Critic Hanna Raskin starts her review of Market Street addition 5Church by describing just how "Charlotte" the Charlotte-based franchise feels: "Like a NASCAR race, the restaurant is slick, loud and feels like it was focus-grouped to thrill crowds." Charlotte is home to some over-the-top attractions like NASCAR, Carowinds, and the Carolina Panthers, so if that's your thing, keep reading to see how the food holds up.
Keeping with the splashy interiors, Raskin finds many of the menu items overelaborate.
Taking things a little too far is a recurrent problem at 5Church, where even the butter served with the complimentary bread comes speckled with jalapeno bits. The jalapeno flavor isn’t especially strong, but there are just enough peppers to be bothersome to someone who shrinks from spice, or perhaps appreciates the taste of unadulterated butter. I’m not sure what possessed chef Jamie Lynch to approve of coating beautifully elastic tagliatelle with a glug of white truffle oil, but the robustness of the Bolognese sauce just makes the situation sadder.
To go on, the crab cake is "lifeless," the gnocchi is a "greasy muddle," and the steak is "tough." However, it's not all bad. Raskin compliments the lamb burger and lends a suggestion to hold off on the salt. She also thinks that when the "kitchen scales back the rococo flourishes, the results are generally solid," such as the hummus and the chick pea salad.
On Yelp, 5Church shines with 4 stars, so some folks must enjoy the ornate interiors and exorbitant menu. Have you visited the newcomer? What did you think?