A taste of Northeastern Italian — in the American South

Apart from my other life as an academic writer, I’m also a foodie — but more as a hobby, not so much as an identification. Yes, I read Bon Appétit magazine (i.e. I cut out recipes and smirk at the new millennial obsession with anything edible) and the sexy, confident domestic goddess Nigella Lawson is my secret spirit animal, but while I consider food to be a (mostly) guiltless earthly pleasure and a rewarding outlet for my creativity in the kitchen, I don’t personally subscribe to the word “foodie” and all its post-modern rights and privileges therein. ;-)

In short — I like cooking, reading about food and eating it (natch). However, I also enjoy writing about it. I occasionally contribute restaurant reviews to Epicurean Charlotte magazine and interview local entrepreneurs who own food-related businesses. My most recent review looks at Zio Casual Italian here in Charlotte, North Carolina. The owner, Jim Consul, really knows his stuff: hailing from upstate New York, he decided to bring that Northeastern Italian feel to the South with the sort of homespun, authentic, basic and delicious pizza/pasta that he was serving at his other restaurant Endicott, NY. The result is a cozy, comfortable spot with affordable quality cuisine — a rare thing to find nowadays, let me tell you. Since discovering Zio, it’s now the number one place I recommend to both out-of-towners and locals alike who are in search of really good Italian. So if you’re ever in the Charlotte area, stop by. Tell them the non-Foodie Nigella Wannabe (OXYMORON?) who writes about food sent you.

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