Charlotte City Guide


Charlotte, NC Official Visitors Guide

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32 Crafty Cocktails Don't be fooled by the name, though Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub does have amazing crepes. "We're more of a gastropub," explains Colleen Hughes. As a bartender, what is her go-to drink? "If I'm at a cocktail bar, I'll order a Corpse Reviver #2, which is a classic Prohibition-era drink that's balanced and refreshing," she says. "I like to end the night with an Old Fashioned, another classic." Hughes is familiar with classic tastes. She creates and pairs craft cocktails with the pub's European fare and excellent crepes. As head bartender, she stays abreast of the latest and greatest in specialty drink trends. What is she noticing these days? "Today, there's a more culinary approach to creating cocktails. Beyond fresh juice, we use homemade syrups, like pomegranate and allspice or grapefruit and sage, to add flavor as well as sweetness. We follow the seasons, too. Our Pumpkin Spice Mule is really popular in the fall." New Southern Comforts Matthew Krenz is making the menu at The Asbury his own after taking over the reins as chef from Chris Coleman. While he assures us that Coleman's famous iron skillet biscuits will stay on the menu, he is busy putting his own touch on other dishes. "I've taken inspiration from familiar Southern staples, and then I add new flavors or textures. Our shrimp and grits are made with butter- poached shrimp and homemade chorizo sausage, and there's a touch of Ethiopian berbere spice in the winter salad." Cooking creatively in a fine hotel restaurant is a challenge, but it's one Krenz eagerly accepts. "People are surprised that a hotel restaurant would have a such a commitment to locally sourced food and creative flavors! But it also means that our burger is as well executed as one of the specials." Sophisticated Sweets Being a pastry chef is all about precision, right? Not so, Charlotte native and pastry chef Ashley Boyd laughs. "That is definitely not my personality! I love pastry because of the artistic possibilities it offers — I get to play with flavors, textures and colors." Boyd's creations are unique and flavorful in unexpected ways. Her take on the ice cream sandwich includes vanilla and miso as well as caramel. Try her delectable treats at 300 East and Heritage Food & Drink. Chef Matthew Krenz The Asbury Photo courtesy of The Asbury

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