Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Carpe Diem Restaurant

It's restaurant week in Charlotte, which means that many of the Queen City's finest dining establishments offer three or four course meals for $30.   Certainly, I'm not one to frequent fine dining restaurants on a resident's meager budget, but it seemed to be the perfect opportunity for myself and several other PGY-2 residents and their better halves to enjoy a night out.  Reservations went fast, and so we found ourselves being adventurous and going out on a Tuesday night. 

Carpe Diem was the restaurant of choice.  They are located in the Elizabeth neighborhood in Charlotte and feature modern cuisine with a variety of options.  Their restaurant menu included a choice of soup or salad, entree, and dessert.  Here are my selections:

Goat Cheese Salad
Mixed greens, hazelnut crust, wine poached onions, apricot jalapeno vinaigrette

The onions were quite flavorful and the goat cheese was nice and tangy.  I was disappointed in the apricot jalapeno vinaigrette, as it just didn't seem to have much in the way of any flavor.  Overall, it was a good salad.

Prior to our main courses, we were served an amuse bouche of green tea papaya sorbet.  Yum!

Miso Orange Glazed Seared Scottish Salmon
Leeks, shiitakes, scallion-ginger relish, heirloom Forbidden black rice

I hesitated to order salmon since it seemed to be a rather unexciting choice.  However, I was thrilled with my choice when it arrived.  The scallion ginger relish was the best part and added tremendous flavor.  The fish was cooked perfectly and had a delicious orange-miso flavor.

Belgian Chocolate Pudding
Fresh whipped cream and pumpkin seed-aleppo chili brittle

Dessert was the easiest choice for the evening.  The rich chocolate pudding paired perfectly with the light whipped cream and the slightly spicy and crunchy chili brittle.

Overall, our meal was excellent and a nice treat for residents used to eating simple home-cooked meals or hospital cafeteria food.  Sadly, the service was less than impressive.  Our waitress seemed to be in a bad mood from the start, rushing us to order drinks within seconds of being seated.  She never came to ask if we were satisfied with our food, and then made errors on all of our checks at the end of the evening.  For an established fine dining restaurant, I certainly expect equally superior service.  I'd love to eat at Carpe Diem again and explore their regular menu, but I certainly would hope for a better waitstaff.

Great food and even better company!
A few people were unable to join us due to work schedules, but the seven of us had a great night out.

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