Counter-, the Wesley Heights tasting menu restaurant, to expand and add new wine concept

Counter-, the Wesley Heights tasting menu restaurant, to expand and add new wine concept

Chef Sam Hart plating one of the courses for his Terroir tasting menu. Paige Hopkins/Axios

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Counter-, a tasting menu restaurant in Wesley Heights, is moving to a new location nearby. Plus, its owners are also opening a new restaurant, Biblio.

Both locations are targeting an August 2022 opening.

Why it matters: Chef/owner Sam Hart and managing partner William Brinkley opened Counter- during the pandemic, which was no small feat, especially for a niche, high-end restaurant. Now the two are moving Counter- to a location that better fits their original vision and starting Biblio, which will focus on wine and tapas.

“The reality is that it was an incredible blessing to open during the pandemic versus before the pandemic because now we’ve kind of figured out the experiences that people want now post-pandemic,” Hart tells Axios.

What to expect at Counter-: The restaurant already provides a dining experience unlike any other in Charlotte; from the themed 10-course meals to the musical pairings to Hart’s commentary on each dish throughout the meal.

  • Now Hart says he’ll be able to take that experience to another level at the new location.
  • The seasonal themed menus and story-driven dishes will still be major parts of the immersive experience at the new space.
  • There will be a large bar that fits 22 people and it sees right into the open kitchen. 

Location: Both restaurants will be located at 2001 W. Morehead. They’re both reservation only.

Note: The original Counter- location (2200 Thrift Road) will remain open up until a few weeks before the new space opens.

Go deeper: Dine with all five senses at Counter-‘s elaborate 10-course dinner.

Dim Soul Counter

A dim sum inspired dish from Counter-. Paige Hopkins/Axios 

What to expect at Biblio: The new tapas restaurant will have more than 500 wines, valued at close to $120,000. Purchasing a bottle of wine comes with curated tapas pairings from the kitchen.

  • “Instead of our Sommelier pairing a bottle of wine to the food you order,” Sam said in a press release, “our Chef will create a unique, one-of-a-kind dish, that will pair perfectly with the bottle you order from our massive wine list.”

The tapas will be larger than what you’re probably used to. Hart says the portion sizes will align with traditional tapas served in Spain and southern France.

  • There won’t be a set food menu, and the tapas will be regularly changed based on what’s in season.
  • Diners can bring in their own bottles for a $65 corking fee, which includes the meal the chef cooks for you.
  • The new restaurant will have a small bar area and a courtyard outside where they’ll host “savor Sundays,” where you can taste champagne paired ith caviar for brunch.

“We want people to get lost for a while here,” Hart said in a release. “Enjoy the wine, conversation, and food. Have a mental siesta.”

The restaurant will also have a private-dining space, where you can host your own wine tasting event, and bring your own wine too. The chefs will take care of the rest and curate small plates to go with your bottle.

Editors note: The original version of this story was published in July of 2021. It’s been updated to reflect changes made by the restaurant owner, including new venues for the restaurants announced in February 2022.

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