If you happen to have not heard of The Mother Earth Group, you have definitely heard of their restaurants. Fern, Flavors from the Garden dishes up vegetarian fare from its wooded corner in Dilworth to the delight of both vegetarians and meat eaters. Something Classic, another one of Mother Earth Group’s creations, is a household name for many Charlotteans, whether due to its catering services or product presence in local Harris Teeters. Halcyon has nabbed a spot on annual best-of lists since its opening ten years ago. Until recently, Halcyon occupied a space at the Mint Museum Uptown. In the fall of 2021, Charlotte NC said goodbye to Halcyon to make space for the next project: Mariposa.
The Restaurant Transformation
Jill Marcus, the owner of The Mother Group, has traveled around the globe sampling delicacies from a range of countries. Mariposa is a chance for her to bring some of those flavors to the table. For example, street corn fritters—a formidable tower of sweet corn, serrano, cotija, crema, smoked paprika, and cilantro—are a nod to Mexico. Lamb belly bulgogi lettuce wraps with seared lamb belly, sticky rice, kimchi slaw, roasted peanuts, and sweet mirin sauce tip a hat to Korea, while smoked trout steamed buns—hickory-smoked NC mountain trout, house-made steamed buns, herbed honey butter, and Lusty Monk whole grain mustard—blend a Chinese staple with North Carolina resources.
A Unique Menu
The cosmopolitan menu pays homage to the multitude of delicious flavors the world has to offer. But it also nods to the unifying effect of meals shared. “Mariposa is representative of my belief that no matter what challenges we face or transformations we go through, our shared food experiences will bring us closer,” says Marcus. “It helps us understand one another’s traditions and allows cultures around the world to tell their story. At Mariposa, we will bring many cultures together around the table and provide a global experience right here in Charlotte.”
Dishes are plated with sharing in mind. The North African/Mediterranean concept of mezze, in which a meal consists of a smorgasbord of small plates, inspires Mariposa’s style.
Like Halcyon, Mariposa will incorporate locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. In fact, the restaurant is partnering with the 100 Gardens’ aquaponics garden project at The Innovation Barn to offer fresh, locally-grown greens.
Something New Takes Flight at Mariposa In Charlotte NC
At Mariposa, expect to see familiar faces producing new results. Chef Jonathan Moore heads the kitchen, as he did at Halcyon. Brad Grubb, formerly of 5Church, beautifully pairs Moore’s creations with decadent cocktails and wines. He brings his Level 3 sommelier knowledge and Master Maitre D’ credentials into his general manager role at Mariposa. Pastry Chef Sam Carrasquero-Chappelle rounds out diners’ meals with creative dessert offerings.
This familiar cast of characters flutters around a modern interior with skyline views, plush couches, black and white decor, and a pop of turquoise pizzaz. Artwork by Charlotte muralist Owl adorns the walls, with more art from local or emerging artists soon to come.
Right now, Mariposa’s restaurant team has its sights set on expanding to lunch and, eventually, select brunch hours. And in the meantime, the group is already looking toward its next innovation. Coquette, a brand new French-fast-casual restaurant, is slated to open in Uptown this year.