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Luisa Amadio, restaurant owner 

Luisa Amadio and her husband Rudy are the proud owners of Dolce Ristorante, located in Dilworth. Her first offering to Charlotte was Luisa's Brick Oven Pizzeria, which is still open today. "At the time no one was doing brick oven pizza in Charlotte. They said people were not ready. But I say if you bring good food people are ready!" Luisa said. Luisa's next offering to Charlotte was Dolce, a family-owned Italian restaurant that aims to bring all the richness of good Italian food to our fair city.

Creative Loafing: How did you end up in Charlotte?

Well, I am from Milan, and I met my first husband there. I married him, moved here and had four children. I raised my babies here. I love it here. I have tried to bring the food that I love to the city that I love.

What prompted you to open Dolce here?

I wanted to bring authentic Italian food to Charlotte. I wanted to bring the fresh, light flavors of my home country here, to show people that there is more to Italian food than just spaghetti. In this restaurant all the recipes are mine. I go home to Italy twice a year for new ideas; we make all the pasta fresh, and every month I showcase food from a different region in Italy. I have a real passion for food, and I am so happy to bring it here.

What is the specialty dish at Dolce?

Hands down the gnocchi. We make it fresh here, and we only serve it on Tuesday nights. It has everything to do with the flour you use. We use Italian flour. We try to match everything as close to Italy as possible. Customers have told me that they are so light they are like little pillows of heaven. People kept asking me how we make our gnocchi, so I taught a class here, and so many people came I had to turn some of them away.

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