoli, tomato, cucumber, dried cranberries, blue cheese, chicken, and some kind of nuts.  So good!  Oh, and don’t forget to check out their creative wallpaper!

best salad place in Charlotte; lunch restaurants in Charlotte; healthy food in Charlotte

Reid’s.  Changing gears a bit and discussing a wonderful catering option in Charlotte!  Reid’s Fine Foods has been around Charlotte for years, but they have expanded their brand.  I have worked with their catering division on two events recently, and I was very pleased both times!  The food, service, and presentation were all wonderful.  I wanted to post it here in case anyone needs a suggestion for an upcoming event, work function, or wedding.  If you’d like my contact person, I will be happy to share!  Here are a couple of the photos of food they did for the recent CURATEclt gathering.

Reid's Fine Foods Catering, Charlotte NC; catering companies in Charlotte, NC

Reid's Fine Foods Catering in Charlotte, NCReid's Fine Foods Catering in Charlotte, NC

Friday Favorites

Working for the weekend – and it’s finally here!  Todd has been traveling the entire week, and we have missed him like crazy.

Today I am linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.  I am also linking up with the group from High Five for Friday, Bright on a Budget!

ONE: Peonies! Always a favorite.  My sweet husband gave me a beautiful bouquet including some for Mother’s Day, my mother-in-law brought me a mason jar of them from her yard (they smell amazing!) and my mom’s gift to me for Mother’s Day is to help me plant a peony garden in my yard!  Good things.  And I feel so loved by those 3 people.

peonies flowers from the garden

The now-everywhere OPI polish on my nails (loveitsomuch!)

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TWO: Sneak peek for next week!  I am working on a collaboration with Pink Blush Maternity, with a giveaway…coming soon!!  If you are expecting, stay tuned for that, plus 3 other looks and outfit ideas.  Photo credit goes to Andi Perullo.

headshot in Pink Blush Maternity

THREE: Roasted Carrot Hummus.  If you are eating paleo or Whole 30, or avoiding legumes in general, I want to share this wonderful diet-friendly hummus with you!  It is made with a base of roasted carrots and roasted cauliflower, rather than chickpeas.  I added extra lemon juice, a little extra cauliflower, and some extra of the seasonings. The 3 of us really enjoyed this, and it was a great way to add more vegetable servings to Davis’ meals. We served ours with paleo BLT wraps and veggies.

paleo hummus recipeCarrot hummus recipe; paleo hummus recipe

FOUR: Some outfit details.  This light wash chambray shirt dress from Old Navy is a current favorite.  And on sale!  I wore it on Mother’s Day and I’m wearing it again today. I bought a size up to fit my bump, but it would be super cute in your normal size if you’re able to wear regular clothes.  The t-shirt in the casual outfit below is from Asos, and it is maternity.  I wore it two full days in a row this week!  I am also loving this nail polish on my toes (a really pretty dark green), and this watch from my boys for Mother’s Day!

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maternity t-shirt from asos

simple details

This watch has rose gold, which makes it so pretty and feminine.  And the bracelet from Etsy is one I’ve had since the month my son was born.  I wear it daily. It says DAVIS with his birthday.   I hope to add another when baby #2 comes!

FIVE: If you missed it earlier this week, I posted a Charlotte Restaurant Review.  The list includes some awesome restaurants in and around our city that are perfect for date nights and foodies! I will have another post with some more casual spots next week.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Five on Friday linkup graphich54f2_zpsc7e1f4e7Friday Favorites graphic

 

 

 

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Charlotte Restaurant Review: For Foodies and Date Nights

best restaurants in Charlotte

Food, recipes, ideas of what to cook, what to eat, etc etc takes up a large majority of my brain space…possibly too much!  Thankfully, my husband and family love food as well, and trying new places to eat is something we all enjoy.  Todd and I try to go on date nights once a month, and we like to branch out and visit new-to-us restaurants.

I tend to post sporadically on here or on instagram if we try a different restaurant in Charlotte.  But I wanted to put together a more cohesive post…that will hopefully turn into a type of series.  Here are some of the restaurants we have enjoyed in the last 6 or so months.  This post is more focused on the nicer restaurants.  These spots are perfect for date nights, foodies, and those looking for a focus on atmosphere.  In the future I will write about more casual places, great lunch spots, juice bars, caterers, etc!  I have drafts planned for the next couple of weeks.  I wanted to break it up because this post is already too long.

This is not sponsored!  These are my personal and honest opinions. And please excuse some of the poor picture quality.  Most of these photos were taken in dark lighting. 

