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“Stumbled across it - What a find!”
Review of malabar

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Ranked #172 of 2,468 Restaurants in Charlotte
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: N Tryon & 5th
Transit: You can use the LYNX Light Rail Blue Line and get off on the CTC/Arena station and walk towards 5th street. Walk west on 5th, one block, to the Hearst Tower located on the corner of 5th and College.
Reviewed 18 May 2014

On a recent overnight trip to Charlotte, my boyfriend and I were exploring the neighborhood around our hotel (Westin) in uptown. We started getting hungry and checked out a few places before stumbling across Malabar, tucked in a little corner spot. The menu looked appealing so we decided to try it out.

The interior is small, but high ceilinged and modern, so the space feels open and airy. There were no tables available, so we sat at the (small) bar. We got lucky grabbing the last two seats in the place - shortly after we arrived, a line snaked out the door (make reservations).

I started with the red sangria - it was good but not the best I've had, a bit on the dry side and I prefer large, juicy chunks of fruit rather than the small pieces featured here. But that is the only complaint I have about my meal. The rest was simply fabulous.

We ordered the chicken skewers, cooked to perfection and with a spicy/savory sauce on the side, the stuffed peppers (we had a fork fight to determine who won the third piece), crusty, chewy bread covered in tomato sauce, and spicy potatoes, so crisp and savory I had to refrain from shoveling them in my mouth. It was a gorgeous meal, one of the best I've had.

The service was excellent -attentive yet understated - even at the bar. They brought us a complimentary dessert (I have no idea why this happened - but it was a nice surprise!) of rice pudding that was the perfect not-too-sweet ending to our meal.

We would definitely go back, and I most definitely recommend Malabar.

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Thank DrCyndiBriggs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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93 - 97 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2014

Truly the best Spanish cuisine I have had this side of Spain, and I know my manchego and jamón serrano! Exceptional restaurant with a great wait staff.

Thank Tennesseine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

It was our first visit. The first dish we ordered was Pulpo (Grilled Octopus). We were very disappointed. the Octopus was soggy and very few, mostly potatoes and olives covered with way too much paprika. Not good flavor at all. The second dish was Grilled Artichokes. very good but it was only 3 half pieces swimming in tons of oil. it took 45 min. to serve these two dishes. The server was not attentive, even though we sat at the bar. We were going to order several tapas as we go, but slow service and not so great tapas, not mention expensive for what you get, at the point we lost our appetite, and stop ordering. The server gave our check and at the end, no word of thanks. the best was the wine and the olives. $50 and still hungry. Not great experience we were expected from this restaurant.

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Thank Keiko M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

My wife and I made our second visit here over the weekend. Both times we found the service attentive and helpful. Food was very good both times. On this visit we started with Chorizo in red wine sauce. Very good. Sausage was a spicy the way we like it with the red wine soaked in and a slightly thick sauce to add a great complimentary flavor to the Chorizo. Next was the Charcuterie. On our first visit the Charcuterie consisted of an assortment of Chorizo along with Serrano Ham. On this visit there was one kind of Chorizo from Spain as I recognized the flavor as one we purchase often along with Pata Negra and Serrano Ham. All were good but I did prefer the wider variety from first visit. Next was Patatas Bravas. For us although tasty with a mildly spicy red sauce served on the side, my wife and I prefer an Aioli based sauce with more smoked Paprika sprinkled on top. Just our preference. Next up Sauteed Wild Mushrooms. A fine simple flavor that allowed the mushrooms to be center stage. Next selection was Empanadas de Carne. My wife who is not big on fried items in a crust even enjoyed these. Meaty and crisp with a balanced flavor. Very good Empanadas!! We then tried the Garlic Artichoke. Flavor was good but nothing to get super excited about as the edible portion is small. Finally, the dish that my wife had been waiting for, the Clams with Chorizo in Saffron Broth. No disappointment from or first visit. The balance of the seafood flavor with the spiciness of the Chorizo in the savory broth is a great combination. For drinks we went with Red Sangria. Very fruity flavor with just enough alcohol to be both refreshing yet fun. We will be back!!!

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Thank Toddb62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014 via mobile

Best two things we had were grilled octopus and Spanish cheese plate. Tres leches and flan were great deserts. Service was excellent.

Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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