by TM Petaccia
It’s been a quick rise for 2023 UPPY Food Artisan of the Year Raffaele Patrizi and his wife/business partner Madison. From their startup in 2020 selling at Charlotte-area farmers markets to their shop and pasta bar at The Market at 7th Street, to now opening the couple’s first full restaurant and Italian specialty store in SouthPark. Mano Bella Bistro & Market is located at Morrison Place in the space formerly occupied by Bit by Seoul Food.
Last night, Unpretentious Palate held a private preview dinner of what customers can expect as the business opens today. The family-style dinner was accented by talks from the owners, which included how the couple met, their journey from Italy to California to Charlotte, their commitment and relationships with local farmers and purveyors, and details about the new space itself. Here are some of the highlights of the evening. Mano Bella Bistro & Market opens at 11 a.m. today and will operate Tuesday-Sunday.
Our next dining event is this Monday, January 29 — Meet the Chef: Kaley Laird of Mimosa Grill. A few select tickets remain. See full menu and reserve your seats now.
Mano Bella Bistro & Market combines imported Italian specialties along with Mano Bella’s own fresh and dry pastas, sauces, mozzarella, and other crafted foods. TM Petaccia/UP
Mano Bella’s cocktail options incluse Aperol and Limoncello Spritzes on tap as well as batched martini’s and Negronis. TM Petaccia/UP
Mano Bella Bistro & Market co-owner Madison Patrizi (right) shares time with guests during the welcome cocktail hour. TM Petaccia/UP
Cheese and charcuterie plates prepped in the Mano Bella kitchen. TM Petaccia/UP
The evening’s first diners start in. TM Petaccia/UP
Madison Patrizi leaves the kitchen with Carbonara Suppli — traditional carbonara deep-fried in a ball and served with a pecorino cream sauce. TM Petaccia/UP
Housemade focaccia bread, ricotta, olive oil, and truffles. TM Petaccia/UP
Fried calamari breaded with house blend of gluten-free rice flour and seasonings with pesto aioli. TM Petaccia/UP
Raffaele Patrizi’s take on a Caesar salad includes the use of garum, a fermented fish condiment which dates to ancient Rome. TM Petaccia/UP
Chef Raffaele Patrizi discusses each course. TM Petaccia
Gnocchi in a goat cheese sauce with shaved truffles, and focaccia gremolata. TM Petaccia/UP
Fresh Mano Bella bucatini with wild boar ragu. TM Petaccia/UP
Raffaele and Madison Patrizi pause during the evening’s presentations. TM Petaccia/UP
Dessert No. 1: Mano Bella’s Tiramisu. TM Petaccia/UP
Dessert No. 2: Amaretti (almond sugar cookie) with raspberry sorbetto. TM Petaccia/UP
As part of every Unpretentious Palate preview dinner, attendees are asked to complete a quick survey which provides valuable feedback to the restaurant’s owners. TM Petaccia/UP
Every attendee received a Mano Bella gift bag. TM Petaccia/UP
The Mano Bella team after a job well done. TM Petaccia/UP