Categories: Places to Eat

An Armenian restaurant near Charlotte, NC? Yes, indeed! Welcome to the Ararat 17 Restaurant, Indian Trail, NC

It’s hard to find an Armenian restaurant – unless you’re in
Armenia.



We never expected we’d find one across the state line from
our new house, but we did – the Ararat 17. I know where they got the name
Ararat, but haven’t a clue what the ‘17’ refers to. Maybe we’ll find out some
day.

Update: I recently learned that the ’17’ refers to the year the restaurant opened, 2017 – now I understand!


Our area exploration brought us to the Ararat 17 on a
Saturday afternoon for lunch. They serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday, but
only serve lunch on the weekends. (Closed Mondays)



The restaurant is tastefully decorated; the music of Mozart gently plays in the background. A well-stocked bar fills one section of the
room, and the menu is surprisingly sophisticated.



Although the menu is not ALL
Armenian (there are hints of Russian cuisine, too), they do serve a number of traditional
Armenian dishes.




Artak, our server, is the son of owners Vardan and Gayenne Vardanyan. Artak is well-trained, personable, and frankly, adorable! His mom and dad work diligently to prepare delicious food for their guests.
L-R; Gayenne Vardanyan, me, and Vardan Vardanyan (Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of Artak.)

Before placing our order, Doug wandered over to the
bar to see if they stocked any Armenian spirits. To their credit, they do! Doug
spotted Ararat beer from Gyumri, and Armenian Pomegranate wine. Artak offered
Doug a sample of the wine, but I took it instead. Doug was very happy with the
beer.

Ararat Beer


We wanted to try just about everything on the menu, but
chose specific ones which we felt represented the Armenian-side of their
offerings.

Pomegranate Wine


A complimentary basket of toasted pita bread and a bowl of
dried herbs were brought to the table before we ordered. Artak explained that
we were to drizzle olive oil – that was already on the table – onto the herbs,
then dip the bread.

Ararat Salad
Basturma
Tender Stuffed Grape Leaves

Our meal began with the Ararat salad, slices of basturma, and
tender, tasty stuffed grape leaves which we shared. We each chose a sandwich and
side: lamb lule kebab with hummus, and lamb shish kebab with hummus.


What we didn’t know was that the Greek-style pita for each
sandwich was spread with hummus (the same as the side we chose), and topped
with a generous amount of Ararat salad! It wasn’t a problem; we took the rest
of the appetizer salad home.



When I noticed gatah on the menu, I decided to save room
for it for dessert. Doug and I ordered Armenian coffee and a gatah to share, but,
alas, no gatah! We ordered the paklava instead, and are happy to report that it
was light, crisp, and delicious.



Would we return? In a heartbeat!

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