CONTEMPORARY 131 MAIN OOO 1315 East Blvd. 704/343-0131, www.131-main.com
HOURS: Mon.-Thurs. 11 A.M.-10 P.M. Fri.-Sat 11 A.M.-11 P.M. Sun. 10 A.M.-10 P.M.
This restaurant occupies a prime corner on East Boulevard in the trendy Dilworth neighborhood. Large windows and leather booths surround a rectangular bar that sits in the center of the restaurant, creating a comfortable but upscale atmosphere. Opened in 2004, it’s one of three locations in Charlotte. The menu focuses on fresh, seasonal ingredients (the ownersMike Vaughn, Joe Douglas, and Chris Carlsonare so committed to freshness, the restaurant doesn’t even have a freezer). In the afternoons, 131 Main is best known for its selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches. At dinner, the entrees become more upscalethink prime rib, double-cut pork chops, filet mignon, and grilled rainbow trout. In case you’re wondering, the name has nothing to do with the address: It signifies one idea, three guys, one goal.
300 EAST 0©300 East Blvd. 704/332-6507, www.300east.net HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 11 A.M.-9:30 P.M. Sun. 10 A.M.-5 P.M.
It’s hard to find a restaurant as romantic as 300 East. The dining room in a renovated historic home hasn’t changed much since it was built. Though the intimate tables and candlelight setting were designed for couples, dishes like smoked mozzarella, grilled pork loin, and gorgonzola-stuffed filet mignon have helped the restaurant draw a crowd that is as diverse as the menu. The menu changes with the seasons, and chef Kristine Schmidt relies on local farmers to access the freshest ingredients.
Named for its address at 300 East Boulevard, the historic 300 East restaurant is a romantic place for a candlelit dinner.