Tag Archives: Italian

Otto

Amid the glitz, glam and fakeness of Las Vegas, the Italian Enoteca & Pizzeria Otto is an oasis of sincerity. Fine wines, pure ingredients and friendly staff make this Mario Batali restaurant an appealing stop if you’re done with The Strip’s madness and are in need of some high quality food. Okay, so it’s located in fake Venice on the fake Piazza San Marco, with a view of fake street artists and an artificial blue sky. But with Nevada’s sizzling summers, you will be thankful to be dining “outside” with A/C temperatures. And its location in the large Venetian mall is actually perfect for people watching. So sip a glass of cool Prosecco, enjoy a thin-crusted pizza and dive into their large selection of formaggi from all regions of Italy.

We are sure you will appreciate Las Vegas cheesiness a whole lot better this way.

Otta Las Vegas St. Mark's Square

Otto Las Vegas interior

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La Gallina Bianca

If you’re a business or company located in the area of Rome Termini Station you’ll probably already get your lunch at La Gallina Bianca sometimes. For those who do not, it’s worth the visit. The fact that the place is packed with locals every day tells a lot. The restaurant is famous for its amazing pizza’s, pasta’s and meat dishes. Not to mention its ideal location in central Rome. Don’t go there to be amazed by the interior design and trendy cocktails on the menu. This is not some new, hip hotspot or ‘place to be’. Just go for a good Italian meal, nice glass of wine, friendly staff and you won’t be disappointed.

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Da Francesco

We hate to use the term, but Da Francesco is really a ‘must-visit’ when in Rome. The place has no www and the tourists aren’t aware. It’s packed every night, but it’s mostly locals. This fine Italian restaurant is situated at the tiny square Piazza del Fico, only a minute walk away from crowded Piazza Navona. Therefore a true ‘hidden gem’ (jeez, another of these cliche travel terms). Why go here? Well, first and foremost because of the divine Italian food on the menu. And no, being in Rome doesn’t mean you’ll be served the best pasta’s and pizza’s around every corner. Truthfully, it’s actually quite challenging to find a restaurant with friendly staff and good Italian food that isn’t overprized. Da Francesco serves amazing Italian food, is reasonably prized and the staff is having fun and laughing all evening while working extremely hard. Yes, they will even just look you into your eyes while they’re taking your order. No grumpy waiters (sick of all the tourists) at this place! Tried and recommended: spaghetti carbonara.

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Terrassa

If you happen to stay in St. Petersburg during the summer, you should definitely pay a visit to Terrassa. The menu is extensive and diverse but truth be told: the real reason you go to Terrassa is to enjoy one of the city’s best views. The restaurant is located on the top floor of the tallest building in the historical center and from the outside terrace you can see the Kazansky cathedral and the famous Nevski Prospekt street. The interior is modern and bright and because of the open kitchen you might just be able to catch a glimpse of head chef Alexander Belkovich, who started here at only 21 years old. With great enthusiasm he prepares interesting dishes ranging from Italian to Asian cuisine. Reservations are a must at Terrassa. Be sure to indicate that you want to be seated outside with views of the cathedral; you will not be disappointed!
 
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La Maria

The place is tiny: no more than 8 tables. The menu is small and simple: no more than 5 main courses to choose from. The location is not ideal: all the way in the South neighbourhood of Amsterdam. And on top of all this: the place doesn’t even have it’s own website. But all of the above is inconsiderable once you’ve had your first dinner at La Maria. The Southern European (mostly Italian) food is fresh and amazing. Everything is prepared with fresh ingredients. Don’t believe it? See for yourself. The food is cooked and prepared in the open kitchen, with the brick kiln right in the corner of the restaurant. You can watch the chef’s every move. It’s like eating in the owners’ kitchen. Food prepared with love, that’s what you get at La Maria. The wine menu is very good as well. You can even order any wine on the menu by the glass. Ready to go? The address is Vechtstraat 79 in Amsterdam.

