Restaurant Week is easily one of my favorite times of the year. Charlotte’s finest dining establishments offer a three course meal for just $30; perfect for a teacher who loves to eat but can’t always afford the $25 entrée at some of Charlotte’s more upscale venues. Restaurant week is a chance for food lovers to get out and try new restaurants or visit old favorites to get a full taste of the chef’s creations from appetizers all the way to desserts. This year I couldn’t resist going back to Georges Brasserie in Southpark, where my parents took me when they came to visit last spring.
Georges Brasserie is a beautiful French restaurant with a stylish and sophisticated ambiance that blends traditional and modern French cuisine. The inside of the restaurant is absolutely stunning. A raw bar, adorned with the freshest seafood available creates a stunning view from the entrance. White table cloths and cozy chairs decorate the tables, gorgeous light fixtures from old world style to hip and modern hang from the ceilings, funky french art lines the walls, and oversized red leather booths create a feeling of both chic and comfort.
It was girl’s night out after a long week of teaching, so we obviously started with cocktails. Georges has an exceptional, creative menu of drinks to choose from. I ordered the Cucumber Gin Collins which may be one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had: Hendrick’s gin, cucumber, cracked pepper, citrus, and ginger. The cracked pepper and ginger caught my attention on the menu and were extraordinary in this drink. Subtle, but added just the right amount of kick.
While we munched on bread and butter we realized that we all had already scoped out the menu and knew exactly what we were getting. For my first course I ordered Country Pâté served with caramelized onion jam, petite fresh salad, and a perfectly toasted crustini. Absolutely fantastic. The pâté was flavorful, complex, and creamy. I guess some people are afraid of pâté but I grew up on this stuff and never hesitate to order it, especially at a French restaurant. The salad was a perfect fresh accompaniment to the delicious pâté and I was ready for my second course.Slow Braised Short Rib with red wine jus, Gruyère polenta, sautéed spinach, and crispy fried shallots. A heavenly balance of rustic and refinement, all the flavors melded perfectly together. Creamy polenta, crispy shallots, tender meat, and the bite of the spinach all tied together with red wine jus. I am used to my mom’s most-amazing short ribs, which are served with more of their cooking juices so found myself wanting a little more moisture in the beef, but the dish as a whole was outstanding. Every component was purposeful and balanced.
Dessert was a Flourless Chocolate Cake served with salted caramel sauce and Chantilly cream. The cake was rich and perfect for chocolate lovers but we all wished there was a little more of the addicting salted caramel sauce!
Besides being an elegant and unpretentious french restaurant, George’s Brasserie also features great happy hour specials, live jazz music, and special event menus that I hope to check out soon. I will definitely be recommending Georges to any and all Charlotteans.
Upcoming events at George’s: Valentine’s Day menu from February 10th-14th and a New Orleans Mardi Gras inspired menu on Fat Tuesday, February 21.
Follow them on twitter to get daily specials and deals at: georgesbrasserie