Uptown Charlotte’s first French brasserie will open next week.
La Belle Helene will open for dinner service at 5 p.m. on July 31.
That roughly 7,000-square-foot upscale restaurant is located at 300 South Tryon.
Expect to be transported to a Paris bistro of sorts, where taking the time to focus on life and enjoy good food, friends and wine is a priority, says Frederique Leonard, general manager.
“A brasserie is a place you go on a regular basis because it is definitely approachable in terms of food and taste. The experience is a very casual one,” she adds.
Plans call for lunch service to be added starting Aug. 6, with service from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Apres midi — an afternoon menu with scaled-back offerings and lighter portions — will be offered from 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Sunday brunch will be added in the future.
Expect a traditional bistro menu, where simple preparation marries French flavors. That fits with Charlotte’s evolving food tastes and burgeoning restaurant scene, Leonard says.
“It’s a city that’s in demand of more exotic places,” she says.
Michael Rouleau has been tapped as executive chef.
He traveled to Paris to train with Ducasse Conseil in preparation for La Belle Helene’s opening. Ducasse is designing La Belle Helene’s floor plan, menu and will create its overall look and feel.
Dishes will take advantage of an in-house rotisserie, with options such as chicken, lamb or roasted pig.
Think options such as the Poulet Roti, where chicken is served with roasted baby potatoes, rosemary and garlic or the grilled chicken paillard.
The bar program will put its spin on French classics. For example, the North Carolina Sun Side consists of Drumshanbo gunpowder gin, herbal bitters, mint, kaffir lime leaves, lemon, passion pepper syrup and egg white.
The wine list has been curated by Ducasse. La Belle Helene has also teamed up with Sycamore Brewing on a custom pilsner.
The 166-seat restaurant aims to cater to families and friends for brunch or those celebrating milestones from birthdays to anniversaries. It is positioned to serve business clientele with multiple private dining spaces.
That venture will be operated by Starr Catering Group, which also operated Parliament Coffee in the same building.
Starr is part of the Elior North America umbrella — also housed at 300 South Tryon.
The space incorporates touches of pewter, antique wood and green leather. Antique mirrors, large chandeliers and a zinc and pewter bar are focal points.
Adam Williams with Legacy Real Estate Advisors represented the landlord on the transaction.