Here in Charlotte for another meeting. I'm not in charge of picking restaurants this time, so I get the hand I'm dealt. But so far so good. We ate last night at Capitol Grille....it was better than I remember it being both there and in another city.
Tonight's dinner at GW Fin's was very much enjoyed by all of our group of eight. I understand that there are two of these restaurants, one here (open about five months, its on Tryon St a block or so off Trade. Apparently it used to be an Italian place at that location, but decor is totally redone) and the original in New Orleans. As you would guess by the name, they specialize in seafood, all supposedly flown in fresh. I must admit everything we ate was delicious. For appetizers we started with the smoked sizzling oysters...they shuck the oysters, then get the shells very, very hot, add a smokey flavor somehow to the oysters and put them back on the shells, where they steam cook. Delicious. We also tried the lobster dumplings. I thought they were a little bland, but I'm not a big lobster fan. Others in the group loved them.
For a main I had the crab cakes, served with an asian slaw. Lump crab, and lots of it. Very, very good. Slaw was good too. My seatmate to the right had the wood-grilled scallops....wow! Huge and they melt in your mouth. Serving was generous: six HUGE scallops. She could only eat three; better for me. We ordered several sides to share, including the highly touted mushroom risotto (worth the hype), and the asparagus. (just ok; not quite the season I think...). Some loved the mashed sweet potatoes; I didn't try them because they mash them with bananas. What a waste of good sweet potato. But my favorite side was the spaghetti squash: so naturally sweet it was like eating desert, and topped with pine nuts, an excellent combination that I will remember.
Service was wonderful and we had a nice big round table in a quiet corner where the eight of us could talk. Very nice. I have no idea what the bill was....but the host seemed very satisfied. We will definitely keep it on the rotation.
We shared several deserts. There were raves about the chocolate cake; I'm not a chocolate fan so to me its just chocolate cake. The creme brulee was good if not great; the apple pie was wonderful!! It had a cheese-baked crust and was served ala mode. One serving is enough for two, easily! I say go for it.
Tomorrow is Ratcliffe. I've been wanting to eat there, so I'm making out pretty well this trip....especially since I haven't had to pick up the bill once!!