Oct 24, 2023 - Food and Drink

Get ready for Counter- 3.0. Charlotte’s popular tasting menu restaurant is switching it up

Photo: Kenty Chung

Counter- is reinventing itself again. Fans of the Wesley Heights tasting menu restaurant will experience a fresh concept starting Nov. 15.

Context: Counter- has a 12-year shelf life self-imposed by its owner and James Beard nominated chef, Sam Hart.

  • It’s currently on its second iteration out of six planned evolutions. The first was in its original location in West Charlotte.

Why it matters: Counter- is one of Charlotte’s best restaurants, and its five-senses dining experience is one of a kind in the city.

[Go deeper: 5 things to know before eating at Counter-]

What’s happening: Starting next month, diners at Counter- can enjoy the restaurant in three phases.

  • It’ll now have a new lobby and seating area within Counter’s sister restaurant Biblio, where phase one of the dinner begins. There, you’ll be separated into small groups and meet with a restaurant team member who will serve as your guide throughout the night. It’ll also be where you get your first few bites of food and get started on beverages.
  • Then, you’ll make your way to the main dining room for the primary part of the meal and story, dictated by Hart.
  • After your main courses, you’ll walk through the kitchen area and meet the kitchen staff before you settle into the final phase of the experience in a different part of Biblio, where you’ll have your final bites and drinks.
  • This will not only change the layout of the restaurant, but it’ll also change the length of your meal from about an hour and 45 minutes to a two-and-a-half hours to three hours.

“We’re going to increase the level of service, food, story, experience, everything,” Hart said. 

Those who’ve dined at Counter- before will notice the main part of the dining experience will remain the same but the start and end of the meal will have an elevated experience. Photo: Courtesy of Kenty Chung

Zoom in: Counter-‘s themed menus change seasonally. Its winter menu is available for reservations now. Those who attend will be the first to experience Counter- 3.0.

  • Counter-‘s winter menu is called “Time.” It’ll feature “locally farmed ingredients in various stages of aging,” according to Hart, who is also working with local vendors to “pair the best game of the season with the menu. “
  • The standard price for the menu will stay the same (about $185) and the “ultimate” version of the menu will go up by $10, starting at $235. The “ultimate” gets you four additional courses using rare ingredients and a taste of some dishes from the past year.
Counter-
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Between the lines: If you’ve been inside the building, you know that this re-arrangement will also affect Biblio, a reverse wine-pairing restaurant. There will now be fewer tables and the space will have a more intimate feel, according to Hart.

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