Nature has made itself right at home in this South End restaurant, which features a live-edge walnut bar, a preserved moss wall, and pops of greenery throughout the clean, modern
Nature has made itself right at home in this South End restaurant, which features a live-edge walnut bar, a preserved moss wall, and pops of greenery throughout the clean, modern dining room. But sometimes, on a beautiful day, you just want to actually be outside. In that case, head up to “the tree house,” Lincoln Street Kitchen & Cocktail’s rooftop deck complete with a live Ligustrum tree in its center and a view of glittering Uptown in the distance. “We wanted to have this play on the intersection where nature and modernism meet,” says Alyson Davis, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Dan. It’s a bit like being on your own little island — especially if you’re sipping a cocktail as the sun sets.
Because here, the experience isn’t complete without a craft cocktail in hand. Each drink is given just as much thought and care as the food: Think house-infused spirits like five-citrus gin, vanilla-orange bourbon, spiced-date rum, serrano-cinnamon tequila, toasted pecan vodka, and more (“They’re so good, people sip them neat,” Davis says); house-made sodas in flavors like pomegranate-rosewater and grapefruit-ginger; and, maybe most important, house-made shrubs.
“We’re so fortunate to live in the South, and we wanted to honor the ingredients here,” Davis says. “Making our own shrubs is just an amazing way to preserve the flavors of the season. I think of it like canning. Before the end of last summer, we made a peach shrub, and in October, we had a peach cocktail called Harvest Moon.”
Order from the expansive list of signature cocktails — vanilla-orange bourbon elevates the house old-fashioned — or create your own concoction. “The complexity you get when you work with house-made ingredients — it just takes the cocktails to another level,” Davis says.
But come hungry, too. Here, small plates are meant to be shared — which is ideal, since you’ll want to order everything. Start with two devils: deviled eggs and Devils on Horseback — that is, blue cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. And don’t forget the pimento cheese with bacon jam, served with sourdough bread for scooping.
Just don’t get too attached to the menu. The seasons dictate both dishes and drinks. Luckily, when the craft cocktails are this good, the only thing you need to worry about is if the weather is nice enough to sip them in the tree house.
Lincoln Street Kitchen & Cocktails
1320 Church Street, No. 400
Charlotte, NC 28203