A new restaurant opened this week in South End, and the QCity Metro team stopped by to try it out.
Culinary Dropout, a restaurant at 1120 S. Tryon Street, serves “classic meals done right.” It offers food, drinks and live music. The South End location marks the restaurant’s first location in North Carolina.
The QCity team visited the restaurant for dinner one day and brunch on another; here’s what we thought.
Setting the scene
The restaurant’s look is modern and has lots of seating options, from high tables and bar seating to individual low tables and booths. There’s also a private dining room and a spacious back room with extra seating. Some seating, especially those near the entrance, have views of the kitchen.
Other seating options, like the bar, have views of the live band area.
Culinary Dropout also has outdoor dining.
During dinner, the restaurant is relatively dimly lit and feels intimate — perfect for a small-group dinner or date night.
There’s live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and based on our visit, it definitely added to the relaxed, intimate atmosphere.
Expectations and service
The service was great. The restaurant was about half full, but our server visited us throughout the evening to make sure we had what we needed. The server also recommended cocktails at our request and shared popular items on the menu.
Each course was served pretty quickly.
Food and drinks
During dinner, we ordered drinks, appetizers and two entrees.
Culinary Dropout’s crowd favorites are designated on the menu with two red star symbols.
One of the favorites, Two to Mango, is a cocktail served with a full-sized White Claw on the side. The drink is made with vodka, orange, pineapple, guava and mango, then topped with mango White Claw.
Another favorite we ordered was an appetizer, soft, warm pretzels served with fondue cheese. The appetizer was enough for a few people to share that we would definitely order again. The only downside was the sea salt topping on the pretzels; it was a little too much.
We also tried the fried shrimp. It came with zucchini fries and a dip that worked well together.
We also tried a dessert, baked monkey bread with ice cream. The monkey bread was served hot and complimented the vanilla ice cream well. The dessert’s size was shareable for three or four people.
Overall, Culinary Dropout was enjoyable. It has the potential to become a local favorite in South End because of the service, the added live music and the restaurant’s overall ambiance.
Also, the restaurant has so many seating areas that it provides lots of opportunities for different types of outings, like date nights, group outings, solo dinners, and more.
The “it’: Cocktail, beer, various entrees, and monkey bread dessert
Overall score: 4.3/5 (an average of scores 4.5, 4.5, 4.5 and 3.6 from the team)
Price: About $30/person
What we loved: The restaurant’s atmosphere, live music