Here are 20 not-to-be-missed food and drinks this May

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Courtesy of Burtons Grill & Bar

May is the month when patios open and people can watch the sun set over the Queen City while enjoying their drinks and dinner outside. May also means menu changes for local restaurants, as fresh spring and summer produce comes into season.

With the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo just past us and Mother’s Day to look forward to, food- and beverage-focused events are flowing this month. May promises to be a delicious time to get out and taste something new.

Here are 20 places to go, along with some of the new things you should try this month. (If prices are not listed, they are not yet available.)

(1) Aria Tuscan Grill

100 N. Tryon St.

Courtesy of Aria Tuscan Grill

Aria’s May menu additions include options for lunch, dinner and dessert in addition to new handcrafted cocktails developed by mixologist master, Bob Peters, and a wine list curated by Aria’s beverage director, Briana Cohen.

Some of the new menu items include:

Porchetta Panini with slow-roasted pork, arugula, garlic aioli and onion mostarda on ciabatta from Nova’s Bakery. $12, lunch only

The Rocket Flatbread with bresaola and goat cheese topped with fresh arugula salad. $13

Short Rib Agnolotti with roasted baby turnips, sautéed market greens and sage butter. $18

Mint Pappardelle with Lamb Bolognese, local Uno Alla Volta fresh ricotta, watermelon radish and snipped salsa verde. $17

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Sicilian caponata and aged balsamic drizzle. $36

Wild-Caught NC Mahi-Mahi served over Tuscan seafood stew with PEI Mussels, baby squid and fregula. $25

The Chocolate Budino dessert with espresso crema, candied hazelnuts and sea salt. $7

Cassata, an Uno Alla Volta orange ricotta cake, served with Gnam Gnam basil gelato. $8

(2) Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen

4001-C Yancey Road, #100

Chef Alyssa is at it again. She’s added new items to her brunch menu, and beer and wine are now available for purchase. Brunch is served on Saturdays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Shrimp and Grits: NC shrimp, smoked tomato and house bacon pan sauce over slow cooked Anson Mills grits. $13

Bagel and Lox: House made everything bagel, house smoked lox, chive cream cheese, red onion, tomato and capers. $10

Leslie Knope Waffle: Fluffy waffle topped with berry compote, hazelnut butter whipped cream and hazelnut brittle. $9

(3) WP Kitchen + Bar

6706-C Philips Place Court

Courtesy of WP Kitchen & Bar

This month, the team at WP will launch a new spring cocktail menu, which includes: 

Strawberry Fields made with Ketel One vodka, fresh strawberries and mint shaken together with a dash of simple syrup.

Strange Days made with a mix of Jim Beam, Blood Orange and a hint of ginger.

Pink Kool-Aid made with Hendricks gin, Amarena cherry essence, lemon juice and mineral water.

(4) Burtons Grill & Bar

1601 E. Woodlawn Road A

Courtesy of Burtons Bar & Grill

Ahi Tuna Salad: Seared tuna, noodles julienne vegetables, pickled onions, sesame ginger vinaigrette and crispy wontons. $18.95

Salmon Romesco: Gulf of Main bronzed salmon, served with Romesco sauce, herbed jasmine rice, haricot verts and citrus fennel slaw. $22.95

(5) BLT Steak Charlotte

110 N. College St.

BLT is celebrating Mother’s Day with a brunch menu fit for a queen — or your momma. For this special menu, patrons can order the country-style blueberry buttermilk pancakes ($15), brioche french toast with bananas foster and chopped pecans ($15) or Omar’s omelet, made with three eggs, ham and red peppers ($19).

(6) Fran’s Filling Station

2410 Park Road

Normally closed on Sundays, Fran’s Filling Station is opening on Mother’s Day from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a special brunch menu. The menu will feature fresh breakfast pastries, seasonal fruit salad, beef bourguignon and more. The menu price is set at $28 per adult and $12 for kids 12 and under.

(7) Pink Cactus

4423 Sharon Road

Courtesy of Pink Cactus

For Mother’s Day, Pink Cactus will be offering a special brunch menu in addition to their regular menu. Some of the additions include: Endless Bellini special for $20, $5 sangria, Belgian waffle with two eggs, bacon, and fresh strawberries for $10; and grilled filet mignon with herbs and butter Brussels sprouts for $20.

(8) Frutta Bowls

1055 Metropolitan Ave., Suite A4

Courtesy of Frutta Bowls

This month kicks off a “choose two” combo for $11. Pictured is the Bravacodo toast and the pink flamingo lemonade.

(9) The Dunavant

2322 Dunavant St., Suite 200

Courtesy of The Dunavant

Forget chicken and waffles, The Dunavant has added chicken and funnel cake to their weekend brunch menu (Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.).

Chicken and funnel cake, boneless chicken thighs battered in seasoned flour, fried and served with a funnel cake, citrus honey and powdered sugar. Choice of strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry sauce. $17

(10) Upstream

6902 Phillips Place

Every Tuesday enjoy Lobsters & Sunsets on the patio from 7 p.m. until close. Reservations are required, but for $35 you can get three courses (served family style) and a 1.5-pound lobster.

