Hestia is an Asian rooftop restaurant that opened earlier this year on the 16th floor of Ballantyne Village’s Panorama Tower. About 30 minutes from Uptown Charlotte, the restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating with a gorgeous view of the city. 

With fresh spins on classic dishes like fried rice and shrimp tempura, the menu is approachable, but still adventurous.

Food and drinks

We started with two very different, but equally delicious well-crafted Japanese whisky drinks. The first drink, Time and Space in Osaka, was a smoky Japanese take on a classic Manhattan, while the Smoked Buddha was a bit more tropical, made with a mix of whisky, rum, citrus, and ginger.

We went full surf and turf during our visit and tried a mix of appetizers, entrées, and sides to get a good sense of the menu and we were not disappointed.

We ordered the Hestia Roll – the restaurant’s spin on the typical shrimp tempura roll. Shrimp tempura is nearly always a safe bet, but the seared Wagyu beef on top was a game-changer. 

The Wagyu was just as delicious in the fried rice, and the dish came out so uniquely plated, I wasn’t sure what it was when it first arrived. By the first bite, however, I was hooked. 

Honestly, I’m still thinking about that fried rice.

We also ordered a crab leg (which was a sizable, meaty portion) and a side of spicy edamame for some greens. 

The experience

We took a Lyft to Hestia on a Saturday night, and the restaurant was relatively busy. I’d highly recommend making a reservation on Open Table, especially on the weekends, since the restaurant can get crowded and tables go quickly. Keep in mind, however, that there is a deposit amount hold for reservations and a late cancellation fee, which is not ideal.

The ambiance is upscale and elegant without being too stuffy, making it a great place for a night out with friends, a dinner date, or a birthday celebration. 

Final thoughts

If you’re in the mood for something chic and laid back,

Hestia is definitely worth the trip to Ballantyne. The menu is on the pricier side, so you might want to keep it on your list for a special occasion. I know I’ll definitely be back for the Wagyu fried rice.

What We Tried: Drinks — Time and Space in Osaka, and Smoked Buddha — along with food, including Hestia roll, Wagyu fried rice, crab leg, spicy edamame

Overall Score: 4/5

Price: $$$

What We Could’ve Done Without: The credit card hold & late cancellation fee policy

What We Loved: Did I mention the Wagyu fried rice?

Fola Onifade is a writer and associate producer for Democracy in Color, a nonprofit media organization at the intersection of race and politics. In her creative work, she explores and celebrates the realities...

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