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Good Eats

Our critics' guide to recommended restaurants in Charlotte

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Dilworth/Southend

300 East, 300 East Blvd., 704-332-6507. Locals have long gathered at this casual neighborhood bistro in a vintage house featuring an eclectic menu. L, D $$$

Berrybrook Farms Natural Foods, 1257 East Blvd., 704-334-6528. Homemade soups, herbed tofu sandwiches, bean burritos, and freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices found in a natural food shop. L $

Comet Grill, 2224 Park Rd., 704-371-4300. Dependable bar food in a friendly neighborhood joint. Big burgers, great fries, a spicy shrimp app and some vegetarian alternatives, too. $

Dominick's Little Italy, 200 East Bland St., 704-331-4010. This modest, but inviting Italian joint serves popular and predictable dishes, primarily Southern Italian, in large, family-style portions. $$$

Mangione's Ristorante, 1524 East Blvd., 704-334-4417. Opened in 1977. If you can't decide between Northern and Southern Italian, they have it mixed here. All the familiar bases are covered, plus you have Mr. Mangione's personalized service. L, D $$$

McIntosh's Steaks and Seafood, 1812 South Blvd., 704-342-1088. Folks head over to Greg McIntosh's steak and chop house for a round up of straight forward menu selections, gargantuan portions, and man-sized knives and forks. Elegant surroundings and service. D $$$$

Mister K's, 2107 South Blvd., 704-375-4318. A South Boulevard institution since 1967, but with a 50s-ish ambience: burgers, dogs and soft ice cream. Homemade onion ring lovers make this a second home. $

Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 1300-F South Blvd., 704-370-0100. Sushi chef and owner Joanna Nix radiates warmth and hospitality throughout this traditional Japanese cuisine oasis. In addition to sparkling fresh sushi, there's yakimono, teriyaki, tempura and udon, too. $$$

Original Pancake House, 1300 South Blvd., 704-372-2929. This is a chain restaurant, but the pancakes are so good. The apple pancake is a huge, puffy affair big enough for at least two people. There are plenty of other flavors too. Expect to wait in line on weekends. $$

Patou, A French Bistro, 2400 Park Rd., 704-376-2233. Well-executed French and Belgian (try the Waterzooi) bistro cuisine. Menu changes seasonally. Patio. L, D $$$

Pewter Rose, 1820 South Blvd., 704-332-8149. Opened in 1984. With its whimsical, charming, second story ambience and notable wine list this restaurant is known for Chef Blake Dewey's eclectic cuisine. Very popular Sunday brunch spot. Next door is Tutto Mondo, a stylish bar with late night food. L, D $$$

Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop, 1930 Camden Rd., 704-372-0092. Nostalgia reigns while being served homemade quality ice cream floats to sandwiches and fries to sticky buns. Breakfast on weekends. $$

The Planet Grill, 1531 East Blvd., 704-372-1818. Buffet style, all you can eat, stir fry wrap joint. L, D $$

Price's Chicken Coop, 1614 Camden Rd., 704-333-9866. Opened in 1962 and known locally for having the best deep fried chicken and fish in town, if not North Carolina. You'll see all kinds in line from construction workers to cardiologists. Take out only. Long lines at lunch move quickly. Cash only. $

Ru San's Japanese Cuisine, Sushi & Seafood, 2440 Park Rd., Park Square Shopping Center, 704-374-0008. From Atlanta comes this high spirited, high volume, reasonably priced (for sushi) restaurant. $$$

Sole Spanish Grille, 1608 East Boulevard, 704-343-9890. After almost a decade away, the owners return to Dilworth to once again serve legendary tapas and sparkling fresh Spanish and New World entrees and wines. Heated patio. $$$

Southend Brewery, Southend, South Blvd., 704-358-4677. Charlotte based brewpub that serves up their well-known Carolina Blonde and Olmstead Red. $$

Southern Comforts, BBQ and Soul, 1511 East Blvd., 704-331-9222. A bit of fish camp, a dash of Low Country, and an ode to three styles of Southern barbecue. Comforts is pure Southern cuisine, albeit upscale. $$$

Vidalia & Grapes, 1626 East Blvd., 704-358-8188. The grapes are in the glass and it is more than onions on the plate. Owner-chef Tim Henderson hails from Charleston, as can be seen from the fat tendrils of crab in the She Crab soup. Dishes offered in tapas or entree sizes. L, D $$$

Downtown/Midtown

Alexander Michael's, 401 W. 9th St., 704-332-6789. A neighborhood pub in Fourth Ward with domestic and imported beers, burgers, blackened chicken breast sandwiches, and an unflappable staff. L, D $$

Bijoux Brasserie & Bar, 201 N. Tryon St., 704-377-0900. This restaurant evokes the painted memories of late 19th century French impressionists depicting life in a French brasserie. If you yearn for Paris, Bijoux has a setting worthy of a visit. $$$

Bistro 100, 100 N. Tryon St., Bank of America Corporate Center, 704-344-0515. A decade ago when there were few good places to eat downtown, there was Bistro 100. The kitchen is known for its wood-burning oven and dishes that are decidedly French bistro. Open for Sunday Brunch. L, D $$$

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