Uptown Charlotte has some nice Italian places. But nothing, really, like La Tagliatella, open since early September on the first floor of the Epicentre.
As you enter for the first time, the interior makes an immediate impression. A baroque take on an old Northern Italian villa, the walls and coffered ceiling are lavishly decorated. Wood paneling creates a rich feel in several dining rooms, lit by ornate chandeliers. The welcome is equally warm. Staff is told to treat each guest as “family.”
It’s not a formal atmosphere however. A “pizzeria” as well as a “ristoranti,” La Tagliatella, named for a noodle, has a casual side, centered on an open kitchen with pizza oven and several gorgeous zinc bars. There’s intimate patio seating as well, if you want to keep an eye on the Epicentre scene.
The concept is well-honed. The La Tagliatella in Charlotte is the latest in a wildly successful family of restaurants that started back in 1991 in Spain. Today, it numbers some 150 locations around the world, including recently Bangalore, India, and Shanghai, China. Charlotte is only the fourth in the U.S. with sister stores in Atlanta and the D.C. area. The brand is popular in Europe with locations in France, Germany, and Andorra (!), and many in Spain. Some 6 million guests are welcomed yearly.
All this growth is based on the excellence and authenticity of the food served at La Tagliatella, and there the Charlotte location did not disappoint. At the restaurant’s Media Night, we had the opportunity to try several of the menu specialties and find out about the operation’s unique food sources.
The quality of the food is based directly on the principles of the owner of the original location who developed close relationships with small farmers and cheese makers in Northern Italy. Authentic recipes from the Piamonte, Liguria and Reggio Emilia regions are created using many ingredients imported from the same suppliers who stock local tables, from baby artichokes to buffalo mozzarella.
“We import something like 30 percent of our ingredients,” General Manager Daniel Gibson says. “Our tomatoes are grown in Puglia, and many of our cheeses come from Italy.” Other imports include mushrooms from Trentino, focaccia from Genoa, and variety of cured meats from around the boot.
Topping nearly every dish, huge shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano supply the perfect finishing touch. The famous parmesan ripens in caves in the Apennine Mountains for three years before earning its Denomination of Origin certificate. “The king of cheeses,” Gibson says, and the chefs don’t skimp.
No wonder the food tastes so good.
We sampled a variety of lunch-sized portions during the media preview, but none of the dinner entrees, which include pork, veal, beef, and salmon selections, moderately priced. See the list below for the dishes we did sample.
La Tagliatella North Carolina
Epicentre, 210 East Trade Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
Click on the link below to see our list of menu items.