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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

July 21, 2023

Where Chefs Eat: Rosemont’s Mike Long

Executive chef seeks a little spicy and a little comfort when dining out

By TM Petaccia

Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or food artisan to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there.

This week, we interviewed Mike Long, executive chef at Rosemont Market & Wine Bar. Long has an established history in the Charlotte restaurant scene, serving as the executive chef at The Asbury until his arrival with 1957 Hopsitality Group. When he’s not on the clock, he seeks a little international flair, a little comfort food, and just a touch of spice when dining out.

Lamb with cumin – Xinjiang Style from Riceblossom (Taste of Shu). TM Petaccia/UP

Riceblossom (formerly Taste of Shu), Park Crossing
Szechuan restaurant which recently added other non-spicy Asian dishes and sushi
Mike’s order: Fried diced chicken — Chongqing style, double-cooked sliced pork belly, cellophane bean noodles with ground pork, lamb with cumin — Xinjiang style, Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce, sautéed Chinese broccoli
Mike’s take: “I’ve been back since they changed names, but I stuck to the dishes that had me hooked when I first found out about this place. All of these dishes have a little heat, but nothing too crazy. I always ask them to make it just a little spicy. They have a huge selection, so I try to branch out for new items when I go. Everything I’ve had there has been great.”

Curry Gate, Tryon Hills, LoSo
Indian restaurant with many traditional dishes
Mike’s order: Palak paneer, Chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, samosas, naan
Mike’s take: “I have always loved Indian food and struggled to find a spot in Charlotte that is consistent and I enjoy. I normally get a few options, so I have plenty of leftovers. You can get levels of spice from 1-10. I normally stick to a 3-4, it’s enough heat for me to enjoy a full plate before the spice catches up with me. I’ve tried dishes that were at levels 5-6. I can’t imagine how spicy it gets at 9 or 10.”

Reuben from The Good Wurst. TM Petaccia/UP

The Good Wurst Co., Plaza Midwood, Wilmore, Riverbend
NY-style deli offering a variety of traditional sandwiches and specialty fries
Mike’s order: Reuben, Belgian fries, hot dogs
Mike’s take: “They have the best Reuben in town. They make their own pastrami and hot dogs in-house which I really enjoy. I really like the mix of the curry ketchup and the Dutch mayo they use. If I’m in the mood for hot dogs, I’ll get a Carolina style or a ‘build your own’ with the white-hot sausage and spicy mustard. The menu has expanded a lot since opening a few years ago but all centered around simple quality flat-top cookery and quality meats not to mention the best housemade french fries in the city. An added bonus is most of the time at the Central Avenue location, they are playing Grateful Dead concerts most of the time on the TV.”

Moosehead Grill, Montford
Casual taproom and restaurant
Mike’s order: Uncle Donnie’s blackened wings, fried Pepper Jack cheese
Mike’s take: “Their kitchen is open till 11:30, so it’s a place to get great bar food after I get off work. Normally I get wings with blue cheese, but if I want a little more spice, I’ll get the bee sting sauce on the side. If you are there with friends and want some good snacking food the nachos are a great value for the mountain of chips and toppings they cover it with. You’ll find plenty of service industry folks hanging out on any given night.

Tonkotsu ramen from Menya Daruma on 7th Street. TM Petaccia/UP

Menya Daruma, Elizabeth
Noodle shop specializing in ramen and abura soba
Mike’s order: Cucumber tsukemono (cucumber and mushroom salad), gyoza, Tonkotsu ramen
Mike’s take: “One of my favorite quick lunch spots. You can be in and out in 30 minutes. The food comes out fast and hot, ordering via a QR code. I normally sit at the bar and watch the extremely organized kitchen work. With the Tonkotsu ramen, I add soy-marinated garlic and extra wood ear mushrooms. I’m excited to try the omakase when they open that stage of their restaurant in the near future.”

See where other Charlotte chefs and industry pros eat

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