CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte has a booming restaurant scene, and it's about to be celebrated in a new way.
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA) is launching Savor Charlotte -- a two-week-long food festival that runs from March 8 through 22 -- meant to help put the Queen City on the foodie town map. Participating restaurants will offer unique menus or special experiences during the festival.
The popular NoDa restaurant Haberdish is one of the dozens of Charlotte restaurants set to participate in the inaugural festival.
Jeff Tonidandel and his wife own Haberdish as well as four other Charlotte-area restaurants, and they are working on opening their sixth one.
“A lot of people go to Asheville and Charleston, and I think Charlotte is getting on that scene," Jeff Tonidandel said. “If we can put Charlotte on the culinary road map for everybody to come, it’s a great goal, and we're excited about it."
The CRVA is hoping Savor Charlotte will help with the effort to designate the city as the newest food destination in the Carolinas.
"It really has been growing for the last couple of years, and we're capitalizing on it," CRVA chief marketing and communications officer Gina Sheridan said.
Tourists already spend $2 billion a year on food in the Queen City.
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"We're literally creating the culinary perception through the people who are telling the story, and that’s what the essence of Savor Charlotte is," Sheridan said.
Another one of Tonidandel's restaurants Reigning Doughnut created a new barbecue flavor just for Savor Charlotte. His other restaurants, including Supperland which is one of the more than 100 new restaurants and bars to open in Mecklenburg County this year, plan to take a healthier approach, teaming up with local farmers to include the freshest ingredients possible.
“Every one of these places that opened and that is here is building our culinary scene and is going to put Charlotte on the map, so it's great,” Tonidandel said.
From a special cooking class at Taco Molino with executive chef and owner Scott Wallen, the Amaro tasting dinner with Chef Tommy Vance at Little Mama’s Italian, and a special discount at Biblio, to wine tastings at Dogwood Southern Table & Bar and cocktail classes at Billy Sunday or The Cocktailery, every Savor Charlotte is meant to be unique to the culinary artists making them. Savor Charlotte will also include the kick-off of Black Food Truck Fridays in partnership with Black Business Owners of Charlotte (BBOC), which will take place on Friday, March 17 from 4 to 9 p.m.
For more information on all the offerings, visit https://www.charlottesgotalot.com/savor.
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