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Restaurant Review: Mez

By 10:56 AM

It's tradition for the women in my family to leave on Thanksgiving day after our big family lunch to go shopping for the weekend. In the past we've traveled to places like Chicago and DC. This year, we decided to go to Charlotte and stay in the new Ritz there. Our first night (Thanksgiving night) we had made reservations at Mez - which was conveniently located right across the street from our hotel.

Mez is located in the EpiCentre which is a huge complex of restaurants, bars and even a movie theatre. At first glance, I though that Mez was a fairly small to medium sized restaurant. But as it turns out they have a large bar and lounge area that is right outside of the "formal dining room" that offer great views of the city. The atmosphere is pretty sexy - very low lighting, dark chocolate colored walls and browns and neutral colors everywhere. The lone pop of color being in a few brightly colored paintings. Modern music fills the air. The bathrooms have attendants.

We started with the cheese board and the pistachio crusted goat cheese. The cheese board was about average (the only part of the meal that was not excellent) - some blackberries, strawberries, grapes, sugared pecans and garlic rubbed toasted bread were the accompaniements to the cheese. There were three cheeses - a goat cheese, a parmesan and I think a cheddar or maybe a manchego. I'm not really sure because it was a very mild cheese, as was the parmesan. Also, honey was drizzled over the entire plate, which I found odd. I tend to like my cheese boards/trays presented with an explanation of what the cheeses are and I really enjoy when the server suggests pairings. Maybe my expetations are too high.

The pistachio crusted goat cheese was a different story. It was wonderful. The goat cheese was creamy and decadent. The large ball of goat cheese had been rolled in tons of toasted pistachios and sat on a bed of endive and tomatoes in a balsamic raspberry sauce with a hint of white truffle oil. Seriously delicious - we devoured it!

For my entree, I actually split the broiled halibut with my mama. We were pretty full from the cheese board and the goat cheese we had all shared. Instead of brining us one dish and a plate like some restaurants cheap out and do, Mez served each of us a beautifully presented portion of our own. The halibut was phenomenal. I'm not exaggerating. It was one of the best cooked pieces of fish that I have EVER had. It was extremely fresh. It was coated with macadamia nuts and drizzled with a passion fruit balsamic sauce. The halibut was served on sauteed spinach. Even the spinach, which I typically can take or leave cooked spinach, was delicious.

Our service was good - our waitress was attentive and to be honest, I don't remember her that well, just that we had everything we needed and the meal was timed well. Which to me, that's a good thing.

The menu offers many great options - all of us had a hard time figuring out what to get because so many things looked delicious. The wine list is not huge, but offers a good many varietals at varying price points. We would definitely return to Mez.

Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese

Cheese Platter

Broiled Halibut

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