A new addition to Montford Park was announced this week, with LʼOstrica setting an opening date for later this summer. The upscale restaurant will draw culinary inspiration from Italy, Japan, France and Korea, according to a release on Tuesday.
The restaurant will be located at 4701 Park Road, Unit D, between Montford Drive and Selwyn Avenue in a shopping center that’s currently home to Waterbean Coffee and will add Koibito Poké in July.
Launched by Cat Carter and Eric Ferguson, the idea for the restaurant started in 2021, when they began regularly making food for their friends. It evolved from there into a private dining nd catering business inspired by Ferguson’s and Carter’s travels and cooking experience along with Carter’s experience with food writing and brand management.
Ferguson began his career in Charlotte, working at restaurants like Zebra and Barrington’s before relocating to Italy, where he worked at a local pasticceria and mastered cooking at a trattoria while also working on the estate by day — harvesting olives and grapes, foraging mushrooms and generally tending the land, according to his bio.
When Ferguson moved back to the U.S., he worked at Quince, a Michelin three-star restaurant in San Francisco, before returning to Charlotte and working as executive chef at Stagioni and Good Food on Montford before launching L’Ostrica with Carter.
Carter has written extensively about food and travel for publications like Charlotte Magazine, Southern Living, and The Local Palate. She also worked as a branding and messaging strategist for various brands and has had a successful career in banking and consulting, where she gained an understanding of product strategy and experience design, marketing, and program management.
“We’re very excited to be bringing our deeply personal vision to life and to be adding to the city’s growing culinary scene at the same time,” said Ferguson and Carter in the release. “We share a genuine enthusiasm for cooking and hospitality and look forward to serving guests in our new space.”
The duo conceived of the name for their business, Italian for oyster, over a plate of the shellfish.
The two will curate a menu by building on the foundation of their private-dining business, with a focus on sourcing heavily from local farmers and purveyors.
The opening will occur in phases, the first of which will consist of a Chef’s Market designed to make eating at home more fun and less work while connecting Charlotte residents with producers and purveyors of the region and beyond, according to Tuesday’s release. The market will offer a curated assortment of fresh pastas, sauces, snacks, salads, dips, soups, sandwiches, and sweets, all of which will be made in-house.
Learn more: A Guide to Charlotte’s Best Markets and Delis
On Saturdays, the market will include specialty produce from local farm partners and host guest vendors, who will offer wine tastings, chef demos, educational interactions, holiday events and more.
The next phase, occurring later in the fall, will include a tasting menu of eight to 10 courses driven by seasonal ingredients and the wide range of culinary inspirations shared by Ferguson and Carter. The tastings will include wine pairings, thoughtful cocktails, and an interesting selection of aperitifs and digestifs.
The 2,500-square-foot location will feature an open kitchen, 24-foot ceilings, 38 seats inside and a dedicated patio seating coming soon.
Dinner service will be Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are required via Tock with a limited number of walk-in seats available at the bar. The market will be open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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