If you’re visiting our city, or you live here and are looking for some restaurant recommendations, check out this list!  I hope this is helpful!

Rooster’s.  We ate here for the first time with my cousin and her husband for her 30th.  The food is elevated comfort food, and we really enjoyed it!  It is heavier than the food I typically eat, but we still had a great time and loved the flavors.  It’s a great location uptown as well.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Fahrenheit.  Todd took me to dinner here for our 9th anniversary.  The food was delicious, and the views are fantastic!  We went back for drinks before eating at Rooster’s for Sarah‘s birthday.  It is a perfect spot to just have a drink as well.  If you haven’t been, you absolutely should.

best restaurants and bars in Charlotte

Fahrenheit Restaurant in Charlotte

CO.  We tried this recently for a last-minute date night.  We love Asian food, but I was craving something other than sushi.  This hit the spot and I’m dying to go back! CO is not really fancy, but I included it in this list, because of the atmosphere, and the food is a little more adventurous. Bonus – they have an entirely separate gluten free menu!  That is difficult to find, especially in Asian restaurants.  The food is Vietnamese, it is fresh, and the atmosphere and decor are excellent.  I had the Shrimp Spring Rolls and Beef Pho.  Todd had Pork Belly Steamed Buns and a Ramen Bowl.

best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte; pho restaurant in Charlotte

CO Charlotte Noodles and Sushi

CO Charlotte noodles and Sushi restaurant

OGGI.  My family went here for Mother’s Day lunch.  It was mine and Todd’s first time, but we had a wonderful experience.  The service was the best we’ve had in a restaurant in a while. I basically never eat pasta (gluten free), but I ordered one of their specials of the day.  It was pasta with a red fra diavolo clam sauce, calamari, shrimp, mussels, and clams. I enjoyed it!  The rest of the pasta is homemade, and everyone at the table seemed to enjoy each dish!  Todd had the lasagna, which is their second best seller.  My brother had crab ravioli, which is their top seller.

nice Italian restaurant in Charlotte; OGGI

lasagna from nice Italian restaurant in Charlotte, OGGI

Kid Cashew.  This place isn’t fancy, but it is foodie friendly.  My mom and I ate here for lunch recently, and we had a great experience!  It is located right in Dilworth, and has a really cool look.  If it had been a little warmer, we would have eaten outside on the patio.  The food is elevated, but homey and Southern, and delicious.  We shared the pork shoulder with a cilantro yogurt dipping sauce; their white beans braised with grape tomatoes; their beet salad; and their roasted brussels sprouts.  We did not order drinks, but we’ll have to go back after October, because I have heard great things about their fresh cocktails.

list of best restaurants in Charlotte; Kid Cashew for lunch

Kindred.  This place has become so famous, and I believe it deserves the fame.  Todd and I ate here on a date night in February, and we had a wonderful time.  The interior of the restaurant is beautiful and the look of the bar is so cool (I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of pictures on instagram!).  The vibe is not stuffy or snooty at all, even though the food and flavors are incredibly well thought-out.  Our servers were very kind, and they happily worked with my gluten intolerance.  We ate every crumb on our plates, and I would love to go back there soon!  Worth the drive to Davidson for sure.

best restaurants in Charlotte

beef tartare and bartender's selection cocktail; best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

Heirloom.  This is another restaurant that is a bit of a drive.  But worth it!  We experienced impeccable service and delicious food!  We ate here (unknowingly) during Restaurant Week, so we ate off the the prix fixe menu.  But they also sent out an additional course of charcuterie that was fantastic!  Everything – at least 95% – of the restaurant, not just the food, is sourced locally.  Salt from the Outer Banks, etc.  The passion for local ingredients is admirable and easily noticed when dining at Heirloom.

best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

…And now I’m starving. ;) 

 

Some others we’ve tried and enjoyed: 5 Church, The Summit Room, Good Food on Montford…We haven’t been to those places in the last 6 months, so I didn’t include them.  But if we go again, I will try to take pictures and write a mini review! 

Charlotte offers a plethora of culinary adventures!  I love living in a city with such a variety of restaurants, and I am excited to try some others soon!

 

 

Five on Friday

I hope you all have had a great week!

Today I am linking up with April, Natasha, and Christina; Karli; Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday!, and Friday Favorites.

ONE: Back to Topsail this weekend!  With the Honor Roll Designs crew and our little boys!  Thank you to our awesome employee/brother-in-law, Seth, for holding down the fort while we’re gone!

Last year we took a big trip to the Caribbean, but with babies on the way for both of us, we at least wanted to fit in one weekend away together before the newborn stage.  Love these 3 people so much!

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TWO: I posted 2 new recipes this week: Sparkling Pineapple Mint Meyer Lemonade and Apple Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin.  If you missed them, you should check them out!  They are both perfect for entertaining.

sparkling pineapple lemonade with fun fruit strawsapple rosemary grilled pork tenderloin

THREE: Self-tanner review!  I posted about the Fake Bake Flawless tanning system a few weeks ago.  (The link takes you to a seller on Amazon…Prime eligible and only $15!).  You can also find it here and probably find a discount code, if you aren’t a fan of Amazon.

I used it once after I bought it and immediately loved it.  Then I used it again this week, and I am still loving it.  If you’re looking for an inexpensive, at-home tan, this is the way to go!  Without a doubt. It comes with the mitt, so don’t worry about getting it all over your hands! I do have to say – this time I put on clothes and got in bed soon after applying…I woke up with a streak on my arm and my leg, BUT, the streaks came right off with a quick rinse in the shower.  Next time I will be sure to let it completely like I did the first time.  And it is washable from your sheets and clothes. 

FOUR: If you’re in an area, such as Charlotte, Fort Mill, Charleston or Nashville, with a Juice Bar, I highly recommend trying it!  Last week I got their Sweet Greens juice, and it is unbelievably good – and healthy!  And I really am not a big green juice person.  If this spot was closer to my neighborhood, I might be there every day.  Juice > Starbucks…yeah?!

best green juice in Charlotte

By the way, my aunt and my mom introduced me to Essie Ladylike (on my nails in the picture above) and it is definitely on my to-purchase list.

pretty nei

FIVE: Goals for this weekend.  Yes, yes, and yes! (source + a great instagram account to follow)

quote from harley quinn and co.

Happy weekend to you all!  Thank you for visiting this random space of mine that I enjoy so much!  I love and appreciate all of the comments and feedback and friendships made from blogging.

Friday Favorites graphicFive on Friday linkup graphic

 

 

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Date Night Above Charlotte

Let me just gush about my husband for a minute.  Seriously – he planned the most romantic, fancy date for our 9th anniversary!  I was blown away!  It was all “above” Charlotte.

We started with a helicopter ride over the city, which was amazing!  The flight was at 7 pm, and with the sun setting, the views were picturesque.  Charlotte is such a pretty place.

helicopter in charlotte

queen city helicopter

We rode with the doors off the helicopter, which certainly made for an adrenaline rush!  If you have a special occasion to celebrate, I’d highly recommend taking a helicopter ride.  We flew with Queen City Helicopters.

helicopter ride over charlotte

helicopter ride in charlotte

sky view of charlotte

helicopter over charlotte

For the next part of our date, we ate dinner at Fahrenheit.  We had never been there, but we really enjoyed the restaurant!  The food and the servers were wonderful.  And more amazing views!

Fahrenheit Restaurant in Charlotte

fahrenheit restaurant

We were seated between two large groups of Texans fans who had flown in for the Panthers game the next day.  Let’s just say they were having a really good time.  They felt bad for being so loud, and ended up buying us dessert.

I love date nights with Todd.  I am incredibly blessed to be married to that man!

Charlotte Date Night: Beer + Ramen

This post should’ve been written a couple of weeks ago, but, better late than never!  I wanted to share my two cents for a date night in Charlotte.  On a Thursday earlier this month Todd and I went to Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for beers, then to a new restaurant to our city, Futo Buta, for dinner.

Olde Mecklenburg was fun and relaxed.  It has a great atmosphere, and plenty of room and seating.  It would be suitable for families as well – an abundance of picnic tables and corn hole outside.  Futo Bata is a ramen house located off South Blvd.  It seems to be a bit overpriced, but we rarely go out to dinner, so we don’t mind the occasional expense.  The food was delicious (we liked the Fire & Ice and the steamed buns the best), and I certainly overindulged, and had gluten for the first time since our New York trip last year.  The beers, the food, and the company were worth the cheat night! Todd and I would both recommend this restaurant.   

Charlotte date night

Charlotte date night; olde mecklenburg brewery

Futo Buta ramen; Charlotte

Steamed Buns with Duck Confit

Fire and Ice Ramen; Futo Buta Charlotte

Fire and Ice Ramen

ramen house; Charlotte

Tonkotsu (pork belly)

We attempt to try new places on our date nights, but we may just have to repeat this one soon!