Considering that Adam took over 130 pictures of London restaurants we ate at, it was only natural that we start chronicling our thoughts and opinions about the food we eat. We've totally become accidental foodies. It all started out when Sheila started calling Adam "the human trash compactor"; since he eats almost anything. But somewhere along the way we started having discussions about food and seeking out culinary adventures when on travel. We bring a unique perspective to this arena as we're both vegetarians (no meat, poultry, or fish). I suspect we will both have varying opinions on the food, and hope to not only have a record for posterity, but provide some fun, useful if not amateur insight.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Copper Indian in Charlotte

My frequent trips to Charlotte haven't necessarily meant that I've been able to try some of the better restaurants in the Queen City. However this last trip was different, I convinced two colleagues to join in a meal at Copper, a highly regarded Indian restaurant in the Dilworth neighborhood.

With it close proximity to the tech triangle of Raleigh, Charlotte has started to attract a pretty large population of Indian-Americans. Even over the past year, I've heard of new places opening up, which is great if I feel like a home-cooked meal while away on business. 

Copper is located in a picturesque 1900s cottage with each room serving as a quaint dining space. Interior is modern Asian with pops of vibrant colors mimicking bright spices. The menu is a mix of traditional Northern Indian curries and modern Indian-spiced infused Western dishes. Our waiter was kind enough to recommend several dishes to share. 

Samosas (pastry pouch of potatoes and peas) - Lightly fried and golden brown, these samosas came to our table piping hot. The crispy exterior and perfectly spiced potato and peas filing made this a great starter to our meal. Copper's samosa was certainly above average. 

Saag Paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) - Fresh and light, this saag paneer was well balanced in flavor. However it did lack some heat, meaning spicy. The added cream provided a slightly sweet taste, which I didn't mind. Typically I find Northern Indian curries too heavy handed with butter or garam masala, so I appreciated Copper's restraint. This was my favorite dish of the evening. 

Garlic Naan - freshly made and lightly spread with butter and garlic, Copper's garlic naan was on par with any I've had in California. For me the best naans have air pockets between the layers,  a few charred bubbles, and softness in dough (low gluten). Copper does their naan very well.   

Chole Bature (garbanzo bean and tomato curry) - Now this had the potential for being a great dish if it wasn't for being under-seasoned. The elements were all there, a nice rich tomato curry base, perfectly cooked garbanzo beans, garlic and ginger undertones, and a light cream drizzle. I just wish the chef had added in some cloves, cinnamon, and red chili powder. Perhaps next time. 

All in all, Copper was quite good. I'd definitely come back, but would ask the chef to crank up the heat!    I'd give it a 6.5 out of 10; worth a visit when in Charlotte.

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