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Good Eats

Our critics' guide to recommended restaurants in Charlotte

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Yen's, 9010 Monroe Rd., 704-845-9444. Small, family owned Chinese restaurant which prepares many Chinese cuisines and offers solicitous service. $$

Myers Park

Fenwicks, 511 Providence Rd., 704-333-2750. Smaller than some bathrooms, but cozier, and a fun place. The menu runs to standards like steak and pasta, with fresh vegetables daily. $$$

The Meeting House, 801 Providence Rd., 704-334-6338. Located in a charming house in the center of Myers Park, this is a meeting place for the neighborhood crowd. Talented chef and owner Chris Zion was trained at Le Cordon Bleu, yet the dishes are American bistro. D $$$

Providence Cafe, 110 Perrin Place, 704-376-2008. Gorgeous dining room and comfortable New American cuisine offers a neighborhood spot and place to linger in Charlotte's ultimate zip code. $$$

Volare Ristorante Italiano, 545-B Providence Rd., 704-370-0208. A small neighborhood spot in Charlotte's ultimate zip code with fabulous service and fine dishes which achieve Italian cuisine's reassuring freshness, along with an exquisite layering of flavors. $$$$

North Charlotte/University

Amalfi, Italian Cuisine, 8542 University City Blvd., 704-547-8651. Small, family-owned Italian eatery with a loyal following. The owner, a native of Naples, prepares generous portions of simple and tasty southern Italian fare, everything from pastas to pizzas. Closed Monday. L, D $$

Black Oak Grille, 9311 J.W. Clay Blvd, 704-503-3335. A counter service, family friendly spot with a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) grad chef at the helm offering excellent rotisserie chicken, pot roast, ribs, sandwiches, salads, baked cinnamon apples, and a Southern selection of sides. $

Boardwalk Billy's, UNCC, Shoppes at University Place, 8933-2 J.M. Keynes Dr., 704-503-7427. This beach-styled place may look like a bar, but offers much more. Their Billy's Steam Party (enough for two) is filled with steamed shrimp, oysters, clams, crab legs, potatoes and corn on the cob. Serves food late. $$

Bombay Cuisine, 230 E. W.T. Harris Blvd., 704-549-8300, 704-503-5888. Exquisite Northern and Southern Indian dishes set before you in a setting where every detail has been noted. L, D $$$

Boudreaux's Louisiana Kitchen, 501 E. 36th St., 704-331-9898. Po'Boys and muffalettas at lunch, inexpensive, traditional Creole and Cajun dishes at dinner served in a spacious, artsy dining room. Sunday Brunch, too. L, D $$

Bubba's Barbecue, 4400 Sunset Rd., Exit 16 off I-77, 704-393-2000. Eastern NC-style barbecue. $

Cabo Fish Taco Baja Seagrill, 3201 N. Davidson St., 704-332-8868. Set in a humble NoDa historic building, these well crafted, tasty dishes will bring you back for regular feeding forays. There are vegetarian, chicken, and steak selections. L, D $$

Ciro's Italian Restaurant, 8927 J.M. Keynes Dr., #100 (University Place), 704-510-0012. 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. L, D $$$

Di Banana Boat, 7008 E. WT Harris Blvd., 704-531-0075. Low key, inexpensive Jamaican spot serving ackee and saltfish, cocoa bread sandwiches, jerk chicken, curried goat, and more. Catering available. $

Grandma's Country Kitchen, 6615 N. Tryon St., 704-598-1221. Small, make yourself at home place featuring Southern country cooking. Excellent freshly baked johnnycakes with molasses. Menu roster changes daily, but look for fried croaker, meatloaf, veggie burgers, tuna melts, fried okra, macaroni and cheese with as many as eight cheeses, collard greens, and homemade desserts. $$

The Green Tomato, 5332 Prosperity Church Rd., (Bi-Lo Shopping Center), 704-947-5678. Serving up loads of tasty Southern and New Orleans dishes, from chicken and collards, to Po' Boy sandwiches and a seasonal all-you-can-eat crawfish boil. Patio. $

Melting Pot, 230 E. W.T. Harris Blvd., 704-548-2432. A Florida based franchise that has been around since 1975, but is now primed again to catch the latest fondue wave. You will find all kinds of fondues: cheese, beef, seafood, chicken, and chocolate. D $$$

Old Hickory House, 6538 N. Tryon St., 704-596-8014. Western-NC-styled barbecue at its finest. Sliced or chopped, served on paper wrapping, in a dining room that features a smoky hickory pit and a 60's (and TV's Bonanza) ambience. Cash only. $

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine, 3200 University City Blvd., 704-717-9090. Flavorful northern Indian cuisine, including tandoori specialties, served in a bare bones environment. A healthy variety of vegetarian dishes. $$

Taqueria Guadalajara, 4517 N. Tryon, 704-596-2239. Inexpensive spot featuring the specialties of central Mexico including tacos, quail, and barbecue sandwiches. B, L, D $

Pineville/Hwy 51

Bombay Grille Indian Cuisine, 8706-Pineville-Matthews Rd., 704-542-3933. Spice laden entree dishes give a tasty overview of Indian cuisine. The chicken tikka masala is second to none in town. L, D $$$

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. D $$$$

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