I eat out a lot but will certainly never eat at all of the restaurants in Charlotte. (They open and close too fast to make that a possibility.) I do think, however, that I have eaten at most of the really good ones and a representative sampling of the general fare plus too many of the really poor ones. I have pictures to show the range from A to Z (A & C Grill to Zebra) if I ever conquer this photo uploading thing but I think that I have truly found the best in Charlotte. Last year, I ate at Zebra and while relaxing over dessert, I commented to my waiter that I had a goal of eating at all of the restaurants in Charlotte and that I thought I had found the best. He, and later the manager, thanked me for my kind appraisal of their fare but both asked me if I had eaten at Barrington's. I had not and I was amazed at the willingness of these gentleman to defer to another restaurant. I have now eaten at Barrington's and agree that it is probably the best restaurant in Charlotte but Zebra is a close second. Barrington's is a small, almost hidden restaurant with outstanding food which is surpassed only by the gracious attentiveness of their staff. It is known for its "quiet, romantic neighborhood fare" which I really appreciate. I often eat alone but staff and even people at adjoining tables commonly act like neighborhood friends.
Favorite Dish Their menu changes frequently so naming a favorite item might be counterproductive but they make masterful mixtures of tastes and textures. The last time that I was there I had a layered combination of salmon, beet confit, and delightfully textured mashed potatoes. Their portions are ample but not overwhelming but, as is typical of their entrees, this was one of those dishes that you want to eat in very small bites and refuse to chew. You want to put tiny portions in your mouth and just savor the flavors and textures as they caress and seduce your tongue and palate.
They do not offer sweetened iced tea and their desserts are not as superb as their entrees but if you are going to eat at only one restaurant in Charlotte, this should be the one. Call for reservations.
Owner and chef Bruce Moffett's restaurant is tucked away in a not so busy strip mall off of Fairview Road near the much more popular South Park and Phillip's Place malls. His restaurant isn't even roadside, but off the the left of the mall tucked behind the Metropolitan Bakery. The walls are painted a soft yellow and the setting is small and intimate. The place is perfect for a quiet date.
Favorite Dish There is a salad that pairs all kinds of tastes and textures. The crunch of walnuts and crispness of pears contrasts well with the softness of bleu cheese and the sweetness of the fruit mixes beautifully with the saltiness of the chees and the tartness of the vinaigrette.