Positano Osteria and Mezzanotte in Birkdale?
Anyone tried this yet. I just found out about it and I can hardly wait to try it. I love a good Italian Restaurant and our favorite one (Volare) closed. It's owned by Augusto Conte who owns several good ones in town. We have so little nice, non chain ones, in the Northern Charlotte area. All you Chowhounds on the south side of town are the lucky ones!!
We went this evening. It appears to be doing a whopping business. I had Osso Buco and my wife had salmon. She had a salad and I had an appetizer and we each had a drink. Total bill $82. I thought the food was good, not great. The service was prompt but a bit rushed -- we were in and out in less than one hour. The atmosphere is more casual and a bit loud. I was hoping for a Northern location of Toscana and clearly this is not that. I like a quieter more romantic atmosphere. Perhaps a younger diner will prefer this more upbeat atmosphere. I will definitely try it again. At $29 I won't get the Osso again as I thought it was fine but not great. There are plenty of interesting pasta dishes to try and at a lot less $$. As I said there were plenty of diners so clearly there are a lot of fans.
Last night four of us went and only had the dinner entree with just water and our bill was $75. The food was "OK" but certainly not spectacular like we had hoped it would be. I can go to a place like Olive Garden and get better for less money. We were really hoping for better than this.
I've been a couple of times since they opened in January (actually went on opening night - something I usually don't recommend). So far, it's been fully equal to his other restuarants down in the city - I'm a big fan of them. Food quality has been excellent as expected - very good and nothing to be disappointed about.
Keep in mind, though, that this is definitely designed to be an osteria (in Italy osterias are kind of equivalent to what we would think of as a cafe ) and if you are expecting Luce or Toscana, you won't find it the same. It's meant to be a casual place with reasonable (relative) prices and you won't have huge Olive Garden-like portions. It really is all about the food and not so much the atmosphere, napkins, art on the walls or the crowd. If you've been down to his other one - Coco Osteria in front of Luce in the Hearst Tower - you will know what to expect. Last time at Positano, I had a braised lamb shank over fettucine and it was great. Nice to have the white beans closer to the lake!
As far as other italian choices near LKN, it has gotten better. I've been here for 6 years and back then there was absolutely nothing north of exit 23 (and that was unbelievably weak). Now there are 5-6 in the LKN area and by far Positano would be #1 for quality and authenticity. As far as the comment about Olive Garden being superior in any way - I think it would be better if I didn't touch that.
Yes, we have been going to Positano in Birkdale once a week since they opened. We are lunch chowhounds. If you ask nice, they will prepare dinner entrees at lunch. Depends on how busy they are. Have had every entree on the menu as well as their specials. Have not been disappointed yet. Love the casual cafe style. Try it. I can't see how you would be disappointed. Well, okay, if you prefer Olive Garden then I would suggest that this may not be the place to try.