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October 25, 2019

Who is responsible for pushing us forward?

Growing takes risks, but who is willing to take them?

Last week, I was invited to attend a dinner previewing Anomaly, an upcoming restaurant that will serve a tasting menu in Dilworth. The experience is meant to be interactive, with a layout that encourages conversation between diners and the chefs preparing their meals.

Chef Sam Hart says the name Anomaly was chosen because it will be unlike any other restaurant in town. When we spoke to him about the concept, he told us he had recently gotten into a heated discussion with some other local chefs about why there isn’t a high-end tasting menu restaurant in town, when cities such as Nashville do have them.

“It doesn’t make sense that one of those isn’t at home in Charlotte, especially with the demographic that we have in Charlotte, the passion that we have in Charlotte.”

The restaurant will open with reservations for just 15 people, giving it an exclusivity that will certainly help to fill seats, and the price point less than some wine dinners around town.

I’m hopeful the city will sustain the effort. Most of my best dining experiences have been tasting menus, whether abroad or making the drive down to Waxhaw for a tasting menu at Heritage.

It’s a risky move to open something so different in a fickle city, but not having a tasting menu restaurant is certainly a gap in our culinary scene — and we haven’t had one since Heirloom added an a la carte option to its offerings. Whose responsibility is it to fill those gaps? Props to the Anomaly team for having the faith in Charlotte needed to open their concept. —Kristen Wile

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