(11) Bar Cocoa

201 East Trade St.

Photo Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

Strawberry Shortcake Pop: Strawberry cremeux, vanilla bean mousse, white cocoa butter, strawberry shortcake crumble. $5.50

(12) K Lounge

201 E. Trade St.

Photo Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte

Spring Elyx: Prosecco, coconut rum, mango juice, rhubarb bitters. $16

Strawberry Field: Marcona almond, goat cheese, champagne vinaigrette. $12

(13) Hidden Wine

201 E. Trade St.

Located next to the front desk at the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, Hidden Wine is a wine shop that also offers classes, specials and events.

Wine Down Wednesday: complimentary cheese pairing with purchase of a bottle of wine.

Take Flight Friday: $18 wine tasting flights with choice of red or white wine.

Champagne Delight Saturday: Champagne cocktails with purchase of split bottles.

(14) Loft & Cellar

305 W. Fourth St.

Take advantage of the specials occurring throughout the week at Loft & Cellar.

Monday – Friday, 4 – 7 p.m: Enjoy $8 appetizers and $7 Moscow Mule of the week cocktails.

Monday: Half-priced bottles of wine.

Thursday: Couples Night. Enjoy a featured cocktail carafe or a “Reserve List” bottle of wine, two shared plates and a dessert for $50.

Sunday: Sunday Supper, featuring a new menu each week.

(15) The Crunkleton

1957 E. Seventh St.

Courtesy of The Crunkleton

New items at The Crunkleton include:

Duck & Oyster Gumbo: Carolina Gold Rice, duck confit and a Calabash oyster. $12

NC Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy: shaved iceberg, remoulade, charred lemon and heirloom tomato. $23

Campfire S’more: House-made virgin bourbon marshmallow, pecan pie and a changing seasonal crumble. $11

The Gracious Lady: a 1930s gin-based drink with orange liqueur, egg whites, angostura and fresh-squeezed lemon. $13

The Pimm’s No.1 Cup: Based on a recipe from the 1880s. $13

The Painkiller, a 1970s style Tiki drink. $13

Also, The Crunkleton is adding over 100 antique spirits to their wall —including a selection of Pre-Prohibition- and Prohibition-era whiskeys, bottled as far back as 1906.

(16) Bulla Gastrobar

4310 Sharon Road, Suite W01

Courtesy of Bulla Gastrobar

New spring items include chorizo stuffed dates ($10.5), empanadillas de Atun ($9) and spring cheesecake ($8). New spring cocktails include the springtime vodka tonic with Tito’s vodka, Fever-Tree Mediterranean tonic water, star anise, crackled black pepper and a lime wheel ($13); and the stay classy cocktail with Aviation Gin, Fever-Tree aromatic tonic water, blackberry and a rosemary spring ($14).

(17) Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub

3116 N. Davidson St.

This year, Crepe Cellar turns 10, and to celebrate this anniversary they have launched a new spring dinner menu. Here is just a sample of the dishes they have added.

Lavender Lime Linguini: Charred lime, lavender-rosemary cream, linguini pasta, roasted tomatoes, fennel pollen, capers and seared scallops.

Duck Confit: Confit leg, cilantro cucumber yogurt, farro, saffron-pickled fennel and charred onion agro dulce.

Baby Arugula Salad: Wild baby arugula, smoked beets, blackberry goat cheese, toasted almonds, pickled fennel and honey lemon vinaigrette.

(18) Haberdish

3106 N. Davidson St.

Haberdish is revamping their brunch menu this month. Be ready to see some of your favorite dishes mixed in with some new options. There will also be new cocktails and new dinner options, as well.

Here are some of the new brunch options:

Smoked Trout Tartine: Toasted baguette, herbed cream cheese, smoked trout, pickled red onion, tomatoes, arugula, poached egg and everything seasoning. $12

Tater Tot Benedict: Edward’s country ham, tater tot round and house hollandaise. $13

Potato Bowl: Roasted potatoes, bacon, stewed peppers and onions, two poached eggs. $13

(19) Hickory Tavern

Several locations

Courtesy of Hickory Tavern

This month, Hickory Tavern is unveiling its newest burger, ‘Merica’s Burger. For every ‘Merica’s Burger sold, $1 will be donated to The Independence Fund to help veterans in need and their families.

‘Merica’s Burger: Ground beef topped with smoked gouda mac and cheese, and served au gratin style with crispy bacon, grilled fresh tomato and served on a toasted, buttered bun. $11.79

(20) Stoke Charlotte

100 W. Trade St.

Courtesy of Stoke Charlotte

In addition to an updated spring menu, Stoke’s Doughnut Tent is returning. Every Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., people can purchase $1 donut holes with diplomat cream, mini versions of the famous one-pound donut, at the tent.

Some of the spring additions at Stoke include:

Benne Shrimp Toast with remoulade verde on copain bread.

Foie Gras Tart with strawberry, pistachio and buckwheat.

Wood-Fired Chicken embrued with BBQ sauce, polenta and chicken feed.

Monkfish with rice grits, lobster fumet, Tennessee ham and maitake.

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