Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to tell if Great Italian Restaurant

Many establishments hope to lure you in with pasta and pizza mainly because they are low overhead high profit entrees. These are NOT a good indication of fine Italian cuisine. When I am looking for Great Italian is expect to see classic dishes that quintessentially say the chef has mastered great cuisine. When I am looking, the best is regional cuisine such as romano, or toscano, etc. Often the menu in Italian will be different than the one in English. Don't be afraid to order off the Italian menu with the waiters help. Many speak English. Here are some criteria for suspecting a superb dinner.

It is a great sign if some or many of these appear on the menu:

Carciofi Romano(Artichokes - roman style)
Cannelloni ala Romano
Osso Buco
Veal Piccata
Animelle (sweetbreads)
Abbacchio al Forno
Spinach Gnocchi
Frito Misto

Mellanzani al Forno

Suppli ala Telefono



Bucatini all’amatriciana

Coniglio all a Cacciatore

Fettucine Alfredo (popular with Americans mainly)

Puntarelle (Chicory - anchovy sauce)


If none of these items appear on the menu, I am pretty sure this is some American Restaurant that maybe mediocre or perhaps not really Italian.


High-end places may include:

Chianina Beef - Bistecca alla Fiorentina

Aragosta Americana

Roman Entrées on the menu are a very good sign that you should try the offerings. Some of these might be bread soup, panzanella salad, puntarelle salad, fried zucchini blossoms, mellanzani (eggplant lasagna)

It a good sign if they have a carafe of excellent house wine. (Want to see an excellent roman menu where the menu changes for each day of the week, try )

They must have espresso and cappuccinos on the menu. The desserts may include zabaglione, Panna cotta, and tiramisu. They should offer a digestive alcoholic drink, such as Limoncello, amaro, or grappa

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