It’s not like Siggy Sollitto doesn’t know what to expect: After owning two popular restaurants in New York, she’s rushing to get ready for her new Charlotte restaurant, Siggy’s Good Food, to open next week in the Belmont neighborhood.
“It’s always the same, the moment before opening,” she says. When we stopped in for a look Wednesday, the kitchen staff was rushing to give the dishes one last look, all the tables and chairs were ready and the whole place had a bright, colorful look.
Sollitto has spent a year rehabbing what used to be a small convenience market into her restaurant, adding windows along the side and bright yellow-striped awnings across the front.
The menu (below) shows salads from $6 to $12, seared vegetables with garlic and olive oil, sandwiches from $9.50 to $12, and additions of beef kebobs, chicken, wild-caught tuna and smoked turkey from $5 to $6. There also are smoothies ($7 to $9), coffees and juices, wine and beer. Sandwiches include steak, chicken and beef kebob heroes, tuna, tofu and veggie, egg sandwiches and a cheese sandwiches. It includes gluten-free and vegan options with an emphasis on locally grown and organic ingredients.
Sollitto has led an interesting life on her way to Charlotte: A native of Israel who was a machine-gun instructor in the Israeli army, she had two restaurants in New York and even did a stint of the TV show “Chopped.”
She decided to leave New York last year for a simpler life, and picked Charlotte because her sister lives here. She also bought a house nearby.
“I liked city life, but New York is not the best city anymore,” she says. She fell in love with Belmont, which she says is just starting to be discovered by a younger, more artistic crowd.
“I could have changed professions, worked for somebody else,” she said. “But Siggy’s (in New York) had so much mission. I couldn’t let it die. It’s very social. It’s your living room, the door is always open. I love the lifestyle.”
When she opens Tuesday, the hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (lunch and dinner) Tuesday-Sunday, although she may change that to Monday-Saturday so she can let the staff have Sundays off.
Her dream for her new Charlotte place? “A neighborhood place — good food, fun, music.”