Background: The Summit room is off of East Boulevard in Dilworth, connected to another restaurant, The MayoBird. This location used to house a Caribou/Bruegger's, and it's an understatement to say that this change was a major upgrade. North Carolina native Deedee Mills owns both restaurants--The Mayobird is a lunchtime/coffee shop affair, and The Summit Room is their upscale dinner spot. Per our waitress and their website, the owner decided to open up the other half of the restaurant and name it The Summit Room after she climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Dang, girl.
Order This: When we sit down at a restaurant, we survey the menu and discuss our non-negotiable items, just like any two normal adults out to eat for the last time ever. There are spreadsheets and old school accountant visors involved, obviously. My must-have here was the Potato Gnocchi (Mushroom "tea" cream, herbs, roasted mushrooms, porcini dust, fresh cheese, blistered tomato relish, baby mustard greens). Take a minute and let that soak in. We split this one, but I already know that next time I won't even share. That was the only large plate we ordered, but also we split lots of small plates. We tried The Tomato Stack Salad and the Roasted Grape Salad--these were good, but not earth-shattering. You know, like salad tends to be. On to more important things: Sriracha Deviled Eggs (Peppadew Relish & Ghost Pepper Syrup), Lobster Nachos, Shrimp Bahn Mi Sliders, and a much-hyped Cheese Plate. The eggs were tasty, but not as spicy as we would have expected. The lobster nachos were well-liked, if a bit anemic on the portion and amount of lobster. Table favorite award goes to the Bahn Mi Sliders, they smashed and grilled the shrimp, which was a nice touch. The Cheese Plate did indeed live up to the hype, there were lots of accouterments like apple butter, spicy mustard, and honeycomb.
Dessert: Our dinner companions were shocked that we wanted dessert, and it was not the first time they had met us or dined with us...strange. Hopefully we will get them to come to the dark side and order dessert on the reg from now on. The Blueberry Hand Pie with Buttermilk Whipped Cream and Vanilla Sauterne Reduction...oh my wow. I would say there are no words, but there are, and the point is you just really need to stop whatever you're doing and go order this. The pie was huge (for those with big hands?), the crust was flakey and doughy, and, in sum, this was a highlight of the evening.
Drink: The craft cocktails here are where it's at. They have seven cocktails named after mountains, "The Seven Summits." We tried the Denali, made with Apple Pie Moonshine and North Carolina honey, and the Mount Vinson, made with Tito's vodka, vanilla bean syrup, and ginger beer. They also have seven more speciality cocktails that are twists on old favorites, like a Chocolate Old Fashioned. Their water and soft drinks are served in cool aluminum cups with the good, small, chewable ice. You know what I mean.
Atmosphere: We sat outside on the patio, which was to-die-for cute: warm lighting, comfy seats, and a very relaxing vibe.
Southern Hospitality: Everyone was so helpful and sweet, from the hostess to the manager. The only hiccup was when I asked for more bread and the waiter told me that he likes to tell his customers to pace themselves because there is more food coming...yeah. It's not my first time at a restaurant, bro. And these were cheddar scones, so of course I wanted seconds. It's only natural.
Frankie's Notes: Climbing mountains and opening multiple restaurants like a boss lady; See-through green visors and the kind of ice you get at golf courses and bowling alleys; Ordering salads even when you know it's going to suck; Going out with three and a half Jews who order the pork/shellfish combo; Pies that fit in your hand, if you have really big hands; Being food shamed by a waiter but overcoming it with cheese bread and butter.
Parking: There is a an ample parking lot attached to the restaurant. Easy peasy.
Ranking: 4 out of 5
1531 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
Monday-Saturday: 5:00 until ?