After David Murdock decided on Kannapolis for his Research Campus dream, he realized there was nowhere for him to eat when he visited. So he built Forty-Six. And it was good.
Really, really good. And beautifully decorated, comfortable, and (supposedly) sourced as much as possible from NC farms and animals.
Before I get into a review, a warning. They only serve dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm guessing this will change once the Research Campus is in full swing, but who knows when that will be. On Thursday nights they have a cocktail/networking thing till 7:00 with free hors d'oeuvres. I am unfamiliar with their lunch schedule (if there is one).
We ate there this past Saturday for the second time. I didn't want to post a review after our first visit because I was afraid the deliciousness was some kind of a fluke. In Charlotte, this place might get lost among the other notable places, but for those of us who dwell in Cabarrus County, Forty Six is a rare gem and a place that my husband and I will be visiting, I'm guessing, at least monthly.
Even on Friday and Saturday nights, the incredibly attractive dining rooms (there are 2) are still largely empty, which is unfortunate. The servers are very cheerful and eager to help, but pretty inexperienced for this type of restaurant. I imagine the pool of applicants in Kannapolis did not include a whole lot of folks who had served in higher-end places before. But this fact doesn't subtract much from the enjoyment of the meal and they'll learn in time I think.
The wine-by-the-bottle list is currently tiny, but reasonably priced. There are cocktail specials on the menu too, but I have not sampled any of those. One of our gripes is that they serve the wine in mod looking old-fashioned glasses (they look sort of like beakers, which matches their science theme I guess) - no stemware. With the mid-range wine that we've ordered, this is only aggravating. If we were to order something off the high-end, it would border on being unacceptable.
The appetizers have been great so far. Though this time I ordered a salad which, on the menu, promised warm goat cheese with spiced walnuts, but turned out to have warm goat cheese and beets. It was still tasty though. On our first visit, a delicious crabcake starter was a real standout.
The dinner menu is not long but offers a nice range of offerings that are reasonably priced for the quality. As the menu changes weekly, there are no specials. I THINK the most expensive thing I have seen is the NY Strip with lobster mashed potatoes for $26. My husband had this on our first visit and loved it. On that visit, I had scallops which were perfectly cooked. This time I had the pork chop which was good, but not amazing. My husband ordered the Shrimp and Grits. The menu states simply "Our version, trust us". What we expect when we think of shrimp and grits is a big bowl of grits, shrimp, maybe some sausage - basically comfort food. What arrived was five shrimp prettily arranged around a square of grits cake (better than it sounds) - very modern presentation. It was definitely delicious, but didn't necessarily fill the "comfort food" hole.
So far, the dessert menu has not changed. The chocolate creme brulee is soooo good. As was the pumpkin cheesecake. The only thing that hasn't been great was some hazelnut gelato which was really grainy, though the flavor was nice. They do offer a menu of dessert drinks including 1.5 oz pours of port, which is just the right amount for me and not priced prohibitively.
Overall, this place gets a big thumbs up from me. The food has yet to disappoint and I think the service quirks will be smoothed over; I can't wait to see it get more crowded. I encourage you to go try it if you can. If anyone else, has been there, I'd love to hear about it.