Located in the South End and Wilmore neighborhoods, Charlotte’s Bardo has always been all about opposites and in-betweens. It’s a casual, laid-back atmosphere, with cuisine that’s anything but everyday. It’s composed of small, unobtrusive designs, coupled with boldly flavored small plates and creative cocktails.
The term “bardo” is literally defined as the transition, or state, between death and rebirth.
“We want it to be an experience, not just a place you come and eat,” Jayson Whiteside, who heads the management side of Bardo, explains. “Bardo is the transformation of a guest from entry to exit.”
The attention to detail behind the decor is mimicked in the team’s thoughtful planning within the food and drink menu. Each of them, in his or her own lives, has gone through this stage of transition, with none of the three being native to Charlotte. The team brings their own particular backgrounds and perceptions of food and flavor; Michael is from Pennsylvania, Amanda from New Jersey, and Jayson from Marion, North Carolina.
Last week, under owner and head chef Michael Noll, the team unveiled several new small plate and craft cocktail offerings, securing their spot, nearly a year and a half after their opening, as one of Charlotte’s best fine dining options.
Some of the standouts included a sunchoke tempura with celery root and lime, and a sweet, mild dessert option called the “matcha sponge”, made with pink lime, fermented black bean, and sesame. Amanda Britton, meanwhile, added a beautiful new beverage, called Give up the Ghost, to the bar program. It’s a savory cocktail made of reyka vodka, caperitif, thyme, grapefruit, and lime.
The team is also still working intently on unveiling their newest spot, Vana, this winter. Stay tuned!