It had to be an Italian restaurant; Chef Bruce Moffett knew it as soon as he stepped foot in “the Villa.” People had gathered in the historic home for good food, fine wine, and great company since the doors first opened in 1926, and he couldn’t wait to carry on that tradition with Stagioni: flavors and experiences made in the moment, steeped in the legacy of grand parties.
The Villa was once home to world traveler and legendary hostess Blanche Reynolds Gormajenko. She was known for eccentricities: men reading poetry to her guests from the trees, a pool filled with Champagne, séances at the stroke of midnight. Today, Stagioni pays homage to her inspired standard of hospitality, good times, and grand theatrics with an interior awash in the auburn glow of wooden lampshades and red leather, the char of wood-fired pizza, and fresh, seasonal takes on traditional Italian dishes. A season for everything, and everything with a twist—just as Blanche would have wanted it.
Eric Ferguson is the executive chef at Stagioni. Eric was raised in North Dakota, where his grandparents’ garden provided his first experience with fresh food—an experience that would push Eric toward developing relationships with local purveyors and searching for fresh, seasonal food. Eric originally went to school for business management, but quickly found himself enrolled in culinary school at the Arts Institute after moving to Charlotte. After graduation, one of his first gigs was at Barrington’s via a recommendation from a professor. Eric worked at Barrington’s then left to further develop his skills, working in Umbria, Italy; Quince in San Francisco; and then Oregon to run Nick’s Italian Cafe. Eric ended up back in Charlotte at Stagioni where his drive to develop relationships with local producers has helped to create food that turns good meals into great experiences.
Like Blanche’s inspired hospitality, classic Italian fare is an experiment in place and moment, about taking what’s on hand and elevating it. Our menu is true to that philosophy, with Italian staples served alongside modern variations, flavors forged in the pan and paired with a thoughtful selection of wine, beer, and cocktails.