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Pasta e Basta

Imagine your waitress, after she just poured you a glass of wine, suddenly grabbing the microphone and filling the entire restaurant with her beautiful voice. This is just a regular night at Amsterdam’s entertainment hotspot Pasta e Basta. Located in a cosy, candle-lit basement, this Italian restaurant is all about its singers and its high amusement factor. The place is known to be a breeding ground for new talent and especially the arias performed a capella style are truly breathtaking. The restaurant’s name loosely translates into “Pasta and that’s it!”. After enjoying their delicious antipasti buffet served out of a grand piano, pasta is exactly what you’re getting. The simple and unpretentious dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients. Pasta e Basta’s owner, who possesses a strong passion for both music and Italy, proudly walks around the restaurant on most nights to greet customers like close friends. After being awarded honorary citizenship for organizing the city’s famous Prinsengrachtconcert (annual open air classical music concert), he is somewhat of a local hero. Book well in advance and bring a group of friends to enjoy the show. Don’t let the touristy vibe hold you back – there is a reason why Pasta e Basta is mentioned in most guidebooks!

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Cecconi’s

Inspired by the original Cecconi’s in London, Cecconi’s Miami Beach opened its doors in 2010 in the members only Soho Beach House. This classical Italian restaurant offers Venetian inspired food and is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides delicious dishes such as beef tartare with pecorino, quail egg and black truffle, Cecconi’s offers an amazing setting in the hotel’s ground floor courtyard. The 150-seats dining area is outside, but the carefully chosen furniture and the pergolas with overhanging greenery make it feel protected and cosy.  The trees are wrapped in white lights that create a magical effect when the sun sets. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful restaurants in Miami to dine al fresco, just steps away from the ocean. Even though the interior and food make you feel like you’re in Europe, a little people watching will take you right back to SoBe. A colorful crowd of attractive models, surgically enhanced has-beens and a celebrity or two seem to love Cecconi’s too.

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Bar Moustache

For all the fans of small, busy, popular places, Bar Moustache is where to go. This place recently opened in one of Amsterdam’s nicest streets: Utrechtsestraat. This is where the fashionable Amsterdam crowd comes to get their Italian meals and wines. Former travel- and lifestyle editor Stella Willing helped decorating the place. She has really put her creative mark on the interior of the restaurant. She did a wonderful job on such a tiny place. The brick walls and various chairs really carry out the cosy atmosphere of old Amsterdam manor houses. But don’t just go here to behold the amazing interior: the food’s great too. The lamb loin is highly recommended! Have a nice glass of red wine with this and you will come crawling back to the Utrechtsestraat very soon!

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Eataly

Zagat’s survey 2011 research showed that Italian food is by far the most popular among New Yorkers. No wonder Eataly‘s founders decided to create a 50,000 square foot Italian food market place – or mecca if you like – in New York City’s Flatiron District. Eataly is the city’s perfect destination for (Italian) food lovers to find Italian delicacies and wines, a culinary educational center and a range of high quality eateries. But don’t even dare calling it a giant food court! One of the owners Mario Batali explains: “This isn’t a selection of restaurants under one roof. This is a retail store where we peddle the greatest of Italian gastronomy to people who want to eat it and know how to appreciate it.” Besides a great shopping experience, Eataly does offer several places to sit down. For a formal dining experience you can get a table at Manzo, which offers both traditional and modern Italian meat dishes. Or meet up with friends at Eataly’s enoteca La Piazza, with marble bars and standing tables where you can enjoy a glass of fine wine paired with delicious meats and cheeses. The most recently opened restaurant is Birreria, a laid back rooftop restaurant/beer brewery with a wide range of specialty beers and complimenting dishes. Buon appetito!

Besides New York, Eataly has stores in Italy and Japan, check the website for store locations!

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Excelsior Milano

If you could compose your favorite store, what would it look like? It would definitely be located in the heart of fashion capital Milan. And you would like the store to be filled with emerging fashion brands and some trusted classics. The design of the store would be an architect’s dream: courageous and innovative, making you feel like you’re shopping inside an art gallery. The beauty department must have a wide selection of exclusive brands that can’t be found elsewhere. And to top it off, you would throw in those colorful Ladurée macaroons that you love so much and – what the heck – a Tiffany’s. This must have been the trail of thought of the founder of Excelsior Milano, which is the name of your favorite store to be. With labels including Sergio Rossi, Proenza Schoeler, Christian Louboutin and contemporary American designers such as Rag & Bone and Theory, this store will most definitely be a success. In true Italian tradition, Excelsior also makes a tribute to food with Eat’s, a supermarket filled with the most delicious meats, fish, vegetables and wines. Excelsior Milano opened in september 2011 and is planned to open in several other Italian cities over the next few years.

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