Ballantyne Magazine

Winter 2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Page 48 of 99

Zinicola Visits to his grandmother in Italy inspire chef's career By Amy Rogers | Photos by Ray Sepesy W hen we imagine culinary pleasures of the Piedmont, we're likely to think of our own beloved Carolinas. But the rich and varied cuisine of the Italian Piedmont is being showcased right here in Ballantyne at Zinicola. Chef-owner Richard Cranmer named his restaurant for his mother's maiden name. As a child growing up in New Jersey, he remembers family visits to Italy and the indelible impression his grandmother's home cooking made on his young sensibilities. Cranmer trained at Johnson & Wales University and went on to work seven years for the Four Sea- sons hotel group. "I always saw myself coming back to Charlotte to raise a family," says the chef who now has a 4-year-old son with his wife, Najiya, herself a Charlottean. After consider- ing spots in SouthPark and uptown, a location that seats about 120 became available at Ballantyne Village. "Maybe it was meant to be," he says. With dishes that change not just seasonally but daily, selections feature fresh ingredients that enhance a menu that's often seafood driven. Notably, Zinicola (pronounced Zin-ick-O-la) highlights cream-based dishes that help define the northern region of the country. The restaurant focuses less on familiar tomato- based sauces that comprise much of southern Italian cuisine. The Italian Piedmont, part of the north, lies at the foothills of the Alps, more than 450 miles Upscale Not Stuffy Polished surfaces gleam while rustic woods accent Zinicola's spaces, including the lounge. Patrons enjoy the restaurant's basil martini. BALLANTYNE WINTER 2018 - 2019 47 Fab Fare

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