The single most underrated restaurant in Charlotte

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Recently, we sent a survey to our 23,000 daily Agenda newsletter subscribers in which we asked: What’s the most underrated restaurant in Charlotte?

Results: #1 Zio (Myers Park), #2 Fiamma (Dilworth), #3 Roasting Company (Montford), #4 Beef N Bottle (South Boulevard) and #5 Dish (Plaza Midwood).

Outstanding list and it’s so true about Zio — it’s often overlooked.

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There’s only about 10 tables, but Zio has an excellent small patio

Zio is a casual Italian restaurant serving homemade pastas, grilled pizza and hot pies near Hubee D’s and Boston Market in the heart of Myers Park.

I’ve driven past Zio hundreds of times, but I’ve only eaten there once — so I decided to head back there last Monday night with my family.

Zio is super kid friendly. I love that they have an adult dining space with a bar to the left and a kids dining space that gets a little crazy to the right.

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Kid-free dining space in Zio

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Kid-friendly family dining area inside Zio to the right

By 6:30 p.m. on a Monday night, all the tables inside the entire restaurant were packed and the kitchen had to-go order pickups about every 5 minutes.

Although underrated, Zio is definitely not a hidden gem. Neighbors know about it and use the heck out of it.

The free table bread is fresh, warm and delicious. You should also start with the Toasted Ravioli ($5.99).

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Then order the Roasted Golden Beet Salad ($7).

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Zio has an onsite garden and a staff gardener – so you know their veggies are fresh.

If you’re going for pasta, I recommend the Spaghetti A La Zio ($14), “Imported spaghetti tossed with spicy chicken sausage, diced tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms in a white wine sauce, finished with truffle oil and herb-ricotta cheese.” It’s garlicky and different — but tasty.

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Eggplant Parmesan (left) and Spaghetti A La Zio (right)

And you gotta order pizza if you’re going to a casual Italian restaurant.

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Whether it’s a casual date, night out with your toddler or Italian take-out — Zio nails it. I’m still thinking about the Spaghetti A La Zio pasta.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).