Drinks with Augusto Conte

The Italian owner of Luce, MezzaNotte, Coco Osteria, and Toscana toasts to sixteen years in the business


Taylor Mathis

The Ischia, Italy, native and owner of Luce, MezzaNotte, Coco Osteria, and Toscana toasts (with white wine) his sixteen years of serving authentic Italian cuisine in Charlotte:

On Coco Osteria turning tapas: After so many years, we want to bring something new and different to that space; the whole culture will change.

What’s the new concept? It’ll be called Malabar and serve Spanish fare. Dishes on the new menu? Fish, meat, and chicken; Spanish cheeses, pata negra (cured Iberian ham), jamón serrano.

On the new restaurant in Waxhaw: Trattoria Antica will feature traditional Italian food.

Why is Waxhaw the right market? It’s the right size and just far enough away from MezzaNotte and Toscana.

Anticipated crowd-pleaser at Trattoria Antica? Osso bucco, braised Milano style.

Classic Italian dish that’s improperly executed in America? Mare (seafood linguini). How have you authenticated the execution? Toscana’s executive chef, Gabriele Grigolon, knows how to really clean the shellfish, serves it exceedingly fresh, and never uses canned tomatoes; you need a real Italian chef who’s grown up, lived, and cooked in Italy.

Favorite food genre besides Italian? Vietnamese.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

For the Love of Liquor: A Visit to the Crunkleton in Elizabeth

Neighborhood welcomes Gary Crunkleton’s famous cocktail bar

Cupcrazed Cakery Closes Charlotte Store

Did LeBron’s Charlotte Visit Cause the Surge for This Whiskey?

Is Philippine Cuisine the Next Big Food Trend?

Trendwatchers say so. Two local restaurants—an old standby and a new arrival—brace for impact

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More >> Partner Content

See Iconic Andy Warhol Works at This Limited-Time Exhibition

In partnership with Methodist University

The Must-Visit Vendor at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show 2019

In partnership with Wahoo Decks

3 Unique Ways to Spend Valentine's Day in South End

In partnership with Charlotte Center City Partners

Sign Up for our E-Newsletters

Stay in-the-know on restaurant openings, things to do, and all things Charlotte with our handy newsletters. SIGN UP HERE

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags