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Good Eats

Our critics' guide to recommended restaurants in the Charlotte area.

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Page 6 of 7

The Roasting Company, 9311 JW Clay Blvd., 704-503-3335. Rotisserie chicken that falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Excellent cornbread. $Pineville/Hwy 51

Campania, 6414 Rea Rd., 704-541-8505. Charlotte's nexus to Naples. Copious portions of remarkable dishes with Italian wines to match. Beautifully appointed dining room. Pricey, but considerably less than airfare. $$$$

Ciro's Italian Restaurant, 10420-F Centrum Parkway, 704-543-1550. Simple New-York-styled southern Italian red and white cuisine served in a lively Italian-wedding/happy family atmosphere. Enormous portions, steaming fresh baked bread, marvelous marinara, reasonable prices. $$$

Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill, 7716 Rea Rd., 704-752-7979. This stunning facility resembles a Colorado lodge complete with roaring fire and aspen columns. Menu items, served in huge portions, are simple, straighforward, and have a southwestern flair. $$$

Katz New York, 8045 Providence Rd., in the Arboretum Office Park, 704-543-4666. Hand cut fries, potato knish, matzo ball soup, housemade corned beef and cole slaw, egg creams, and well-made cold cut sandwiches, all Big Apple deli style. $$

The Peaceful Dragon, Tea House and Cultural Center, 8324 Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-543-8899. Small dining area offers light vegetarian fare. All dishes made from scratch, including veggie burger. Many vegan items. $$

Siboney Cuban Restaurant, 8706 Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-542-2996. Featuring upscale Cuban dishes and mojitos set in a semitropical "courtyard". Expertly crafted dishes such as Cuban snapper and Pierna asada make their appearance here. Cigar bar, too. $$$

Trio Restaurant, 10709 McMullen Creek Pkwy., 704-541-8000. Friendly place for an imaginative and eclectic selection of entrees, gourmet pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads and pastas. Emphasis on creative taste combinations. $$

Tsukiji, 8320 Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-543-4081. Less expensive than other sushi restaurants, and the sushi is pretty good. Other Japanese dishes offered. $$$

Waldhorn Restaurant, 12101 Lancaster Hwy. (Rt. 521), 704-540-7074. This restaurant is located in an imposing two-story Alpine building feted with geranium flower boxes. Chef and owner Thomas Maier's attentive care may cause you to jettison stereotypic views of German cuisine. From grilled duck breast in lingonberry sauce to wienerschnitzel, it's all good. $$$

Wan Fu, 10719 Kettering Dr., 704-541-1688. Upscale Americanized Chinese restaurant in which dishes are beautifully presented. $$$South Charlotte

Azteca, 116 Woodlawn Rd., 704-525-5110. A favorite of many, Azteca offers a legnthy roster of flavorful dishes. $$

Bangkok Ocha, 7629-B Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-544-7770. Thai dishes of complex intensity and flavor set in a small, but polished restaurant. $$$

Bill Spoon's Barbecue, 5524 South Blvd., 704-525-8865. For nearly 40 years, this 65-seat pork parlor has been packed at lunch. The place to go for die hard Eastern barbecue aficionados. $

Bourbon Street Station, 6101 Old Pineville Rd., 704-522-0231. Good Cajun-style food is served up here, with an emphasis on a fun and friendly ambience. You can't miss; just keep your eye out for the old train. $$$

Cabana Jack's Fresca Grille, 170-A E. Woodlawn, 704-586-0035. An informal Baja type quick food place with a breezy tropical interior design and mild prices.

The Cupboard, 3005 S. Blvd., 704-523-9934. One of the busiest of Charlotte's many home cooking restaurants. Great daily specials (don't miss the chicken pan pie) and legendary coconut pie. $

Don Quijote, Restaurante Espanol, 4640 South Blvd., 704-529-5959. Exceptional Northern and Southern Spanish cuisine. One could readily make a meal by choosing a variety of the 15 tantalizing Tapas items. And there's more: paellas, fabulous fish dishes, Spanish wines, and a large deck. $$$

Harrigan's Gourmet Deli, 5033-K South Blvd., 704-522-3550. Traditional cold cut sandwiches on round bread, and, specialty "Dilbert" sandwiches, housemade salads, and daily specials. $

Jaipur Indian Cuisine, 5909 South Blvd., 704-643-1421. Don't let the exterior put you off. Inside you'll find balanced Indian dishes from all parts of the subcontinent. Reasonably priced, too. A great weekday lunch buffet, and a great dinner buffet on weekends. $$$

La Cascada-Chicken To Go, 5033-G S. Blvd. Seneca Place Shopping Center, 704-523-1011. Explore the freefall of South American comfort food with dishes from Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, with a few specialty dishes from Bolivia. Sparce storefront interior. $$

Luisa's Brick Oven, 1730 Abbey Pl., 704-423-1011. Brick oven-baked pizza plus other Italian dishes. Pizza available with innovative topping alternatives. Take out orders prepared quickly. $$

Mai Japanese Restaurant, 5906 S. Blvd., 704-522-8782. Sushi chefs produce deftly cleaved wondrous rolls that taste sparklingly fresh. Robata grill, too. $$$

Mojo Restaurant & Spirits, 1812 Montford Drive, 704-523-0474. Not much in decor or ambiance, but more than just a place to drink and listen to music. The dinner menu is short, yet surprisingly ambitious; the food is quite good and reasonably priced. Late night bar menu, too. $$

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