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-, an almost one-year-old 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 April 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’ll 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 me.

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.

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  • Now Hart says he’ll be able to take that experience to another level at the new location, which will have a horseshoe layout for diners, an open plating area and an open, state-of-the-art kitchen.
  • The seasonal themed menus and story-driven dishes will still be major parts of the immersive experience at the new space.
  • There will be no division between the front and back of house.

“You see every single aspect, you’re fully involved,” Hart says of the open space. “It’s more like we’re inviting you into our kooky, crazy house to have dinner. We’re just preparing it while hanging out.”

Location: Both restaurants will be located at 700 Tuckaseegee Road. They’re both reservation only.

  • The two spaces will be right next to each other, but they’ll have a wall separating them and two separate kitchens.

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 about 500 wines. Purchasing a bottle of wine comes with curated tapas pairings from the kitchen.

  • “Really Biblio is our wine storage for Counter- that just happens to also have seating and a restaurant in it as well,” Hart says.

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 $60 corking fee.
  • The new restaurant will have an intimate bar and lounge inside, plus a “champagne courtyard” and sculpture garden outside.

“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.”

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