georges brasserie (southpark)
rating: * * *
4620 piedmont row drive
charlotte, nc 28210
i’ve been waiting for a good french restaurant in charlotte for a long time. whenever café monte first opened, i was one of the first in line to partake of its cuisine. with the exception of its quiche, i had a hard time remembering something truly worthy of a second visit. now, i know that sounds harsh, but i believe that successfully navigating through a sea of beurre is a tale of black and white – you either rocked it, or you tanked.
for the most part, i think georges brasserie rocked it.
for starters, i haven’t had a bad server in the five times i’ve eaten there. on each occasion, the attention to detail was impeccable, and we found ourselves remarking on how the manager must wield a figurative bullwhip to beat the staff into such shape. water glasses are not empty for long, and the servers are well-versed in all the dishes, instead of staring blankly while suggesting the most expensive entrée of the bunch.
i love the beef bourguignon . . . tender cuts of beef slow cooked alongside bacon and vegetables until fork tender. served atop egg noodles, it’s difficult to find fault with its execution. alas, i wasn’t as impressed with the trout amandine, more because the fish was overcooked than due to the flavor of the delicious brown-butter almond sauce. ahhh, french sauces. sorry – i was momentarily distracted.
i thought the side of sautéed spinach was well-seasoned and fresh. the macaroni (?) was replete with bacon (and a side of heart attack), but it was cheesy and satisfying, if somewhat out of place.
my hubby’s braised lamb shank was AMAZING. the pickled red onion served alongside the dish was a revelation, and i began browsing through recipes as soon as i returned home so that i could concoct my own version.
for vegetarians, i really thought the ratatouille was excellent, but it is not always on the menu, so i would check prior to going.
the atmosphere of georges brasserie is a great combination of trendy yet comfortable. there are subtle touches of a whimsy, americanized notion of france, but it’s not overpowering or cheesy. i actually really liked it – the vibe of a charming french bistro with a lot more space.
all-in-all, i think this a terrific place for a nice meal out or a great way to show off charlotte to out-of-towners.
yeah. thank god i’m not stuck with café monte.