James Beard-nominated chef, Sam Hart, drives an ever-evolving, multi-course menu based on monthly themes, giving diners a one-of-a-kind experience with each visit.
Cuisine Type: High-concept tasting menu
Ambience: Fine dining
We went to one of the Anomaly popups before Counter had a permanent location back at the beginning of 2020. We really enjoyed the food and experience so we decided to choose it for our anniversary celebration this year. I made the reservation a while ago and was kind of nervous about dining inside with how bad the pandemic is right now. Luckily, it's a very small restaurant and there was only one other group dining at the same time as us (and of course the staff all had masks on). If you aren't familiar, there is always a theme that changes every few months. All of the courses on the tasting menu are centered around that theme and they pick music that goes with the theme and dishes as well. They plate each dish in the center of the seating area and describe it for you. The theme right now is cinema. The whole thing was really fantastic. Our top two dishes were a scallop one and a pork belly one, but there wasn't a single one that wasn't delicious. It's a very expensive meal, but I think it's the best dining experience in Charlotte. We won't be back all the time, but it's a great place to celebrate a special occasion. We'll definitely be back if there's a future theme we like.
Had the most unbelievable experience at Counter. We went for the Cinema meal and each one of the courses was paired with a movie theme. The experience included music and lighting. Chef Sam is a genius. He did such an incredible job. You could purchase a wine pairing but we opted for a bottle of wine. They didnt have the one we wanted so he gave us a substitution and charged us the same amount even though the substitution was more money. It was definitely pricey ($175 pp) but I think its so worth it for a special occasion or if you really want to impress a date. Will definitely go back and try another theme.
Counter is exactly what the Charlotte food scene needed. As a self-proclaimed chef and foodie I struggle going out to restaurants in Charlotte as more often than not I'm left saying "well I could have made this better myself at home". As a season pass holder for the last two years I've never EVER left Counter disappointed. Chef Sam Hart provides such a unique and multi-faceted dining experience I no longer feel the need to try other restaurants because each time I attend a Counter dinner it's like I'm stepping into a new restaurant. Chef Sam's attention to detail is untouched, and this goes beyond the flavors on your plate - from the utensils and dishes, the music paired with each plate and even the art on the wall - everything is selected with thought and purpose. Don't sleep on the drink pairings - alcoholic and non-alcoholic - you won't be disappointed. I attended several dinners while pregnant and never felt like I was missing out on the wine my husband was drinking next to me (we usually choose the reserve pairing). Dietary restrictions? Chef will help cater to your needs and ensure you have an amazing dining experience without feeling restricted. I'm so excited for the new concepts that will be debuting in 2022 and recommend you book your dining experience at Counter now.
Fantastic food, amazing ambiance, excellent service. If you want the best gastronomic experience in Charlotte, then come to Counter-. The only thing I will caution is that when you order a wine pairing, the price they tell you does NOT include the mandatory service charge. Prepare to spend 20%+ more than the price they verbally tell you for your wine. In my opinion, they should give the price with service charge included, since service charge is included in the food price. At a restaurant like Counter- price shouldnt be a factor in your decision making. However, pricing should be transparent when a guest inquires.
My parents and I were at the opening week for Counter- back in September 2020. Since then, we have collectively experienced 16 different menus from Chef Sam and his team. No two experiences are the same, and every time you leave you look forward to the next dinner. The thing that makes Counter- unique compared to other dining experience is not just the food and music/artwork pairing. They take great care in everything they do, from honoring food allergies and aversions with no judgement, to supporting local artists, raising money for the community, utilizing local farms and producers, and creating an inclusive environment. I am gluten free and have never felt deprived at any meaul, and the team goes out of the way to ensure I know the food is gluten free. Counter- is a group of outstanding humans who just happen to make phenomenal food, and the experience is worth every dollar. I recently moved away from Charlotte, but I will make a point to visit every quarter for the seasonal menu. Yes, it is that good.