Charlotte Eats: Ararat 17

All of the local Russian Facebook groups have been buzzing about a new Armenian restaurant that opened recently in Matthews so naturally we had to check it out ourselves.

Ararat17 is located in a strip mall, next to a Harris Teeter, as most great restaurants do. The name is inspired by Mount Ararat and 2017, the year that the restaurant opened. The space is small, however, they are rumored to be planning an expansion into the space next door. 

ararat17-matthews-charlotte-nc-armenian-restaurant-interior

The menu is large and spans Armenian, Georgian, Mediterranean, and Russian cuisines. The pricing is reasonable and the portions are generous.

Here's what we ordered on this visit:

A bottle of Revah Pomegranate wine from, you guessed it, Armenia.

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Our first course was Tabbuli, one of my absolute favorite salads.

 Tabbuli | Chopped parsley, onions, mint, diced tomatoes, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, & cracked wheat.

Tabbuli | Chopped parsley, onions, mint, diced tomatoes, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, & cracked wheat.

The second course consisted of two meat pies. We originally ordered the Khinkali (Georgian dumplings) but they were all out. Next time!

 Meat Pie | Stuffed with ground beef.

Meat Pie | Stuffed with ground beef.

We tried two entrees: Cornish chicken tabaka and fresh sturgeon shish kabobs. The chicken was perfectly cooked and inspired me to re-create the recipe at home. The sturgeon was served with a sauce that was amazing and I forgot to ask what it was. All I know is that it is a reduction of some sort of a fruit.

 Cornish Chicken Tabaka 

Cornish Chicken Tabaka 

 Fresh Sturgeon Shish Kabob

Fresh Sturgeon Shish Kabob

Each entree is served with three sides and we tried as many as we could: hummus, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, french fries (for the toddler!), and rice balls.

The standout stars were rice balls and coleslaw. Yes, slaw! It's another dish I will try to re-create at home: cabbage, green apple, carrots, corn, and parsley tossed in a house dressing. Yum.

For dessert we ordered the chef's special. We didn't catch the name of the dessert but as soon as we took a bite we were transported back in time. It was almost identical to a cake my grandmother use to make for special occasions and holidays. It was a lovely trip down memory lane and a sweet way to end a great meal.

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We're already planning our next visit, this time with a larger group so we can try even more menu items and share them family style.