Friday, September 19, 2008

Newish Elizabeth restaurant

I've been meaning to swing by Nolia for months now and I finally had a good excuse on Wednesday when the restaurant hosted an art gala benefitting Citizen Schools.

The restaurant is in a beautiful older home (reminiscent of Copper on East Boulevard) off Seventh Street in Elizabeth. From what I hear, it's housed several different restaurants, including Ethan's of Elizabeth.

The staff cleared out all the tables to make room for the silent art auction, including pieces on hand from Charlotte's own Vincent Van Gogh, Stefan Duncan.

Nolia (short for Magnolia) opened about six months ago and serves up Southern-inspired fare. On Wednesday, my friends and I sampled shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, smoked salmon, and a rich, creamy shrimp and crab dip. Everything was delicious.

Bartenders were friendly and efficient despite the big crowd -- mostly couples in their 30s.

And according to Elizabeth residents at the party, it has turned into something of a neighborhood hangout for people who live in the area and walk over for dinner, then end up staying all night.