Chef Chris Coleman’s respect and love for hometown Charlotte is clear when perusing Stoke’s locally-focused menu. Stoke’s mesmerizing open floor plan distracts from their immediate surroundings–a hotel lobby in Uptown Charlotte’s Marriott City Center–instead encouraging diners to gather communally around the 600-degree wood oven. What ensues is an intimate and engaging experience; the food is rustic and simple, not without an eye for detail and a mind towards local sourcing. Chef Coleman fondly tells stories of the Charlotte restaurant scene: from bussing tables at “fish camp”, to his first executive chef position at just 21 years old.

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