Charlotte Restaurant Week winter edition heats up dining scene

The Charlotte area food scene is about to heat up with the return of Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week from Jan. 21-30.

Diners can explore new restaurants and rediscover favorite spots during the promotion, which will feature 70 restaurants in eight counties. Participating restaurants will offer three courses at dinner for a special prix fixe price of between $30-$45 per person, depending on the restaurant. Tax and gratuity are not included.

Reservations are recommended.

Participating restaurants include The Bottle Tree and Old Stone Steakhouse in Gaston County; 73 & Main and Basilico Italiano in Cabarrus County; Napa at Kingsley and The Pump House in York County and Standard Oyster Company and Café Rule & Wine Bar in Catawba County.

Charlotte restaurants include Sea Level, La Belle Helene, Capital Grille, Oak Steakhouse, The Porter’s House, Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Bistro La Bon, The Cajun Queen, Dolce Osteria, Rocksalt and Aria Tuscan Grill.

This year, because of worker shortages and closures, the number of participating restaurants is down to about half from previous years.

Charlotte Restaurant Week founder Bruce Hensley says the promotion presents a good opportunity for businesses to bounce back, but worker shortages are a problem.

“Staffing has been a challenge for the restaurants, and certainly that trickles down to us,” Hensley said.

“I’ve had restaurants that have participated in Queen’s Feast in the past say ‘Bruce, we just don’t have the staff, we can’t handle what Queen’s Feast does for us.’”

For the full list of participating restaurants, click here.

(WATCH: Restaurant owners traverse pandemic climate as staff shortages continue)