When it opened up in the Dunhill Hotel in Uptown in 2010, the Harvest Moon Grille quickly gained a reputation as the premiere farm-to-table restaurant in Charlotte. That may be due to the fact that co-owners Cassie Parsons and Natalie Veres also own a farm, the Grateful Growers farm in Lincoln County.
Fast forward to 2014 and the restaurant still exists, but in a decidedly different place. When the restaurant's lease was up, Parsons decided to close up, take stock, and figure out what to do next.
"My plan was to open 5 restaurants," Parsons told restaurant expert Sarah Crosland. "I was approached by the economic development folk in Lincolnton who said they wanted an upscale place in town and that since my farm was here they wanted to know if I would open a restaurant here. I thought about it, and it made sense."
Thus, the new Harvest Moon Grille sits on Main Street in downtown Lincolnton. It currently serves breakfast and lunch, with plans on eventually doing dinner service. The farm-to-table concept is thriving. While Crosland was visiting at lunch time on a recent Saturday, several farmers showed up to drop off produce in the kitchen.
You might call the cuisine high-end simple.
"The people who live here are country people, and they aren't used to the city," Parsons said. "I try to keep things simple, but at a higher level."
An example of that is the livermush that is on the menu.
"You won't believe how much livermush I sell," Parsons said. "But, I take it to a higher culinary level. It's made with real stone-ground grits, real pork liver from our farm,and real breakfast sausage from our farm".
The Harvest Moon Grille is located at 321 E. Main St. in Lincolnton.
You can follow Crosland on Twitter @SarahCrosland.