• Katie McCarthy

Seasonally Southern: 5 Locally- Sourced restaurants in Gaston County

The farmer and the chef: Could there be a better combination? As farmers harvest their fall produce, some of our area chefs are cooking up dishes with these fresh, local ingredients. The partnership between restaurants and farms comes at mutual economic benefit, but perhaps no one benefits as much as those of us in the restaurants wielding the fork.


Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

It is officially fall, but there is more to fall than pumpkin spiced lattes and the colorful leaves that adorn the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fall brings with it a delicious harvest of squash, apples, sweet potatoes, pears, and of course, pumpkins. These five locally-sourced restaurants are bringing your favorite flavors of fall from farm-to-table with innovative and classically southern menus.


Heirloom

Photo Courtesy of Heirloom

33 Glenway St., Belmont

Tuesday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-9 p.m.


From farm-to-fork, Heirloom is excited to be offering "locally sourced, globally inspired" food at their new Belmont location. Their mission strives to highlight the seasonality of local farms and producers. Originally located in Charlotte's Coulwood neighborhood, this fine dining restaurant can now be found at the new North Main Station, next to Belmont Yoga. The hope is that this new location will work as the perfect vessel for future expansions, including a bakery and breakfast place.


Though these expansions are in the works, for now Heirloom offers catering services for private dinners, events, parties, and weddings. Additionally, Heirloom offers a daily rotating six course tasting menu that can be adjusted to meet dietary restrictions and allergies.


Nellie’s Southern Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Nellie's Southern Kitchen

36 N. Main St., Belmont

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


Locally sourced and crafted by love: it's a mission inspired by Nellie Jonas and is present in all of the food served at Nellie's Southern Kitchen. Southern hospitality and fresh ingredients are always on display at Nellie's Southern Kitchen, where everyone is welcome.


Whether you are enjoying Sunday Brunch, a fine-dining first date, or you are finally exploring the wine room, Nellie's Southern Kitchen guarantees a great time. Bring the southern charm to your next event by exploring their catering options.


The Bottle Tree

Liz Logan, Gaston Outside

102 Davis St., Belmont

Wednesday–Thursday, 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; Friday 5 p.m.–10 p.m.; Saturday Brunch 11 a.m–3 p.m., Saturday Dinner 5 p.m.–10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Are you looking for a full-dining experience? A unique cocktail that pairs perfectly with your meal? Or, maybe you're more into slow-cooked meats and seafood served up by a food truck. Either way, The Bottle Tree's locally sourced and globally inspired menu has you covered. Downtown Belmont offers the perfect hub for seasonal southern ingredients and The Bottle Tree takes full advantage with their creative menu. Though innovative, their menu does not lack southern charm, with favorites like Carolina Catch and Nashville Hot Shrimp.


If you can't get enough, join their wine club membership, which includes monthly wine dinners and garden parties. Or bring their seasonal flavors to your next garden party by having The Bottle Tree cater your next event.


The String Bean

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

106 N. Main St., Belmont

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.


The String Bean has been a favorite in downtown Belmont for fresh food and good wine for 12 years. The atmosphere is casual, but the food is high quality and the wine selection is among the best in the area: It’s earned, for six years running, a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.


If you eat at The String Bean or shop at its market, chances are that the ingredients in your dinner haven’t traveled far. The restaurant receives overnight seafood deliveries from Charleston, S.C. Their meats come from a producer in Greensboro, N.C, and it receives regular deliveries of fresh, seasonal produce from a local farmer. We talked with manager Ryan Ledford about how these deliveries impact the customer experience.


How does local sourcing impact the quality and taste of your food?

“People come here for the quality. If you just want a regular steak, you can go to Food Lion or Harris Teeter to get that. But if you want a prime cut of meat, you can come here to get it.”


Webb Custom Kitchen

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

182 S. South St.

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Saturday 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m.-9 p.m.


In 1927, this space opened as the Webb Theater, the grand theater of Gastonia. Today it houses an elegant restaurant with a similar name—Webb Custom Kitchen—which has preserved the art deco beauty of the building’s former life.


The greens served in Webb Street Kitchen are grown in Gastonia’s Webb Street School, which serves students with intellectual and physical disabilities and offers them training that can translate into post-graduation careers. The students grow organic Salanova lettuce, mixed greens, kale, rainbow chard, and collard greens. Owner Jim Morasso shares why this local sourcing matters.


How does local sourcing impact the quality and taste of your food?

“I’m so proud to serve that product. It’s from my community. Every salad I look at and every salad I touch – I know where it came from. I know that Mike has picked the greens, and that Sue has planted the seeds … It makes me proud of this process.”



Do you know of any other locally sourced restaurants in Gaston County? Let us know at gastonoutside@gmail.com.