Never in a million years would you expect to find an exquisite French restaurant in an inner city neighborhood, wedged between a pawn shop and a tattoo parlor. And yet, it does exist. The owners of Charlotte’s Bistro La Bon took a considerable risk by opening their high-end establishment in one of the city’s revitalized neighborhoods… well before it was revitalized. But the gamble paid off, and the parking lot is full every night. Friday through Sunday patrons often have to park across the street, but that does not deter anyone.
Some restaurants attract with the quality of their food. Some might have ok food but fabulous service. Some feature art by local talent. Yet others become a gathering place for an interesting eclectic crowd. In the case of La Bon, it is not any one thing. Rather, it is a conglomeration of factors, woven seamlessly together for one incredible dining experience. The decor is chic and understated. The hostesses and waiters treat you like a frequent and welcome guest, even if it is your first time at the place.
The food is to die for and perfectly portioned, making it possible to try several different things and still leave room for dessert. And let us not forget the superb wine collection. If you are not sure what to order and what to drink with it, someone is always on hand to make recommendations.
I don’t know about you, but I always love it when my waiter says, “And that one right there is my favorite. The chef added something new to it last week and I had a chance to sample it – I seriously suggest you do too.” I love it almost as much as seeing people who work at a restaurant and clearly love their jobs, and people who work at La Bon leave you with no doubt – they love what they do, and they want to make damn certain that you come back and bring your friends.