Jun 29, 2018 - Food and Drink

6 quick things to know before your first dinner date at The Stanley



The Stanley, a new restaurant by James Beard Award Semifinalist chef Paul Verica, recently opened its doors in Elizabeth. Here’s a few takeaways from my first visit.

The 2,808-square-foot space previously occupied by Crisp is located at the corner of E. 7th Street and Pecan Avenue in a business district formerly known as Stanleyville. Hence, the name.

Small bar lounge area immediately to your right when you walk into The Stanley

(1) Reservations are hard to come by right now.

Unless you’re aiming for a 5 p.m. or 10 p.m. dinner, you’re going to have to book about a week in advance.

The Stanley only seats 63 total, including a private dining room in the back that can accommodate 28 and an 11-seat bar in the main dining room. Bar seats are first-come, first served and I’d ask for the front dining room if they’ll let you choose.

Verica worked with the team at d3 Studio to preserve the 1947 building’s standout features — including original tin-pressed ceilings, brick and windows — balanced with sleek modern finishes.

(2) You’re going to want to grab a cocktail at the bar.

The Stanley’s bar is cozy and the cocktails are delicious.

I recommend the following cocktails:

  • Stanleyville ($13) – Evan Williams bonded bourbon, rittenhouse, spiced cherry syrup, angostura bitters
  • The Nobleman ($13) – Lunazul silver tequila, campari, strawberry-rhubarb cordial, lime
Caswell Cooler ($13, left) – Sutler’s gin, dry vermouth, cucumber juice and Good Road Cider. Stanleyville ($13, right) – Evan Williams bonded bourbon, rittenhouse, spiced cherry syrup, angostura bitters.
The Nobleman ($12, left) – Lunazul silver tequila, campari, strawberry-rhubarb cordial, lime. Mezcal is the New Black ($20, right)-  Casamigos mexcal tequila, black sesame seed, rice wine shrub, agave nectar.

(3) Yes, the menu really does change and you can actually view the version on the top right-hand corner of the menu.

We went on June 21, only about a month or so after they opened, and the version number was already #024.


(4) You can fill up on small plates, or go big with the $55 buttermilk fried chicken order.

My wife and I ordered four small plates and a dessert. It was the perfect amount of food.

Steam bun, fried chicken, slaw and pickles ($13)
Surf and Turf – beef tartare, fried oysters, veggie slaw, truffle aioli ($17)

(5) If I had to compare The Stanley, I’d say it feels like the love child of Fig Tree, Kindred and Dot Dot Dot.

It’s immediately a top 10 restaurant in Charlotte and you can make an argument for the top spot.

The Stanley has an adult feel. It’s the spot you go to for an anniversary, not to get drunk with buddies.

Scallop, fennel, spinach, mushrooms, demi-glace ($16)

(6) The Stanley will pair well with The Crunkleton, a classic cocktail lounge under construction two doors down.

No doubt that The Stanley and The Crunkleton (opening this fall) will be one of the hottest drink and dinner combos in the city. Great news for the Elizabeth neighborhood.

It’s kind of funny and fitting that a Starbucks is sandwiched between two of our city’s top new openings of 2018.

Fancy chocolate dessert at The Stanley

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