May 17, 2018 - Food and Drink

Zinicola brings Nonna-approved Italian comfort food to Ballantyne Village

via Facebook

Looking for authentic Italian cuisine in Ballantyne? You’re in for a treat if you haven’t already visited Zinicola in Ballantyne Village.

Chef Richard Cranmer opened the family-owned spot late 2017. His own Italian heritage and passion for cooking has helped bring the dream of this restaurant to life for him, his wife Najiya, and their young son.

The restaurant is warm and inviting and has a bit of a fancy white linen tablecloth vibe. It’s received 4.3/5 stars on Google, 4.5/5 stars on Facebook, and 4/5 stars on Yelp.

via Facebook

Here are 6 things to know about Zinicola before you go.

You won’t find any chicken parm here.

Zinicola is all about authentic Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients — including hand-made pasta — that change with the season.

Expect hearty comfort foods like osso bucco, risotto and lasagna.

Calamari (with fried zucchini, spicy tomato sauce and paprika mayo)
Grilled Octopus (with red pepper sauce, fennel puree, marinated olives, tomatoes and artichokes)
Osso Bucco (with braised pork osso bucco and polenta)
Burrata (with roasted red pepper, green beans, sundried tomatoes, crostini and saba)
Vitello Tonnato (veal, tuna caper sauce, fried capers, shaved celery and oven-dried tomatoes)

“Zinicola” is Chef Richard’s mother’s maiden name.

His menu inspiration comes from his family. He grew up traveling to Italy each summer and fondly remembers watching his Nonna (grandmother) and mother cook.

“The meals that were prepared by his mother and Nonna are what brought everyone together,” his wife Najiya said.

Their goal is to create a restaurant where everyone is treated like family.

Pistachio chocolate cake with berry compote

Veal Ravioli (with sweet breads and summer black truffles)

Pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven.

via Instagram

Choose from margherita, rozzo, prosciutto or quattro formaggio.

via Instagram

In addition to an extensive wine menu, Zinicola offers an impressive lineup of more than a dozen martinis and craft cocktails.

Private event space is available for meetings and special occasions.

The main dining room seats 60, and the private dining area seats 30. Considering Ballantyne Village is surrounded by corporate offices, businesses will put that room to use.

And an open outdoor bar will be ready for use very soon.

Just in time for summer, guests will be able to eat and drink on Zinicola’s sidewalk patio with easy access to drinks at an indoor/outdoor bar.

Find Zinicola at 14835 Ballantyne Village Way, open Sunday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4-11 p.m. Connect on Facebook and Instagram.

Header photo via Facebook


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Charlotte stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Charlotte.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more