Beyond Black & White: Zebra

From the outside, Zebra Restaurant & Wine Bar looks unassuming as it anchors a Southpark Charlotte office building.

Zebra Exterior

It’s a vastly different story on the inside. Four dining areas (Bar, small area off the bar and two dining rooms) feature walls paneled with beautiful knotty wood and luxurious drapes and valances softening the windows. See more interior and food pictures here.

Zebra

Executive Chef/Owner Jim Alexander has won award after award since opening Zebra in 2001. And for good reason. Our dinner at Zebra was exceptional. Especially so because on that evening there had been miscommunications between management and staff, resulting in one manager and one server handling the entire restaurant. And handle it they did. Our meal took a little longer perhaps, but was served with style, personality and generosity. Whenever I ordered a course and PIC didn’t, the kitchen sent a brilliant surprise out for him.

We both ordered appetizers. A lovely Bisque ($9) for PIC.

Zebra

And a Torchon Au Foie Gras with Shelton Vineyards Riesling Gelee, Black Truffles and Local Honey Foam for me. Everything I had during this dinner was part of a $62 Prix Fixe meal. This was such a beautiful dish in so many ways. Some say that foam has seen its day, but I loved the light, bubbly sweetness it added as balance to the truffle and the buttery-textured foie gras.

Zebra

Zebra’s Signature Vase Salad with Tega Hills Baby Lettuces, Raspberries, Citrus Segments, drizzled with two dressings was next for me. The “vase” part of this dish is a strip of not-too-sweet brittle. A little deconstruction was necessary to eat it, but what tasty fun mixing all the flavors and textures together.

Zebra

This was when PIC’s first surprise course arrived. A dish so nice in its simplicity: thinly sliced pears with fruits and a touch of green. Even though I had plenty of salad, I’ll admit to persuading PIC to share one bite. Mmmm.

Zebra

Our entrees were both show-stoppers. PIC’s Tournedo of Beef Tenderloin with Prosciutto Roasted Asparagus, Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Sauce Ivoire is served with one tournedo for $28 or two for $49.

Someone recently asked me to define “fine dining”. You know, I had to think about it. In the end, I said it’s an experience involving all your senses at the highest culinary level. This, my friends, was fine dining.

Zebra

For my entree, another signature Zebra dish. Turf, Surf and Sky featuring Magnolia South Charolais Beef Tenderloin and Palmetto Farms Squab Breast, Butter Poached Lobster, Scallops and North Carolina White Shrimp accompanied by Haricots Verts and Baby Carrots all nestled in Zebra’s angel hair basket, served with Glace de Viande and Squab Glace.

Everything in this “basket” of perfectly cooked meat and seafood was fabulous. I will say the basket (made of best-not-eaten angel hair pasta) was annoying. Little bits of pasta shot here and there as I cut bite-sized pieces of contents. Made a mess.

That being said, it was a pretty presentation (my photo doesn’t do it justice in the least), reminding me of a sea creature.

Zebra

A Bat Farms Pear Tart Tatin topped with House Made White Chocolate Godiva Ice Cream and sitting like an island in Cinnamon Caramel Sauce was the final Priz Fixe course. My photo was so dark, I’m using one of Zebra’s images. Our dish looked exactly like this one.

Zebra
Image: courtesy of Zebra

This dessert was more than enough for two to share, but out from the kitchen came PIC’s second surprise – the most wonderful souffle you’ve ever seen. Our server poked a hole in the top into which he poured a little chocolate sauce, leaving extra on the table. If you want to see one of Zebra’s souffles, you’ll have to go to Zebra because I just forgot all about the camera and enjoyed my coffee and dessert.

We felt like Zebra wrapped its arms around us for the evening.

Zebra
4521 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28211-3627
(704) 442-9525

Zebra Restaurant and Fine Catering on Urbanspoon

Zebra QR

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