Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mangione's Ristorante **HALL OF FAME EATERY**

1984 interior shot

1985 ad

1989 ad

Your hosts-- Roberto and Anna

Original matchbook (courtesy of Robert McEwen)

Original matchbook from the East Blvd location (courtesy of Robert McEwen)

Early-70's photo of La Strada on Central Ave

mid-70's ad

Mangione's Ristorante opened on East Boulevard in the Dilworth neighborhood in 1977. Owners Roberto and Anna Mangione had become well-known on the Charlotte restaurant scene when they had opened the first La Strada on Central Avenue several years earlier. Mangione's would be a shift from a pizza-oriented restaurant to a more formal eatery. 

Mangione's was located in the former location of a Li'l General Convenience Store. The exterior was renovated to create Mangione's signature stuccoed arches and the interior was became known for the reproductions of classic Italian art that adorned the walls. The menu featured cuisine from both Northern and Southern Italy. Their signature dishes included black linguine with seafood, veal with mushrooms and cognac, and shrimp with pesto over angel hair.

Mangione's was a family affair. Roberto and Anna were the hosts who knew everyone and spent their time moving throughout the dining room chatting up the diners and insuring that dinner moved smoothly. Son Roberto Jr helped manage and daughter Sara was the hostess.

Mangione's would run for 27 years eventually closing on January 27, 2004. Mangione's was noteworthy for being one of the first Charlotte Italian restaurant operated by Italians (all other Italian restaurants prior to 1977 were primarily Greek-owned). Just like Roberto and Anna had introduced Charlotte to Sicilian pizza with La Strada years earlier, with Mangione's, they introduced Charlotte to a entirely new style of Italian dining that would forever change the face of Charlotte Italian restaurants.

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