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While we all thoroughly enjoy casual lunch dates here at Best of LKN, sometimes the situation calls for a more refined dining experience. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone, treating your in-laws, or simply looking to savor the finer things in life, the Lake Norman area has a plethora of white-tablecloth restaurants that can transform any occasion into an unforgettable affair. Make room in your scrapbook for a few cherished moments as we introduce you to some of  Lake Norman’s best fine dining restaurants.

Barrel & Fork

Situated somewhere between then and someday, Barrel & Fork is a location with both a rich past and a bright future. The House, as it’s lovingly referred to, was established in 1906, and served as a haven for protest and production throughout the prohibition period. Its bourbon-filled history continues into the present, as it’s since been transformed into an upscale eatery and cocktail bar. Prided on being a guest-driven establishment, the team’s passion and authenticity can be felt in every nook & cranny of the house. From the 120 year old brick walls, to the apothecarial smoking of wood chips behind the bar, to the small-town roots that have bloomed in the kitchen, this restaurant is brimming with southern charm and hospitality

Barrel & Fork caters to those with both a low country palate and a penchant for sophistication. It’s hearty, yet refined menu offers comfort and elegance simultaneously with dishes like Scallops and Sweet Potato Orzo, Wagyu Beef Meatloaf, and Skillet Lobster Mac & Cheese, as well as a vast collection of spirits and wine. Whether you prefer bourbon or rye whiskey, scotch, gin, or brandy, bar artist Jade Finn will have something up his sleeve to fill your glass. 

Barrel & Fork was featured in episode 30 of The Best of LKN podcast.

Barrel & Fork
BarrelAndFork.com

20517 N Main St
Cornelius, NC 28031

Kindred

Tucked away in the streets of Davidson is a charming little restaurant by the name of Kindred. Though quaint at first glance, the venue offers a commodity that many of us here in the Charlotte-metropolitan long for: a break. With its intimate seating and quiet decor, Kindred is the perfect reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life. Savor the sweet scent of freshly-baked milk bread as you walk through the door, take a seat at the marble-top bar, and prepare to be treated to the gourmet stylings of chef Joe Kindred. 

Inspired by their worldly travels, Joe and his wife Katy provide diners with a unique experience, infused with flavors and methods from all over the globe. Reimagined versions of traditional fare—including dishes such as Squid Ink Conchiglie, English Pea Gazpacho, and Duck Fat Potatoes—allow adventurous diners to take their taste-buds on a journey, while homebodies rekindle their love for old favorites. What marvelous eats you might encounter at Kindred will depend on your timing, as the menu changes weekly to showcase local and seasonal ingredients (don’t fret, you can always check online beforehand). Rest assured that regardless of what you order, your dish will be prepared with a loving and personal twist that’ll make the meal a one-of-a-kind treasure. In addition to food, Kindred also hosts a fully-serviced bar, so if you don’t like the thought of a lonely plate, you can have a sommelier set your dinner up with a soulmate. 

Kindred was featured in episode 31 of The Best of LKN podcast.

Kindred
KindredDavidson.com

131 N Main St
Davidson, NC 28036

Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse

For chef Bill Schulz, food doesn’t come from the kitchen; the foundation of all good cuisine lies deeper, flowing through the earth and its tenders. Such a philosophy is what led him to Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse, where ethical sourcing, farm-fresh ingredients, and artful preparation are just as much a part of each meal as flavor. Built on seasonality, Flatiron’s ever-changing menu marries traditional techniques with bold ingenuity to provide diners with a unique epicurean experience. Daily specials feature elements at their boldest and most vibrant, so you’ll be tasting the peak of season each with each visit, just as Mother Nature intended. 

As the Taphouse part of their name might suggest, Flatiron also carries a fine selection of craft cocktails, top-shelf wines, and imported beers, all waiting to accompany your dinner. Try a premium Wagyu Beef Burger with a smoky Syrah, or Salmon Belly Tacos with a bright and citrusy NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

Along with their soul-nourishing eats, the establishment’s tastefully rustic interior will have visions of the simple life dancing through your head. If this refined take on comfort food has got your heart fluttering like that of a young farm girl, let Flatiron be your dinner destination. 

Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse was featured in episode 16 of The Best of LKN podcast.

Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse
FlatironOnMain.com

215 S Main St
Davidson, NC 28036

131 Main

Imagine a low country Charleston cabin… wood siding, iron accents, gas lamps, and the warm and inviting crackling of a fireplace. Add to that a gorgeous open kitchen, the delectable aroma of a hickory wood-fired grill, and impeccable table service. To top it all off, picture the luxurious taste of a full-bodied Cabernet in your hand—or a cold beer, if that’s what you fancy. While this may sound too good to be true, it’s exactly the scene you’ll find at 131 Main. Specializing in classic American cuisine, this restaurant serves lunch and dinner with a side of geniality and boasts countless reviews that enthuse over its superb accommodation

131 Main’s commitment to quality doesn’t stop at the ambiance, mind you; their cuisine takes freshness to the next level, with each dish being expertly prepared in-house using only the highest quality ingredients. Rediscover classics such as Southern Shrimp and Grits, Cedar Plank Salmon, and Double Cut Pork Chops with a gusto you’ve never before experienced, and wash things down with a crisp lager or an oaky chardonnay while you enjoy the inviting atmosphere. The perfect union of 131’s food and mood is something to behold, and with such dedication to detail, it’s no mystery as to why so many diners become repeat guests.

131 Main
131-Main.com/Lake-Norman

17830 Statesville Rd
Cornelius, NC 28031

Dressler’s Birkdale

When an indulgent evening is calling your name, Dressler’s will answer. Since 2003, founders Jon and Kim Dressler have been welcoming patrons with open arms and full plates, serving upscale cuisine crafted to make each and every one feel special. Entreés like Shrimp and Lobster Linguini, Braised Short Ribs, and Halibut headline the menu, while extras like Thai Peanut Calamari and Crème Brûlée are available for those who are feeling particularly posh. Trust us when we say that there’s no such thing as a bad choice when it comes to the selection at Dressler’s. To further enhance your experience, the bar also serves wine and hand-stirred martinis. 

While you dine, you’ll be able to enjoy the venue’s clean and distinguished ambiance. Don’t let its minimalist decor, chic white tablecloths and exquisite plating fool you into thinking that it’s a place for the pompous and uptight, however, as the air at Dressler’s is as lively as it is dazzling. As Kim puts it, “even if you’re not joining us for a special occasion, you’ll leave feeling like it was one.” 

Dressler’s Restaurant was featured in episode 12 of The Best of LKN podcast.

Dressler’s Birkdale
DresslersRestaurant.com/Birkdale-Village/

8630 Lindholm Dr
Huntersville, NC 28078

Choplin’s

Wes Choplin is a passionate chef, one who constantly strives to bring new ideas to the table. His cuisine is centered around uniqueness; his namesake restaurant, Choplin’s, combines fresh and local ingredients in unexpected ways to create savory dishes that you won’t be forgetting any time soon. 

The menu at Choplin’s is its own world of discovery, overflowing with dishes whose components have never before met. Creations like Crispy Spring Duckling and the Cajun Catfish Reuben are no strangers at this eatery, where every food experience is a new memory to be made. The backdrop to these dishes is an intimate and easygoing atmosphere that’s truly centered on enjoying oneself. Reliable service and uncomplicated furnishings bring the focus back to the food, so you can enjoy your meal as mother earth intended: naturally

Choplin’s Restaurant
Choplins.com

19700 One Norman Blvd. Suite C
Cornelius, NC 28031

Table 31

There’s a certain kind of magic that comes with sticking to your roots. From a tiny seed to a grand oak, your intuition grows, nurtured by the soil in which it’s planted. Drawing inspiration from your surroundings is an invaluable skill, and it’s why places like Table 31 are destined for success. 

Located in the Langtree Development in Mooresville, Table 31 was established in 2018 by Alton’s Kitchen’s very own Alton Updike, in hopes of contributing to Mooresville’s social and economic growth. The eatery specializes in casual American Cuisine, craft cocktails, and wine; it’s a tried and true spread, but Table 31 has perfected the experience with its first-rate service and pleasant ambiance. 

