Open House

South Charlotte’s newest restaurant, the Porter’s house, is serving up southern hospitality and sophisticated fare.

Jon Dressler, the restaurateur behind the two locations of Dressler’s restaurants and Dogwood Southern Table, has made a name for himself by creating upscale restaurants that feel familiar and approachable. His unending commitment to hospitality is part and parcel of the neighborhood feel that emanates from each restaurant, and sits at the core of the culture established across concepts since he opened his eponymous flagship in 2003. Recently, he parlayed his stable of restaurants into a restaurant group called Rare Roots Hospitality and added to it his newest darling, The Porter’s House.

The Porter’s House is a refreshing vision of a modern chophouse. It eschews the cavernous, leather-soaked boys’ clubs indicative of corporate steakhouses for a brighter, more updated version. Located in south Charlotte, near the intersection of Providence Road and Ardrey Kell Road, the Porter’s House is an early comer to Waverly, an ambitious mixed-used development that’s steadily coming to life.

Hospitality starts with a cocktail at The Porter’s House. A spacious bar area welcomes guests, beckoning them to take a seat at the smooth quartz bar top where bar magician Brian Lorusso curates a cocktail menu that matches the lauded list at his home base, Dogwood Southern Table. Try the TPH cocktail, a figgy Old-Fashioned made with honey and fig-infused Woodford bourbon, burnt orange and fig syrup, and Italian cherry. Natural light and natural elements flood the bar space, including a stunning wooden flag made from old whiskey barrels, positioned above the bar. Hexagonal tiles pair well with wood flooring, and whitewashed brick provides stately accents throughout the space. Neutral grays and white tablecloths deck the tables centered in front of the open kitchen, while pops of orange assigned to the light fixtures add modernity. A special dining room called the Whiskey Room offers intimate dining for six to eight guests, and another private section adjacent to the main dining room is primed for corporate business and special events.

On the menu is a balanced mix of small-plate selections, offering plenty to choose from. Roasted scallops arrive in a cast-iron pan over an apple-parsnip puree with pickled mustard seeds, and the Chophouse Green Goddess salad—laced with tomato, egg, and bacon—is the perfect segway into the main attraction.

The Porter’s House offers classic a la carte ordering, but expands on that, too. Guests can order steaks and an array of sides—from roasted cipollini onions and shaved brussels sprouts to duck-fat fried fingerling potatoes—but can choose plated alternatives, too, like locally-raised duck, and Faroe Island salmon. The namesake cut, a USDA-Prime Porterhouse, comes in 22-ounce and 36-ounce portions. If you go big, servers will slice the steak tableside. The presentation is refreshingly classic, a steak encrusted with peppercorns, cooked to perfection, and served with an entire head of roasted garlic, parsley salad dressed simply with olive oil and salt, housemade steak sauce, and horseradish cream. And don’t miss the extravagant selection of surf to complement the turf—seafood platters brimming with lobster tail, snow crab claws, and other shellfish.

As always, Jon Dressler ensures that everybody feels welcome inside The Porter’s House. And his tight-knit team—on the floor, behind the bar, and in the kitchen—does their part to extend that familial generosity to south Charlotte.

Photography by Micheal C. Hernandez