"Draghi's food builds sauces from vegetables and their essences, rather than butter, olive oil, or cream. So even with a rich dessert, one will be able to continue with a night out on the town after eating here. Amid many fine restaurants near the Theater District, this is one of the most distinctive." Robert Nadeau, The Boston Phoenix
Charles first gained culinary attention for his personalized and highly praised take on contemporary Italian cuisine at Marcuccio’s Restaurant in Boston’s North End. Based on the tastes and freshness of ingredients used by his Piemontese family in their home cooking, paired with his classical French culinary training, Charles has developed a uniquely flavorful cuisine. Charles brings this same cuisine to Erbaluce, punctuating the dishes with the bright flavors of fresh herbs, and sauces based on fruit and vegetable essences, as well as various roasting juices, without the attendant heaviness of added butter or cream reductions. Freed from this heaviness, the dishes have bright, focused flavors, with the freshness of the ingredients being the primary characteristic sensation for diners.
In addition to Marcuccio’s, Charles has had great critical success as the opening chef of both Limbo restaurant and jazz club, and “33” restaurant.Charles has also worked as a consultant chef, helping to open several highly regarded restaurants in Boston, New Jersey, and New York.When he moved to Boston, in 1987, Charles worked the line at L’espalier with then owner, and master chef, Moncef Meddeb. He later worked as sous chef at Ambrosia on Huntington, and ran the small Arabic restaurant Tangiers, on Beacon Hill.Although he had worked in several lauded restaurants before these, Charles’ real culinary training began at the legendary L’Americain restaurant in Hartford, Connecticut.
The all-Italian wine list of Erbaluce was selected by Charles, and is similar in style and scope to the award winning wine lists he created for Marcuccio’s and “33,” as well as the numerous wine lists of other fine dining restaurants he has consulted on over the years . Food oriented, traditional Italian wines of strong character and the distinction of their region, is the best way to describe the flavor and aroma profile of the wines he has selected for the Erbaluce list to pair with his cuisine.
photography ©Christopher Draghi, wild boar photo ©Wayne Chinook