Over the long Memorial Day weekend G and I went to Charlotte to check out the ‘big city!’ I wanted to take G out for a special dinner while we were there and was trying to do some research online. I was having a difficult time with the various review sites as it seemed people were more interested in the atmosphere or the price but few discussed the food. So, I turned to the Twitterverse and asked for some suggestions. The food editor from the Charlotte Observer, Kathleen Purvis, was kind enough to direct message me her email address and asked what type of food, price range, etc I was looking for. What a treat! She suggested a few options and based on those and the menus, I made a reservation at Halcyon.
It is a beautiful space in Mint Museum in Uptown. The floor to ceiling windows overlook the city and provide views of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, the Nascar Hall of Fame, and the Duke Energy Center. The large open space is decorated with elegant wood carved tables (made by a local jazz artist), chandeliers made of wooden twigs and branches, plush upholstered chairs and beautiful pale blue walls. The menu focuses on locally sourced food; the night we were there the waitress said that 90% of the food on the menu was from local sources. This focus was the plan for the restaurant therefore when designing the kitchen they included only a small refrigerator and no freezer so they would be forced to source locally. The menu is divided into three sections; the ‘Grazing’ menu is made up of small plates which can be shared, the ‘Grown’ menu is primarily salads, and the ‘Raised’ menu are the entrées. We enjoy sharing small plates so this worked well for us. We ordered three dishes from the small plates menu and shared an entrée.
We started with the Meatball Trio which included three meatballs; one made of beef with a spicy teriyaki sauce, one made of lamb with a cucumber yogurt sauce, and one made of pork with a Piedmont BBQ sauce. We were a bit surprised by the size of the meatballs; they were almost golf ball size. The beef and lamb were quite tasty but the pork meatball was a bit dense. We also tried the Goat Cheese Panna Cotta which was served with a light topping of golden beets and black pepper snaps. This was delicious and light! The panna cotta had a creamy texture that was perfectly complemented by the sweet golden beets. We also tried the special of the day which was a small plate of duck tongues which was served with ramen noodles. The homemade ramen noodles were great with a perfect texture. The duck tongues were covered in a slightly sweet sauce which complemented the salt of the noodles. The texture of the tongues was a bit chewy, similar to fatty piece of pork. For the entrée, we shared the special of the day which was a NC grouper served with squid ink pasta, bok choy, and clams in a bacon broth. It was a delicious dish with the great flavors. Though, the grouper was a tad overdone. Finally, for dessert we shared the beignets with chocolate pot du crème. The pot du crème was rich and creamy and the beignets were a perfect, light, airy complement.
It was a lovely meal, in a beautiful space. Just perfect for a special celebratory dinner!
Halcyon Restaurant | Flavors from the Earth
500 South Tryon#201
Charlotte, NC 28205