The 5 best restaurants for just cocktails, apps and conversation

The 5 best restaurants for just cocktails, apps and conversation
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By now, you all know I’m obsessed with food, and I’m almost always up for a big meal. But sometimes, I just need a place to try a new cocktail, have a bite to eat and catch up with a friend without compromising on quality food or trying to elbow my way to the bar. These are some of my favorite picks for the full trifecta.

As I compiled this short but sweet list, I also realized how much I enjoy eating and drinking outdoors. Let’s hope for another burst of warm weather over the next few weeks. I’m already over this winter thing.

Happy drinking/eating/conversing!

Good Food

good-food-cocktail

@goodfoodclt via Instagram

Ahh, Good Food. Home of really good food. I love this place because the whole menu is shareable, making it the perfect spot to hang out, sip on cocktails, and enjoy a plate or two (good luck choosing just one) with a friend.

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When you make it inside (go early!), see if you can chill at the chef’s counter toward the back. You’ll get a sneak peak of what goes on behind the scenes and enjoy a little more privacy.

App/Plate: The pork belly steamed bun, of course.

Cocktail: The cocktail menu changes, but the Rosemary Collins is always a consistent and smart choice. Lemon and rosemary infused Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, soda.

The Summit Room

summit-room-blueberry-smash

@eatdrinkclt via Instagram

If you haven’t heard, The Summit Room has amazing cocktails. They also happen to have a great atmosphere, including a fantastic front porch. Sit on the porch during one of our special Southern winter days. You’ll feel like you’re visiting a friend’s home instead of a public place.

App/Plate: I liked the lobster nachos, but I think those are seasonal. The pimento cheese deviled eggs sound like a good substitute.

Cocktail: The Blueberry Smash. Tito’s vodka, fresh lemon and lime sour, muddled blueberries. Pretty, isn’t it?

Fahrenheit

Fahrenheit-lamb-sliders

Oh you fancy, huh? Head on up to Fahrenheit for quality conversation over apps, drinks and a breathtaking view. You obviously can’t go wrong with a seat outside, but if you pick a particularly chilly night, take a seat at the bar. But make sure you brave the cold for a quick panorama of the skyline.

App/Plate: Seared lamb sliders with triple cream brie and Asian pear marmalade on a brioche bun. These are incredibly flavorful.

Cocktail: Try the Mango Mule off the “Mule menu.”

RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila

drinks-at-rurus

@airfitcharlotte via Instagram

A top contender for the best patio in Charlotte. This place serves up yummy tacos and margaritas but really hits home with its setup. Head here with your co-workers after a long day to unwind with over 100 types of tequila (but not all at once.) For a fun conversation piece, see how many movie references you can guess from the menu.

App/Plate: Three Amigos. Salsa, guac and queso. Done.

Cocktail: My Precious. Cucumber vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, cucumber slices. (Bonus: This one’s Lord of the Rings. I win!)

The Punch Room

punch-room

Photo via the Punch Room Facebook page

I was recently introduced to the magical place that is The Punch Room. This is the ideal location for a relaxed night with good company and out-of-this-world cocktails. With only 37 seats, The Punch Room offers a sophisticated bar experience in a dimly lit, beautifully-furnished lounge on the 15th floor of the Ritz-Carlton. Does it get any cooler?

App/Plate: You can order a small plate from the Ritz-Carlton’s kitchen to complement your drink of choice.

Cocktail: Share a punch, particularly the Fiesta. Tequila, cilantro, jalapeno, beet ginger kombucha, orange and lime. Whoa.

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