Top 2 Seafood Restaurants in Uptown Charlotte
Seafood is kinda my thing. That’s why I felt compelled to share my top two places to find it in Uptown Charlotte. Whether you’re planning a date night, a girl’s night out, or dining solo at the bar, Fin and Fino and Sea Level are two restaurants that you’ll want to add to your list.
The best part is that these restaurants don’t just knock it out of the park when it comes to what they put on your plate. They both have innovative cocktail menus, impressive wine lists, friendly wait staff, and an ambiance that’ll keep you coming back.
Sea Level, located in Hearst Tower, was just named one of Charlotte’s Top 50 Restaurants by Charlotte Magazine. It’s known for its sustainably-sourced, farm-to-fork (yes, that’s a real thing) oysters. The team behind the eatery spent years building partnerships to ensure that the tasty half-shell treat would be farmed in a conscious way.
The briney bowls of wonder are served daily, but the trick is to plan an early dinner so you can get a round or two at the happy hour price. From 4–7 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Saturday, you can order $1 oysters. The selection changes daily and the best part is that you can get as many or as few as you like!
Regardless of the quantity you order, you’ll always receive a side of cocktail sauce topped with tangy horseradish, a fresh slice of lemon, and two different house-made mignonette sauces.
In addition to oysters, Sea Level has a handful of seasonal dishes ranging from seafood paella to fried North Carolina catfish, sandwiches, salads, raw bar selections, and even meat options if for some reason you go to a seafood restaurant and don’t order seafood (but that’s neither here nor there).
Regardless of what you order, you have to try the mussels. They’re served overflowing in a bright blue bowl with several slices of a grilled, buttery baguette. The mussels are perfectly steamed and served in a shallow pool of white wine and garlic butter. I don’t know about you, but sopping up the decadent sauce using the fresh bread as a vessel in between bites of tender mussels is the exact way I’d begin every meal if I could. I think it would make Paula Dean proud.
Pro tip: whether you’re dining in for lunch or dinner, Sea Level validates parking so you don’t have to worry about driving around in endless circles searching for a spot on the streets of Uptown Charlotte.
129 E 5th St, Charlotte, NC 28202
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Fin & Fino
Fin & Fino is the new kid on the block when it comes to dishing out seafood creations in Uptown Charlotte. Adjacent to the Mint Museum Uptown, it’s like a work of art in and of of itself. Walk inside and you’ll find strings of glowing oyster shells hanging above the white marble bar and a dining room that’s so bright and airy you’ll feel like you’re in a coastal town.
Just like Sea Level, Fin & Fino is known for their oyster selection. Choose from a rotating selection of twelve oysters on the half shell ranging in size, origin, and flavor. Or opt for their soon-to-be-famous (they’re just that good!) F&F Grilled Oysters, pictured above. They have a distinct smoky flavor and are arrive to the table marinating in an indulgent layer of serrano butter. Trust me when I say, you’ll want to save all six of these bad boys for yourself!
Raw or grilled not your thing? You’re in luck. Try Fin & Fino’s Creamed Crab and Oyster platter, pictured. Covered in breadcrumbs and baked, the dish is served with crackers to add texture and lemon for acidity.
For the main course, there are, of course, dozens of tasty options, but the Salmon and Tuna Poke Bowl is hard to pass up. It’s a mound of sticky sushi rice piled high with cucumber, furikake, pickled jalapeno, frisee, and chopped, bite-sized pieces of tuna and salmon. The dish is light enough that you can pair it with a couple glasses of wine and not feel guilty.
If you opt for wine instead of cocktails, Fin & Fino has an impressive list available by the glass or bottle. My favorite part is that you can choose from a two, five, or eight ounce pour so you can try a taste or commit to an entire goblet—seriously, the red wine glasses are nearly the size of a fish bowl.
Fin & Fino
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts #100, Charlotte, NC 28202
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