Yesterday I visited Zia Pia Imports in 7th Street Market and instantly fell in love! I felt like I was back in Florence, Italy in Mercato Central. They are a boutique importer of artisanal Italian foods located in the back of the uptown 7th St. Market (where Meat & Fish Co. used to be). They sell a large assortment of authentic imported Italian pasta, grains, sauces, olive oils, balsamic vinaigrettes / glazes, chocolates, and beautiful gift baskets. The kitchen is also open to serve up your choice of pasta tossed in your favorite sauce, Italian style paninis or caprese salad. The specials change daily, yesterday it was a Southern biscuit with pork shoulder and robiola cheese (for only $6!)
I spent my time chatting with the owner, Victoria as we bonded over our love for the Italian culture and Italian food. She just returned from a week in Italy scoping out the best vendors to bring to us here in Charlotte, NC. I tasted many different flavors of olive oil and balsamic variations to get my palette started. For my main course I ordered the linguine tossed in housemade basil pesto served with fresh ciabatta bread, and finished with an almond cannoli. I was in heaven!
My experience was amazing, I even heard a man walking by come up to the counter and say how this is exactly what was missing from 7th Street Market and how glad he is to see them open! I am running the Elizabeth 8k Saturday and I can’t wait to carb overload with some pasta from Zia Pia Friday night!