EVOKE

We checked out EVOKE recently at the Le Meridien hotel and absolutely loved every bite of our exotic salt covered NY Strip Steak. Le Meridien recently sank $20+ million into the former Blake Hotel and although it doesn’t look much different on the outside (yet) the interior decor is straight out of a Mad Men episode. Equipped with 1960’s era Donald Draper modern glam, floor-to-ceiling windows, posh seating areas, and pops of yellow accents are featured throughout the predominantly earth tone inspired interior.

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EVOKE is chasing an Italian-Mediterranean “New-Age Steakhouse” approach by offering dry-aged prime cuts of steak, exotic salts, house-made pastas, and… crudos? I’ll get to that later.

We started off the night by getting the Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad and the Baby Romaine Salad. The Sweet Gem Lettuce salad was equipped with tender greens, avocado, tomato, blue cheese, quail egg, bacon, and was covered with a champagne vinaigrette. The salad was a great (light) way to start off the night and the champagne vinaigrette paired perfectly with the quail egg.

Evoke Salad

The Baby Romaine Salad came with radicchio, vincotto, croutons, and shaved parmigiano reggiano. Again… a great salad with a light touch to start off the night but the croutons we’re WAY too big and near impossible to eat.

Evoke Salad (2)

Next up was the Hamachi crudo with avocado, crispy shitake mushroom, and black hawaiian sea salt. For those that don’t know what a crudo is… think carpaccio, sushi, steak tartate, etc… I didn’t think I was going to like the Hamachi, I was definitely wrong. The Hamachi crudo with its shitake mushrooms that somehow taste like bacon we’re one of the highlights of the night :)

Evoke Crudo

After the Hamachi came the sweet potato and ricotta ravioli with bourbon butter. This dish could easily be eaten as a dessert thanks to its incredibly sweet flavor profile.

Evoke Ravioli

For the entree’s we sampled the 16oz 21 day Dry-Aged NY Strip Steak with a side of Truffle Pomme Frites, Truffle Potato Puree, and Grilled Asparagus. At this point in the night my partner had already eaten above her weight class and I was just getting started. The steak was perfect… in every way… nothing else to say… just plain perfect. Four exotic salts (Hawaiian, Volcano, Spicy, Smokey) accompany the steak in tiny dishes that allow you to pinch and sprinkle just the right amount for each bite.

Evoke Steak

The Truffle Pomme Frites we’re delicious… as should everything thats been fried and topped with Truffle oil and grated parmesan cheese.

Evoke Fries

The Truffle Potato Puree was extremely delicious but also very heavy. Just make sure to plan on sharing this dish with someone else or plan on bringing some home.

Evoke Mashed Potatoes

The Grilled Asparagus was… well… grilled asparagus, enough said.

Evoke Asparagus

For dessert we wen’t the the Pine Nut Tart and the Berry + Ricotta. The Pine Nut Tart was a fancy version of a pecan pie and was paired with a mascarpone ice cream and a cranberry chutney.

Evoke Pine Nut Tart

The Berry + Ricotta came with Lavender Honey, Mint, and Biscotti Crumbles which was great, but I felt myself wishing I had went with the Chocolate Cake instead.

Evoke Berries

We’ve eaten our way across Charlotte, through Charleston, in and out of D.C., etc… and have eaten at plenty of Steak houses. EVOKE stood out to us as a favorite for its perfectly prepared NY Strip Steak, bacon flavored shitake mushrooms, and selection of exotic salts. Whether you’re from out of town or living right down the street, EVOKE should be on your short list of restaurants to check out very soon.

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