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History Today

Venue mixes classic with contemporary


GRAND OPENING: This past Wednesday, February 2, starting with reservations taken for dinner only. February 15 is the anticipated date for lunch hours to begin.

OWNERS: John Duncan and Ashli Wilson. Duncan is also the owner of Bonterra.

EXECUTIVE CHEF: Blake Hartwick. Hartwick has been the Executive Chef at Bonterra for the past five years.

AMBIENCE: With a touch of old school charm and modern day style, proprietor Ashli Wilson notes that, "the environment sets the scene for yesteryear." In a setting that intertwines culture with classic, there's a specific emphasis on "a little bit of history coming into present day light." Structurally, the restaurant still maintains original molding work, columns and stained glass from the 1920s that lend both to the historical and somewhat theatrical settings. Deep hues of purple and beige complement Wilson's philosophy for the restaurant: "Dining is a stage; it depends on what you want to perform. For our guests, with hope every visit will be a memorable one."

SEATING: Seating in the main dining area accommodates 65. The private dining area (dubbed "The Chamber") seats 12, and the bar and lounge area also seats 12. Coined the "Throne Room," a windowed round booth sits at the far end of the main dining room. The booth is lit only by candles floating in three 36-inch wine glasses. Chocolate velvet drapes adorn this potentially memorable setup. The upstairs section (The Gallery) houses one table, which overlooks the restaurant.

WINE LIST: One hundred bottles offered by the glass and 200 to 250 reserve lines offered by the bottle.

TYPE OF CUISINE: Cuisine may be defined as "contemporary regional," said Chef Hartwick. The menu is expected to vary about every other week and the chef's tasting menu will vary every week. Featured menu items include a "Soup Trilogy," which consists of three soups each served in a demitasse ($7). Chef Hartwick comments, "Think wine flights, but with soup." Other featured items include duck ravioli ($6) and the wood grilled hanger steak ($22).

BONUS: A chef's tasting menu will be offered every night of the week. The menu will feature anywhere from five to seven courses ranging in price from $35 to $45. "Our focus is on the value, by using the same quality ingredients, but offering it for a less expensive price," said Hartwick. "It will be items off the dinner menu, but in smaller portions; we'll be able to mix and match items." Wine pairings may be chosen in ranges from $20, $40 and $60.

PRICE LIST: Appetizers range from $6 to $8, while salads range from the Farmhouse salad ($6) to the warm hedgehog mushroom & frisee ($7). Main dishes include items such as the roasted wild Australian Salmon ($22) and the grilled rack of lamb ($24). Desserts ($6-$8) include classics such as Crme Brulee and Tiramisu.

HOURS: Open for lunch 11:30am until 2pm Monday through Friday (after February 15), 5:30 until 10pm Monday through Thursday, and for dinner 5:30 until 11pm Friday and Saturday. Closed on Sundays.

RESERVATIONS: Highly recommended for lunch and dinner.

RECOMMMENDED PARKING: Valet parking in the evenings. Parking is also available in the deck of The Green, access to that deck from College and South Tryon.

CREDIT CARDS: All major credit cards accepted.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible.

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