Charlotte eatery claims No. 2 spot on Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants’ list

Charlotte eatery claims No. 2 spot on Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants’ list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Eight months after opening during a pandemic, Leah & Louise in Camp North End has been named as one of the top new restaurants in the country by Esquire magazine.

The modern juke joint-style restaurant is owned by chef Gregory Collier and his wife, Subrina.

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The magazine praised Collier for his vision of black Southern cuisine, calling it “as innovative as it is fun.”

Earlier this year, Collier was selected as a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for his other restaurant, Uptown Yolk at 7th Street Public Market. He was previously nominated for his work at Loft & Cellar.

“He takes inspiration from the soil (his okra dish, called Mama Earth, looks and tastes like a supernova of texture and flavor) and from the dollar store (the cream inside his oatmeal-cookie sandwich is suffused with Tang). And don’t ignore Collier’s cabbage: Slow-roasted and sauteed with smoked sausage and flooded with rich pork-neck bisque, it is like a cruciferous amplification of biscuits and gravy,” wrote Esquire’s Food and Drink Editor Jeff Gordinier.

Despite the pandemic, Gordinier and Esquire’s Culture and Lifestyle director Kevin Sintumuang spent months traveling the country by car checking out new restaurants.

Philadelphia’s Kalaya claimed the top spot.

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