Sunday, August 10, 2014

Charlotte Restaurant Week | Aria Tuscan Grill

Our second stop for Queen's Feast was Aria Tuscan Grill, a restaurant I pass often and have only been to once before for cocktails and bar bites. It was delicious then, still is, and I look forward to returning to tour the rest of the menu!

It was raining hard that evening and by the time we walked the four blocks to the restaurant, we were soaked. When we got to the restaurant, we learned that they provide a valet service. A stiff drink was in order!

From the bar

For him: Bourbon Mash

Maker's Mark, Seasonal Fresh Fuit, Grand Marnier, Lmon Juice, House Made Falernum Bitters

For her: Lavender Gin Fiz

 Blue Coat Gin, Lime Juice, House Made Lavender Syrup, Prosecco Float

We sipped our cocktails while waiting on the rest of the party of eight and enjoyed the atmosphere of the restaurant. All the tables were full but it didn't feel overly crowded. There is a large window with a view of the kitchen in the main dinning room and all I wanted to do was stare. I love open kitchens and being able to see the action behind the scenes. Aria offers a chef's table and I hope to experience it some time in the near future.

Our server was a total pro and very knowledgeable. I asked him a million questions and he made recommendations based on my inquires. He also did not have the air of I-don't-give-two-effs-about-giving-good-service-because-it's-restaurant-week, which is a problem with other restaurants that we have visited during the past couple of years, and for that I appreciated him even more.

Aria opted to open up their whole menu for CRW, instead of a limited menu like most restaurants. This allowed us to truly experience everything the restaurant has to offer.

First Course | Primi 

For him: Caramelized Gnocchi

Prosciutto di Parma, Pear, Gorgonzola, Truffle Oil

For her: Caprese Salad

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini Mozzarella Fresh Basil, Radicchio, Vincotto

Second Course | Secondi

For him: Seafood Pasta

this was a nightly special and I did not get the full rundown of what is in the pasta
...the only thing I remember is "fire roasted tomato sauce" 

For her: Braised Lamb Shank

Taleggio Polenta, Fire Roasted Summer Vegetables, Wild Mushrooms

Third Course | Terzi

For him: Peanut & Chocolate Ganache Tart

Rum Caramel, Peanut Butter Gelato

For her:  Aria Tiramis├╣

Espresso, Lady Fingers, Mascarpone Crema

We definitely found our new must for the next restaurant week.

Aria Tuscan Grill
What: Refined Italian fare in a trendy, contemporary setting.
Where: 100 N Tryon St. | Charlotte, NC 28202

A look inside:

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