I think it’s safe to say I dine at restaurants more often than the average eater, that is to say A LOT. I impose mandatory splitsies on my dining companions, which means everyone gets to try everyone’s food, so it’s normal for me to sample several plates during a single meal. This is good for obvious reasons (though my pants may disagree), but trying lots of different things means you’ll inevitably end up with a dish or two that just don’t strike your fancy–something you wouldn’t order again or that you wouldn’t recommend to a friend. Every once in a while, I’ll find myself eating an AMAZING appetizer, and feel my apprehension grow as I worry the remainder of the meal won’t live up to the starter.
This is precisely how I felt when I dined at Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse for the first time. I started with a glass of Malbec and their fried green Napoleon: salty fried green tomatoes, sautéed spinach, sweet bits of corn, and bacon atop a dollop of warm, creamy goat cheese (a hearty serving for a mere $8).
Stretching my luck, I ordered another appetizer, the PEI mussels with green curry, coconut milk, citrus, cilantro, grilled baguette ($12). Two fantastic starters (not to mention well-priced, substantial servings) that I’d happily order again. And honestly it’s hard to make that statement because there are several other items on the appetizer list I’d like to try (including the crab beignets, baked goat cheese, and warm Brussels sprout salad, with bacon lardons, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and champagne vinaigrette!).
For our first entrée, we split the seared diver scallops: four good-sized scallops served with risotto-style sweet potatoes, warm heirloom tomato, and orange beurre blanc over arugula ($29). The risotto-style sweet potatoes were unlike anything I’d ever had before–I actually had to double check the menu to be certain the sweet, creamy cubes weren’t some sort of foreign-shaped grain. Delicious.
Given the restaurant’s name, I felt obliged to order some beef. Flatiron solely serves Wagyu beef, a highly rated domestically raised Japanese breed of cattle. The beef entrees range in price from the $15 Wagyu burger (hickory grilled with white cheddar and onions) to the $33 Wagyu flat iron (the most tender, buttery steak I’ve had in Charlotte, served with Brussels sprouts and roasted garlic whipped potatoes). There’s also a tenderloin, ribeye, and puff-pastry-wrapped Wagyu meatloaf.
Other than beef, Flatiron’s dinner menu features a garlic herb chicken, cast iron duck with pomegranate reduction, veal cutlet, shrimp & grits, housemade pastas, Scottish salmon, and hickory-grilled NC mountain trout. Every dessert is made in house, including the special cheesecake bread pudding I enjoyed on my visit. The bar features craft brews, including at least six local NC beers at all times, over forty different wines including twenty-six(!) by the glass, and handcrafted cocktails.