Bonterra Dining and Wine Room in Charlotte

Bonterra on Urbanspoon

photo credit: City Data

Bonterra first came onto my radar when  Groupon offered a deal for $50 worth of food for $25.  I looked at the website and was less than impressed.  It wasn’t bad, just…amateurish.  Plus, once I arrived, I found the menu they have posted online was actually much more abbreviated than what they actually offer.  In fact, if not for that Groupon, I don’t know that I’d have even given Bonterra a chance.  And what a mistake that would have been.

Let me apologize immediately for the quality of the photos.  I brought my decent little digital camera, but decided against the flash in this fancy little place.  What looked good on my display translated to dark blurry images once downloaded.  How disappointing!

I’m sorry the photos don’t show it, but the food was amazing.  Simply delicious.  The service was just as good, possibly.  Our waiter was not as knowledgeable as he could have been, but he made up for it in kindness and attentiveness.  In fact, I asked a few questions (in preparation for writing this blog post) and he had to run off and go ask the chef (presumably) about every one of them.

To start off we enjoyed the Chef’s Choice of Charcuterie and Fromage (meat and cheese) with these yummy little accompaniments : honeyed pecans, thinly sliced pears, baby vegetables and one grainy mustard and one smooth mustard.   It also came with house made crackers and bread.  It was amazing.

Like idiots, we both ordered seafood for our entrees.  We just couldn’t help it.  In fact, we both wanted the scallops, but there was NO WAY I was going to get the same exact entree, so I quickly swapped my choice to the Grouper.  And I am so glad I did.  It was so juicy and tender.  It was so full of flavor and cooked perfectly.  It sat on a bed of kale and bulghar, which I never knew I loved.  Huh.

My hubs got the seared scallops.  Lord have mercy, they were good, but not quite as good as mine.  The scallops were properly seared and you’ll notice the same sauce (not honey mustard) is under both seafood dishes.  The only difference is that this dish had a parsley spaetzle.  Those were doughy and not that great to me, but my hubs liked them, so there ya go.

Yep, even after all of that food, we had to get dessert.  Once again, I was foiled when my hubs chose the creme brulee’, but I kindly deferred to my second choice, which was simply heavenly.  The creme brulee’ though….yummmm.  Just like that other thing men love so dearly, creme brulee’ is good, even when it’s bad.  Creamy custard topped by scorched sugar.  What’s not to like?  It was perfect.

So, I got the chocolate hot lava cake.  I wanted a souffle but didn’t want to wait, so lava cake it was.  Again, always good.  This one was yummy and melty in the middle, like you’d expect.  Notice the sauces swirled alongside: creme anglaise, raspberry coulis and some chocolate shmear.  The real star accompaniment was the pistachio ice cream.  Fresh and tons of flavor…not like the nuclear green ice cream Breyers puts out.

So, the food was brilliant.  The most awesome thing was that this restaurant is in an old church and is absolutely stunning inside.  And it was packed.  You don’t hear a lot about Bonterra when combing the “Best Of” lists, but if you don’t go, you are sincerely missing out.


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