Charlotte Guide: Bonterra Dining
Today I'm so excited to share one of my favorite new restaurants on the blog today, Bonterra Dining and Wine bar, located in Charlotte, NC! Although I had lived in Charlotte for five years, I had never heard about this delightful restaurant and it's such a shame I never visited during my time living in the city. I'm so thrilled that we had the chance to go visit the restaurant, sit and enjoy an amazing meal, and speak with the owner of Bonterra, JD Duncan.
A little background of Bonterra Dining because this is not your usual restaurant, it's not even located inside a standard building! Bonterra Dining is located within the Altherton Methodist Church and the building dates back to the late 1800s. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the church had a wooden facade but was given a brick face lift in 1914, and that original brick is what you'll see today when you visit Bonterra. Over the years the church has exchanged many different hands before it came to be Bonterra Dining.
But the most notable piece of Bonterra Dining is what lies underneath the building. Bonterra Dining hosts an incredible wine cellar that will make any wine aficionado happy! Aside from having a stellar wine cellar, Bonterra has received numerous awards for their many different selections of wine available for purchase. Bonterra has the largest wine by the glass selection on the East Coast.
Y'all. That's a serious amount of wine!
The wine list for Bonterra was so long and detailed that I didn't know where to start! I had a delicious Malbec wine that went impeccably well with our meal for the evening.
Before I begin talking about the food, let me begin by saying that it was one of the best meals I've ever had. I'm not over exaggerating! Everything down to the sauce was amazing and incredibly flavorful. Charleston has a number of amazing restaurants but I truly think that Charlotte has some hidden gems that could rival our own restaurants.
We began with a delicious Mediterranean cheese board, a Scotch egg, and their famous fried lobster tail.
The Mediterranean cheese board came loaded with delicious such as; pâté maison, Cheshire Milano salumi, oven roasted tomato and parmesan, manchego cheese, farmstead brie, niçoise olives, and to top everything off, Dijon mustard and house made crustini. Everything about the board was heavenly! I couldn't stop munching on the niçoise olives and dipping the machego cheese in the Dijon mustard. I had to stop myself from eating the entire board or else I'd spoil the rest of my meal!
If you only go to Bonterra for their wine selection, I highly recommend also ordering the fried lobster tail. Bonterra is known for their lobster tail and how delectable it is. In my diet, I typically stay away from fried foods but this lobster tail is the exception! As you cut into it with your knife, it makes this amazing crunching sound as you slide your knife into the lobster meat. It's so rich and savory that it's hard to stop eating once you taste it! The tail itself is drizzled with a local NC honey soy reduction that compliments the lobster tail so well! I had thoughts about this lobster tails days after our meal!
Now since I'm a vegetarian, I couldn't exactly dive into the scotch egg but Jennifer said it was heavenly! Inside this little nugget of deliciousness lies a soft boiled egg surrounded by pimento cheese, ham, and topped with micro greens and a very tasty black garlic aioli sauce.
As if we weren't totally full from the appetizers, the main courses really took us over the edge! We got to sample a few of their specialty dishes and I was blown away by each one! The presentation of each dish was impeccable and beautifully done. If these photos don't make you hungry, I don't know what will!
I had the incredible paradelle pasta with scallops and I must say, it was spectacular! Cooking with scallops can be an art form on its own and these were perfectly tender and smokey from the grill. The pasta was incredibly fresh and the sauce was to die for! Thankfully I couldn't finish the entire meal and was able to snack on the pasta later that night for a little treat!
By the time dessert arrived, I couldn't eat another bite! I was so full from the spectacular two previous courses that I didn't know how I was going to eat it all! But as we all know, I can't say no to a good doughnut! These doughnuts were absolutely incredible, soft, and a little bit doughy. Just like how I like my doughnuts!
Dining at Bonterra Dining and Wine Bar is more than going to a standard restaurant; the experience of dining in an old church and the knowledge and wonderful staff truly made this a fantastic experience. Every dish we received was immaculate, beautifully presented, and not to mention delicious. I just wish I had known about this restaurant when I lived in Charlotte! I highly recommend visiting this restaurant during your next trip to Charlotte. Or if you live in the area, I would immediately go today even if it's to experience their expansive wine selection and try the fried lobster tail.
You can visit Bonterra Dining at:
1829 Cleveland Avenue @ East Worthington Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28203
Have you ever been to Bonterra Dining? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments!
Photography: Jennifer Collins