Charlotte's 5 best spots for fancy Italian food

In search of a new favorite Italian spot?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best high-end Italian restaurants around Charlotte, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to satisfy your cravings.

1. The Fig Tree Restaurant

Photo: Anne L./Yelp

Topping the list is The Fig Tree Restaurant. Located at 1601 E. Seventh St. in Elizabeth's historic Lucas House, it is the highest rated high-end Italian restaurant in Charlotte, boasting 4.5 stars out of 361 reviews on Yelp.

On the menu, offerings include pappardelle pasta with Gorgonzola cream sauce, shiitake mushrooms, roma tomatoes and broccoli rabe; sea scallops over artichokes and saffron couscous with prosciutto, asparagus and ramp pesto beurre blanc; and veal carpaccio with avocado, radish, arugula, Parmigiano-Reggiano and lemon vinaigrette. (See the full dinner menu here.)

Cindy S., who reviewed it on April 21, wrote, "This restaurant is in a class all its own here in Charlotte. The food is excellent, the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is perfection!"

2. Luce Restaurant & Bar

Photo: Daniel J./Yelp

Next up is Uptown's Luce Restaurant & Bar, situated at 214 N. Tryon St., Suite J. With 4.5 stars out of 173 reviews on Yelp, the Italian spot has proven to be a local favorite for those looking to indulge.

On the menu, you'll see options like the lasagna (beef bolognese, bechamel sauce and Parmesan au gratin), the gnocchi with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, and the buttera with Italian sausage, peas and tomato cream sauce.

Brian R. said, "A great place to take a date to feel special. My drink was perfectly made. The capri was fresh and tasty. My lamb was seasoned and cooked perfectly. The price is higher, but there's no disillusion to that. Definitely worth it."

3. Aix en Provence

Photo: Suzanne S./Yelp

Elizabeth's Aix en Provence, located at 545-B Providence Road, is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the fancy Mediterranean, French and Italian spot 4.5 stars out of 48 reviews.

As far as Italian goes, you'll see items like the lobster spaghetti (Maine lobster, tomato and Parmesan froth), the tagliatelle (sweet corn, chives and chanterelle mushrooms) and the risotto (with bunapi mushroom, grana padano and herbs). (See the full dinner menu here.)

Derek W. noted, "Spectacular food in an unassuming location. Not only was everything we ate amazing, but it was refreshing to receive such great service — little things like pacing the main course a bit later if you're still working on appetizers can be hard to find these days."

4. Stagioni

Photo: Mary C./Yelp

Another pricey go-to in Elizabeth, Stagioni has earned four stars out of 136 Yelp reviews. Head over to 715 Providence Road to see for yourself.

On the menu, you'll notice Italian dishes like baked rigatoni (braised beef sugo, mushrooms, tomatoes, Parmesan, ricotta and fontina), the scallop spaghetti (black pepper spaghetti, toasted prosciutto, garlic and shallots in a white wine cream sauce with a cured egg yolk) and the truffle tagliatelle. (See its full menu here.)

Yelper Kerry W. said, "We have been to Stagioni several times and the food is always wonderful. The seasonal menus offer a wide variety of choices whether you want a full meal or small plates."

5. Aqua e Vino

Photo: Tonya P./Yelp

Over in Providence Park, check out Aqua e Vino, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 46 reviews on Yelp. Treat yourself at the Italian restaurant by heading over to 4219 Providence Road, Suite 3.

The menu, which focuses on northern Italian dishes, includes potato gnocchi, pork shank with pearl onions and mashed potatoes and the aquarello carnaroli risotto with porcini ragout and branzino filet. (See the menu here.)

P C. raved, "Phenomenal, amazing, wonderful. Can't come up with sufficient superlatives. Absolutely the best northern Italian (real Italian, not American Italian) in Charlotte, and, for me, the best and finest restaurant experience in Charlotte period, without question."