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RATCLIFFE ON THE GREEN

425 S. Tryon St., Ste. 100, 704/358-9898, www.ratcliffeonthegreen.com

HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 A.M.-2 P.M. and 5-10 P.M., Sat. 5-10 P.M.

Ratcliffe on the Green pioneered the farm to fork movement in Charlotte. Owner and chef Mark Hibbs designs the menu to include fresh ingredients, such as heirloom vegetables, grass-fed beef, and fresh eggs that are grown or raised on local farms and harvested at their peak. The menu changes with the seasons and features Carolina cuisine. Order grilled North Carolina mountain trout or the asparagus and brie omelet from the menu, or request the chef’s tasting menu, a five-course ($65) or seven-course meal ($85) made with the freshest local ingredients and available nightly. Throughout the year, the restaurant also hosts special reservation-only cheffarmer dinners that are served on local farms. Though the restaurant is known for its forward-thinking chef and modern approach to food, the setting is a nod to the past. The restaurant takes its name from the building’s former tenant, Ratcliffe Flowers, which occupied the space for 75 years. It’s retained the historic charm, keeping the original woodwork and Tiffany stained-glass windows in place, which only helps to enhance the picture-perfect setting. Couples celebrating special occasions (or romantics hoping to impress their dates) should call ahead to reserve a table in the bay window that overlooks Uptown.

1481 Queen Isabella rejects a request from a Genoese sailor, Cuba Map Christopher Columbus, to sponsor his expedition aimed at reaching the East Indies. His plan is to Cuba Map sail westward across the Atlantic, instead of along the route currently being explored by the Portuguese, which goes eastward and southward around the Horn of Africa. 1483 With the Crown’s explicit approval, the Inquisition begins operation in Spain. The primary targets of this strenuous (and often violent) enforcement of rigid Catholic orthodoxy are the conversos Jews who have only recently converted to Catholicism and are therefore suspected of disloyal tendencies in the militaristic and xenophobic environment of the Reconquista. 1491 Christopher Columbus, unsuccessful in his bids to acquire sponsorship for his voyages from other European governments, once again applies to Isabella for funds. This time, with the Reconquista nearly complete and Spain positioned to enter into maritime competition with Portugal, the queen grants his request, providing three ships and royal sanction for his planned voyage. 1492 The Reconquista reaches its conclusion in January, when the last remaining Moorish enclave in Granada (on the southern coast of Spain) is defeated. Spain is completely reclaimed by Catholics.

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