Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: Dean & DeLuca

With such an array of prominently displayed gorgeous gourmet foods, it is difficult to decide what to splurge on. Fortunately, the wait staff will gladly give you a sample of pretty much whatever you want. Watch yourself though, as you make quickly overload with so many different, yummy temptations.

Inside, you will find the staff pleasant and helpful. Dressed in white chef coats, their attire matches the white walls and clean atmosphere. Classical music plays as light buzzing conversation echos in the background. Small tables are available both inside and out with high chairs available. Try to change your baby before leaving home though as there are no changing tables.

During this particular visit after having one too many confusing samples, I decided to play it safe and headed to the salad/sandwich bar. I was pleased to learn that sandwiches can be purchased by the half, a great option for the budget-conscious. I opted for one of their signature sandwiches; a half roasted sirloin on rye bread. It was served piled high with plenty of rare roasted sirloin, fresh spinach, havarti cheese, caramelized onions and the creamiest horseradish I have ever tasted.

While I tend to prefer my sandwiched hot and toasty, this particular sandwich came out cold. I was wary until I bit into it. Mmmm, what a treat it was; tasty and ample. I hardly had room for the side Caesar salad I ordered. Still, I managed to finish the job enjoying every last garlic crouton. While this meal definitely cost more than your typical sandwich shop, there was nothing average about this food. At approximately, $12.00, this meal hardly broke the bank. I found each bite worth every last penny.

For $1.75, you can pick up a delicious cup of coffee. If you’re in the mood for some dessert, I recommend one of the mini cakes for $6.00. They come in many varieties, ranging from carrot cake to red velvet. It is rich enough to split, saving your budget. Who needs all those calories anyway?

This particular Dean & DeLuca is unique as it is much larger than its counterparts and offers a wider selection of gourmet grocery items. The retail section of this store houses many hard to find goods. A 10 oz jar of raspberry jalapeno dipping sauce will run you $7.50, Wilkin & Sons jelly for $12, a 20 oz jar of Savannah Bee Honey for $24, or some whole bean pecan coffee for $17 a bag. Need some grapefruit bitters for your cocktail party tonight? Don’t worry, you will find it here, as well as many other ingredients you may have never dreamed up on your own.

Their beautiful chocolate case offers some individual treats at $5 per piece, and others at $80 per lb. Hard to find candies are also a treat with the average price about $10 per lb. Their cheese section is pricey but includes a vast selection. The fresh sushi area is impressive, containing over 75 items; including some cooked rolls. Prices were, surprisingly, on the low side ranging from $3.79-$10.99.

Dean & DeLuca opens early, and they offer a limited breakfast menu made to order with prices less than $10. The gourmet prepared foods section is so extensive that you really must see it for yourself. There is something for everyone. Watch your portions, though, it is all priced by the pound – it can get a bit pricey if you’re not careful. Their daily homemade soup selection is posted on their website. A selection of salads are available, ranging in price from $7.35-$9.35 depending if you add shrimp or chicken. Sandwiches range from $6.35-$9.50.

What can I say, stepping into Dean & DeLuca is like stepping into a foodies heaven. With its original SoHo store opening in 1977, Dean & DeLuca’s founders Joel Dean and Giorgio Deluca traveled the world searching for interesting and unique ingredients to feature in its flagship store. With their sights set high, they were determined to offer an unparalleled culinary experience. With only 14 stores open in the world, Charlotte is lucky to be on the Dean & DeLuca map. My suggestion: if you haven’t already, see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Charlotte Store
6903 Phillips Place Court • Charlotte, NC 28210 •
Monday - Thursday: 7am-9pm • Friday & Saturday: 7am-10pm • Sunday: 8am - 9pm
Espresso Bar Monday - Thursday: 7am-8pm • Friday & Saturday: 7am-10pm
Catering 704.643.1664


Dean & Deluca (Phillips Place) on Urbanspoon

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