Laura Maniec, the Master Sommelier and co-owner of Corkbuzz NYC, recently launched Corkbuzz Charlotte Restaurant and Wine Bar in North Carolina. Maniec has family in Charlotte, and she says that although it’s certainly not NYC, it’s “definitely on the up and up as far as cool cities.” She also adds, “Charlotte is a city that caters to locals and offers something new and refreshingly Southern to visitors.”

Put another way: You need to go there! And when you do, you need to follow Maniec’s recommendations on where to eat in Charlotte:

1. Dogwood Southern Table and Bar
“Right next door to us on Ashley Park Lane is Dogwood Southern Table and Bar. I love the regional inspired Southern cuisine—they use a lot of local produce and support Southern farmers.”
Eat: North Carolina shrimp with green Tabasco beurre blanc and toasted baguette.
Drink: Artazuri Rosado ‘13 Navarra, Spain.

2. Heirloom Restaurant
“A favorite of Corkbuzz chef AJ Schaller and mine is the restaurant Heirloom. Chef and owner Clark Barlowe is a North Carolina native who uses locally sourced ingredients, and executes his globally inspired menu with traditional Southern cooking techniques.”
Eat: The 12-course tasting menu (it’s always changing!).
Drink: Ask their sommelier to recommend food and wine pairings.

ROCKSALT features a wood-fired grill and oyster bar, as well as sustainable seafood and local beers. I absolutely love this spot.”
Eat: South Carolina quail with shrimp stuffing.
Drink: The Prisoner Zinfandel ‘12 Napa, California.

4. Little Spoon Eatery
“Little Spoon is a great neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot. They have unbelievable coffee.”
Eat: It’s a coin flip between the Shashuka and the hash.
Drink: Cold drip coffee.

New to Charlotte? Check out our Local Expert’s beginner’s guide.