Monday, July 21, 2008

La Bibliotheque **HALL OF FAME EATERY**

The famous logo

Above photos all courtesy of Scott Clackum (thanks also to Rick Fisher)

1984 photo

1985 photo

1990 photo

Above four photos all from 1993

Those are some red books!

Banquet photo

The lounge

1994 terrace photo

The empty terrace as it appears today

The back entrance of the office building which led to the restaurant

Front of the office building

Original restaurant map

1985 ad

1993 ad

Lunch menu

Dinner menu

Wine menu

King Shaul's (?) menu

Special birthday/anniversary menu

Located in the lobby of an office building across from Southpark Mall, La Bibliotheque was Charlotte's top French restaurant. 

La Bibliotheque opened in 1984 and was originally owned by James Body, Grant and Merry Schoormaker, and Winter Hodges. It featured tradtional French cuisine with specialities ranging from Chateaubriand, Dover sole, and rack of lamb to chocolate truffle mousse, strawberries Romanoff, and creme brulee for dessert. The original owners would run the restaurant until 1991 when it would close. 

La Bibliotheque would remain closed for almost a year when it would be bought by Adam Kantbank and reopened in late 1992. Under Adam and executive chef Mohammed Bentaleb, La Bibliotheque not only kept its famous traditional French menu, but also added many non-traditional French dishes (such as tableside prepared crepes Suzette).  Few restaurants in Charlotte history have risen to the level obtained by La Bibliotheque under Kantbank. It was the only restaurant in the area to achieve both the AAA Four-Diamond award and the Mobil Travel Guide Four Star rating for several consecutive years. Adam would leave La Bibliotheque in late 2001 (he would sell his share of the restaurant to co-owner Brenda Bowling) to open Adam's at Ballantyne. Brenda would keep the restaurant open through 2006. Current plans are to open a new La Bibliotheque in a new location.

In addition to the food, La Bibliotheque was famous for its atmosphere and decor. The main dining room was painted a deep red and featured bookshelves (most of the books were red) and paintings on the walls, and a coffered, chandeliered ceiling. Tables were dressed with white linens, silver candlesticks, and deep-red roses. Downstairs featured an immense wine cellar (behind locked wrought-iron) along with a special "wine cellar" dining table. In the mid-90's, the restaurant would add an outdoor terrace with fountains and lanterns. 

La Bibliotheque's slogan was "A Restaurant of Excellence". Hopefully, this tradition will resume in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. I've always thought this restaurant was one of Charlotte's coolest and most unique ones!