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Gianni’s Trattoria
Downtown Concord’s Newest Gem
by Katherine Gonzalez
ohn scouted locations for a year
before he discovered the location, a
When Brooklyn entrepreneur John Goode wanted to
historic building in historic downtown relocate to the milder climate of North Carolina, he
Concord. “As soon as I showed
looked at many locations for his new eatery. As the
an interest in the building, other
downtown business owners came and
former owner of different businesses-a deli, an elegant
introduced themselves.
restaurant, and a high-end wine shop, he knew exactly
“I’ve never been so welcomed in
what he had in mind.
my life. That wouldn’t happen in
The new location’s plaster walls,
interesting woodwork, brass foot
rails, marble bar and large pharmacy
mirror from the 1880s (with its
pleasing, streaky patina) had the
ambiance and charm he was looking
for. “It reminded me of home.” He
said. “All it needed was paint and
Finally, with faux finished walls,
revamped facade, linens, candles,
wait staff and European menu, John
and Chef Heather Straddler opened
in November.
In spite of its newness, word spread
and patrons came from outside
the immediate neighborhood. The
Trattoria was packed. From Concord
and Kannapolis to Mooresville and
Huntersville, diners flocked to enjoy
Heather’s food. Gianni’s offers
but that isn’t Heather’s modus operandi. anyone dining at the Trattoria.
European Italian cuisine for dinner
“I’m passionate about food.” She John is as enthusiastic about food as
and lunch.
states. “First thing in the morning when Heather is. “A good meal”, he declares,
Heather, after graduating first in
I wake up, I’m thinking about food. Put “is one that ends the next day at lunch
her class from the Culinary Institute
me in a Farmer’s Market or a Field and when you are still talking about the meal
of America, spent eight years in Italy,
I’m beside myself.” Heather’s passion you had the night before.”
cooking and absorbing its regional
shows. Whether it is cooking marinara I tasted several of Heather’s dishes and
variations. Her creations for Gianni’s
fresh every day or reducing a gallon enjoyed them all. She has a way with
are the result of her training and
of aged balsamic vinegar to a pint, her grilled eggplant that knocked my socks
attention to detail, authenticity, freshness off. I was still talking about it the next
She could do things the easy way
and quality ingredients is apparent to day at lunch. Gianni’s has an element
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