While you enjoy such dishes as Atlantic Salmon and Parmesan Crusted Chicken, you’ll be treated to simple, welcoming decor and a service team whose recipe for success is a cup each of friendliness and passion. 

Table 31
Table31lkn.com

103 Landings Drive
Mooresville, NC 28117

Reserve Room at Eddies

As mentioned previously in our Waterfront Dining article, the story of Eddie’s is one that perfectly exemplifies the beauty of Lake Norman. After falling in love with the area on a trip to the Carolinas, northern duo Eddie Lubic and Ann-Margaret Wagner ventured down south and opened the Italian-inspired eatery Eddie’s on Lake Norman. Though its main dining room is a homey and nonchalant affair, The Reserve Room at Eddie’s presents patrons with a more refined epicurean experience.

Quaint but elegant, The Reserve Room offers upscale cuisine and a refined atmosphere that caters to special occasions and corporate events such as client meetings, celebrations, and private family gatherings. The Reserve room is equipped with seating for up to 28, as well as audio-visual equipment; however, guests should be aware that this is an adults-only space. Dining options include a prix fixe lunch menu, an elevated dinner menu, and a delectable assortment of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Linguine Clam Sauce, Petit Crab Cakes, and Stuffed Shrimp Provensal are amongst the fine selection in this secluded coven. As is the case with the main dining room at Eddie’s, each and every morsel of the French-Italian fare is guaranteed fresh

The Reserve Room at Eddie’s
TheReserveRoomAtEddies.com

643 Williamson Road
Mooresville, NC 28117

Epic Chophouse

At the mention of fine dining, steak and seafood are often two of the first things to come to mind. Hearty, melt-in-your-mouth filet, buttery lobster, and an oaky chardonnay to refresh the palate…add to that freshly baked bread, loaded potatoes, and a dollop of herbed butter, and it’s Shangri-La. Epic Chophouse in Moorseville has got all of that, and confections—I could probably end this section right here to give you and your Google Maps some privacy, but there’s much more to sing about than just the menu.

The restaurant’s atmosphere is its foundation. As if relaxation, celebration, and indulgence are laid between the weathered bricks, Epic Chophouse has curated an experience that makes every meal feel like a special occasion. From the ambiance in the air to the cuisine on the plate, the chophouse is dedicated to serving up quality. Fresh ingredients are subject to rigorous standards, cuts of beef are certified and delicately aged, and wine is carefully sourced from top-class vineyards around the world to ensure that only the best will end up on your table. In addition to the fare, you’ll find that the service at this establishment is outstandingly prompt and polite. 

Whether you’re celebrating a special affair, kicking back in style with your loved ones, or just unwinding after a long day at work, the Chophouse is dedicated to bringing you a night that’s truly Epic. 

Epic Chophouse
EpicChophouse.com

104 South Main Street
Mooresville, NC 28115

North Harbor Club

Another restaurant that’s been featured in our Waterfront Dining article is the infamous North Harbour Club. With decor reminiscent of a maritime museum and cuisine crafted with only the finest locally-sourced ingredients, North Harbour Club is a staple amongst Lake Norman’s many fine dining establishments (the large sailboat in the entryway really seals the deal for us). 

From its impeccable service staff and whimsical decor, to its hand-prepared cuisine and imported wine list, this venue has proven itself time and time again to be a seafood joint unlike any other. North Harbour’s contemporary American menu is headlined by decadent dishes such as Latin Mopped and Brined Pork Chops, Herb Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna, and a wide variety of deluxe handhelds and salads; you’ll also find that this destination hosts an impressive array of drinks, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. 

For any occasion that could use some marvel, North Harbour Club’s exceptional service, first-rate fare, and spectacular atmosphere are sure to impress. 

North Harbor Club
NorthHarborClub.com

100-D North Harbor Place
Davidson, NC 28036

If your Instagram could use some sprucing up after last year’s quarantine, all of these fine dining establishments are currently accepting reservations, so you can get your social media envy game back on. Not only will every meal make a great post, it’ll make a fantastic memory for you and your loved ones to cherish. 

Cheers, Lake Norman!