The theme for this week is restaurants on Elm Street. No nightmares here! We’ll start downtown, with some recent reopenings.
B.Christopher’s (201 North Elm, 336-274-5900, bchristophers.com) is a personal favorite. I am especially pleased to see specific safety procedures posted: single-use menus, sanitizing tables and chairs after each guest, appropriately spaced seating, and hand sanitizer stations throughout. Reservations are requested- especially appropriate these days. Dinner from 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
The restaurant describes itself as “The Great American Steakhouse,” and I do like their steaks. My wife and share the blackened ribeye. It’s big enough for two, and you can’t beat the flavor. Other cuts, of course, are available too. Scallops Risotto, Blackened Salmon, roasted Free Range Chicken, and Roasted Portabella Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese are stellar non-beef entrees. Sides are exceptional: garlic mashed potatoes, fried onion crisps, thin-cut French fries (fresh cut in house), the stellar corn crème brulee, as well as green beans, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus, sourced whenever possible through partnerships with local farms.
Blue Denim (217 South Elm, 336-676-5689, bluedenimgso.com) is open for no contact take out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Order online by 3:00 for same day pick up 5-6:30 p.m. Pre-orders are also welcome. The family team wears masks and gloves, and follows safety procedures to keep all areas clean and sanitized.
This place is all about flavor- abundant, wonderful flavors that characterize the South, especially Louisiana cooking. These dishes travel particularly well, too. Consider Low Country Shrimp Boil with corn and andouille sausage, Shrimp and Grits with tasso ham and andouille sausage cream sauce, or cornmeal dusted fried Catfish with field pea succotash. The White Chocolate Bread Pudding is decadent!
White & Wood (215 South Elm, 336-638-1216, thewhiteandwood.com) has added Sunday Brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) to its regular dinner hours (opening Monday-Saturday at 5:30). Inside dining is now available in addition to takeout.
The menu offers a lot of cheeses and cured meats, in addition to raw oysters, tuna tartare, and beef tartare, plus unusually good salads. Entrée choices tend toward the higher end: Lobster with crème fraiche and Meyer lemon, Chilean Seabass with prawn dumplings, Scallops in citrus-chicken jus, Duck Breast in Port and jus, Filet Mignon, and Lamb with lamb bacon and sweet onions and candy stripe beets.
@ Elm Street Grill (3606 North Elm Street, 336-286-4880, elmstgrill.com) is located on the other end of Elm Street. Ongoing phase 2 hours are 4:30-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Reservations are requested due to restricted seating space. Take out is available, too, of course. I have ordered from here on numerous occasions.
The menu blends casual with more upscale Southern American, plus occasional Indian cuisine as well. For starters, consider sweet chili Cauliflower or Firecracker Shrimp. Burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and tacos provide casual fare. Among the entrees, Fish and Chips, Jambalaya, Country Shrimp Skillet with sausage and corn, Shrimp and Grits with andouille sausage are all good choices. I often get Chicken Tikka Masala or Shrimp Coconut Curry. You’ll even find Italian- Shrimp and Scallops Alfredo, for example. This menu also offers a higher than usual number of vegetarian entrees, such as Tikka Masala with mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, and onions; Cauliflower tacos; and Avocado Panini.
Earlier editions of this series, with multiple other restaurant recommendations, can be found at issuu.com/yesweekly. See my recommendations for the North and South Carolina coast at the YES! Weekly website: yesweekly.com. Look under “Featured Stories.”
According to Yelp data, 24,000 restaurants have closed across the United States since the beginning of March. Do your part to help local restaurants survive!
And stay safe and healthy and well fed!