Found: Lumière (1039 Providence Road, 704-372-3335)
Ingredients: Muddled orange and cherry, Sauternes, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, Grand Marnier, cherry as garnish
Lumière is bringing adoration for French food back to Charlotte's lost Francophile culinary scene. Along with petite plates and Parisian music, you'll find sophisticated sips inside. While wine is key for a restaurant serving French cuisine, Lumière's cocktail program doesn't disappoint, either. But unlike other spirit-forward haunts in town, you won't find a curated cocktail list floating the bar. "I'm just not a fan of giving someone a hundred pieces of paper," says co-owner Matthew Pera. "We have a dinner menu and we have a wine list and a dessert and cheese list. That's enough pieces of paper, I think. You go to these places and they have five menus on the table. That just seems to be too much and too complicated." To simplify, Lumière brings cocktails tableside via an antique 1960s bar cart, outfitted with all the necessities. Right now, those include the ingredients and tools to make Sauternes Punch, a classic drink adapted from the famous Savoy Cocktail Book. Libations will change regularly, just like the food. Pera says the cart is switching gears soon, with fresh classics like the French 75 and Death in the Afternoon, a champagne cocktail created by Hemingway, on the way.