Forty8Hundred serves brunch and late night meals with music
Have you ever had brunch so good you just wanted to take a nap, wake up and eat more? We all have. Doing this at Forty8Hundred Caribbean Restaurant & Lounge will result in two very different experiences.
The lounge has been open since January in the former McBonies Bar & Grill in Oakhurst, and it’s quickly established a reputation as one of Charlotte’s hottest brunch spots as well as a popular nightlife destination.
Around 1 p.m. on weekends, the two-story building at 4800 Monroe Road begins to receive guests. Families and groups of friends relax in the dining room, listening to reggae classics and radio hits. The most popular order, the jerk salmon imperial spring rolls, is continually requested and received.
This dish exemplifies chef Leroy Hall’s Caribbean and Asian menu, which includes curried chicken wings and waffles, oxtails, rice and peas.
“I came here to immerse myself in southern food culture, but everyone here wants multicultural fusions. Jamaican, Caribbean, Spanish cuisine, they go crazy here for authentic flavors with spice,” he said.
This is the first kitchen that Hall, a Jamaican-born New Yorker, has run, and he says Charlotte’s dining scene is just what he needed. After years in high-end kitchens preparing multicultural, often exotic dishes, he came to the South to root himself in an American culinary heritage.
“In Charlotte, I learned to fry chicken”
“In Charlotte, I learned to fry chicken seriously. Fried fish, the real way. Black Eyed Peas. Because I cook for a Southern palate,” he said. Yet he was surprised by Charlotte’s sophisticated taste.
“It’s slower than New York but still faster than a lot of countries in the South,” he said. “Anything that stands out wildly – tangy spice, sweet and salty, nothing boring or regular – is Charlotte’s taste.”
This extravagance is on display at night, when the lounge side of Forty8Hundred pops up.
Neon signs with messages like “good vibes” and “live longer, carefree” light up on white leather sofas, music shifts from afrobeats to the dance hall, and hookah girls come out to play. The late-night menu is a variation on the daily specials, but more convivial: the wings, the salmon bites and of course the spring rolls stay on deck.
Hall and his team are still fine-tuning the line between being a daytime family restaurant and offering customers a nighttime experience, VIP tables and bottle service.
“But that’s the challenge of my profession,” Hall said. “I can’t shy away from a challenge.”
Location: 4800 Monroe Road, Charlotte, North Carolina 28205
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