Good morning, my fellow foodies!
This week is Charlotte Restaurant Week, one of my favorite weeks of the year! Unfortunately, I’m not taking advantage of it much this time around since I’m saving money for next week for vacation!
But I did try one new restaurant that has been on my bucket list, Rock Salt. Restaurant week is a great way to try new places because you get three courses for $30 or $35. Some places include a fourth course or even a glass of wine – it all depends! I went with two girls from work who lucky for me enjoy splitting dishes and trying everything, so I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth!
Rock Salt is known for their oyster bar and wood-fired grill. They do $1.00 oysters M-F from 3-7 pm (I’m going to have to stop in for that!) and they do brunch on the weekends. The inside is very quaint and cosy, with wooden beams and an open grill, meaning the diners can see the chefs preparing the food. I like that and feel like it makes the dining experience more personable. They also have a great patio, though it was too hot for us to sit outside!
I’m a seafood girl, so their focus is sustainable seafood is right up my alley. They get their seafood from the Carolina and Virginia coasts AND they do craft cocktails, aka my favorite. They don’t serve anything fried, thanks to their wood-fired grill. And they don’t have a microwave – so their food is always fresh.
The Restaurant Week menu is typically much smaller than the normal menu. They had three choices for appetizers, four choices for the main course, and three choices for dessert. All of these items are on their usual menu, though, which is a huge plus.
I started off a cocktail made with Gin and Thyme…It was good. The ice was my favorite part. Does anyone else like these miniature slushed ice? SO GOOD.
For my appetizer, I chose the BBQ oysters that came with a smokey fresno BBQ butter. They were served warm, over a bed of sea salt and were delicious. I give these guys an 8 for taste and creativity. I would definitely order them again.
My compadres’ ordered one of each of the other choices, so I also got to try some oyster chowder with bacon, leeks and potatoes, and a grilled romaine salad with charred corn and tomatoes (spiced pecans on the side, because they love me). The chowder was just ok – I’m more of a clam chowder girl. The grilled romaine salad was unbelievable – served with a greek goddess dressing – likely a mixture based on yogurt and avocado, and the flavors all came together really well. I need to grill out and recreate this.
For my main meal, I went with the NC Amberjack simple fish, served over arugula. I got the lemon aioli and wakame salsa verde on the side. I had never tried Amberjack fish before to my knowledge, so I knew I had to go for it. It is a white fish with a milder taste. It actually looks a little like swordfish but it is even thicker and juicier. I liked it!
I was a little disappointed the fish didn’t come with a carbohydrate. Doesn’t the plate look so bare? Fortunately, I got to taste tests my friends’ items. We also tried the grilled chicken thighs with grilled cornbread and the whole wheat cavatelli with summer squash, mint yogurt, and garlic breadcrumbs that were to.die.for.
I wasn’t overly impressed with the dessert options. One option was a chocolate coffee mousse with grilled pineapple. Another was a goat cheese panna cotta with granola. I asked if the granola had nuts and the waitress said she was “pretty sure.” Better safe than sorry so I stayed away from that one. The last choice was a selection of gelatos or sorbets. I went with vanilla, strawberry and a mango sorbet, though I wish they had some crazier flavors available.
The gelato was delicious! The strawberry was actually my favorite, and I didn’t even finish the mango sorbet. It was good and refreshing, but doesn’t compare to gelato, and couldn’t follow up the creaminess and sweetness of the vanilla and strawberry.
All in all, a good dining experience. I’m curious to return and order some staples off of their normal dinner menu, such as the ceviche, smashed avocado, sea scallops and more oysters.
Are you an oyster fan?
Do you like restaurant week?