Queen's Feast, restaurant No. 6

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It was Charlotte Restaurant Week Jan. 24-30-- when restaurants offered 3-course (fixed menu) meals for $30. I had made it my mission to hit up at least 5 participating restaurants in 7 days. Now that some restaurants have extended Restaurant Week into February, my mission continues. Here is restaurant No. 6.

(Note: Since I have eaten 3-course meals at 5 restaurants in the past week and have gained 4 lbs, my boyfriend and I decided to cut extra calories by ordering only one 3-course meal, share the appetizer and dessert, and then get a separate entree off the regular menu.)

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 4

Restaurant: Fiamma

What I ate:

  • Appetizer: Polpettine di verdure miste al caprino con insalate di campo - vegetables croquettes served w/mixed greens and goat cheese
  • Main: Lamb Shank - marvelous lamb shank with fresh Mediterranean herbs in a Tuscan red wine reduction served with gnocchi in a Parmesan butter sauce
  • Dessert: Tiramisu

Summary: I was transported back to Italy when I walked into the restaurant. Fiamma has endearing rustic touches that remind me of true Italian eateries -- mismatching silverware, a little tea light candle on the table, a woven basket holding the bread and paper covering the tablecloths. Even in true Italian fashion, dinner was not rushed, but drawn out in an enjoyable manner.

Dinner began with a bread basket of warm focaccia and bread sticks, served with a delicious bowl of pesto.

The appetizer of eggplant croquettes with a goat cheese salad was superb. Round and fried, the 3 croquettes reminded me of hushpuppies. The salad was large and the cheese was plentiful.

Between the appetizer and entree course, we were served bowls of mango sorbet to cleanse our palettes.

With seven entrees to pick from the Restaurant Week menu, we had agonized over what to get. But once we had a bite of the Lamb Shank we decided on, we never looked back. The meat from the large shank just fell off the bone. The lamb melted in our mouths. The red wine reduction was a nice, thick, saucy stew. The side of gnocchi was surprisingly large. We barely made a dent in the big plate of gnocchi that came with the lamb.

Off the regular menu, I ordered the Homemade Saffron Tagliolini with Crabmeat Sauteed in Fresh Tomatoes. Big, visible chunks of crab were mixed throughout the perfectly al dente pasta. Delicious.

With our Tiramisu, we were offered complimentary homemade limoncello, a lemon liqueur typically from Southern Italy. I was beyond impressed at this point.

Verdict: I'd highly recommend Fiamma for Restaurant Week. They offer plenty of choices for each of the 3 courses, and even add in a few extra in between. The portions didn't seem "sized-down" at all for the Restaurant Week dishes. You get a lot of bang for your buck here. The entire experience was very enjoyable.

Read the Queen's Feast reviews:

Restaurant No. 1: Oceanaire Seafood Room

Restaurant No. 2: The Capital Grille

Restaurant No. 3: Noble's

Restaurant No. 4: M5

Restaurant No. 5: Ruth's Chris - Uptown


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