Favorite Restaurants in Italy

Old Jun 7th, 2024, 12:10 PM
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Favorite Restaurants in Italy

Bringing this up for fun; of course the topic is unanswerable, but here are a few of my personal faves (anything to get away from doing today's chores!!)

Forgive spelling mistakes, please!

**ULIASSI in Senigallia (Le Marche). (Upscale)
**ACQUAPAZZA in Cetara (personal favorite restaurant in personal favorite Amalfi Coast town)
DA GUSTIN in Bargni (Le Marche) (hotel rooms on premises)
AL MORO in Rome. (say what you will; we love it)
**PASCUCCI AL PORTO in Fiumicino (we stay here to have dinner before or or leaving FCO) (Upscale) (Hotel rooms on premises)
**PALAZZO DEI POETI Tursi, a must-visit restaurant in a must-visit town, far off the beaten path; (Basliicata) (Lovely hotel rooms on premises)
**LA MADIA Licata, Sicily (Upscale)
**DA VITTORIO Porto Palo di Menfi, Sicily
**SCALA Porto Palo di Capo Passero, Sicily (No written menu; no English spoken; call ahead if you want lobster)
LA LOPA and TRATTORIA STANO. (**Matera, Basilicata...these two come to mind from most recent of several trips. May 2023)
*CANTUNERA IBLA in Ragusa Ibla arrancini, freshly made~!!!!!! Grab a table outside.
**PANIFICCIO GIUMMARRA Ragusa Superiore. (take out only; buy double what you think you will eat; no English spoken; probably cash only, note sure; in the upper part of Ragusa; take bus or walk uphill; it can Get very hot but worth it, it very much is!! buy plenty to freeze if you are leaving a day or two later).

I have not been north of Umbria in about 6 years, so have not included any restaurants north of Norcia..

Note the "upscale" does not mean that you have to dress up; just dress tastefully, and book ahead, in some cases, weeks ahead (aka LA MADIA

I always book ahead at everyplace I eat, even if is that morning. I think it is polite to do so.
Remember that chefs at good restaurants will visit the markets each morning and knowing how many guests they should plan for each day helps them account for quantities to buy, especially if there is fish on the menu. I also find that we get a warmer response when we have booked ahead, not only in Italy but in Spain as well; those are the two countries we visit several times per year if all goes well!!

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Jun 7th, 2024 at 12:16 PM.
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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 08:52 AM
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Oh my, so many good ones! My favorites would have to be Osteria Vegli in Annunziata, near la Morra and Hosteria Giusti in Modena (the tortelloni in brodo is miraculous).
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Old Jun 8th, 2024, 08:46 PM
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Cafe Assu in Bevagna is tiny, but boasts a fantastic signature salad.
The owner gal is zany - thats how come we kept going back and getting along so well.
Her adult daughter runs the more upscale restaurant just down the road.

Zucca in Venice is in an outstanding setting. Its signature dish is a sort of pumpkin-gourd souffle.
Glauco in Scilla requires diners to climb a number of stairs, but its food and views are worth it. Mrs Z fell in love with their semifreddo.
Cafe Propenzio in Spello has excellent dishes, a lovely setting plus one of the best wine lists anywhere.
Area 8 in Matera wins for its truly unique blend of unique setting, superb food and great wines.

I am done. the fortunate
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 07:59 AM
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Sadly my all-time favorite in Italy was Bovio in La Morra in 2018, which has closed unfortunately.

Most memorable is still from our 2001 trip. Not necessarily the best, but certainly the most memorable. ... from the old trip report.

I had decided that on our first night in Florence we should be real Italians and dine late. While preparing for our trip, I had read about a restaurant called Da Il Latini (Via Palchetti 6/r) that reviews said was both good and fun. There were basically two seatings, and the late seatings tended to have more locals than tourists, so that's what we did. Looking back, this was probably the most memorable meal I have had anywhere in the world, and it really had little to do with the food, although the meal was very, very good.

At 9:30 we were lead to the second of three rooms at Il Latini. This rustic restaurant had prosciutto hanging from the ceiling at every turn, and on each table was a seemingly bottomless, huge bottle of Chianti. Walking through the restaurant to our table, the sweet smell of ripe melone was beckoning me.

There really wasn't a menu, so we just had the waiter order for us. We started with prosciutto e melone (the melon tasted like candy), bruschetta and foie gras on crostinis. Next came a tomato bread zuppa, an incredible vegetable bread soup and a white bean soup. The group then shared raviolis stuffed with spinach and ricotta plus some rigatoni in a spicy meat sauce. But wait, there's more! Next up, I had a great grilled filet, served rare just like it should be. My three companions opted for a very good roasted chicken.

Life is not complete without dessert, at least for the guys. Kim had the tiramisu sprinkled with chocolate chips. The tiramisu was made with a sponge cake. I had the vanilla gelato with fresh strawberries. Both desserts were winners.

We all washed down our dinner with some dessert wine (Vin Santo) and plenty of biscotti for dipping. I then had a cappuccino (yeah, only an American does this, but the waiter did tell me you can only order this after you have completed eating). Now as I mentioned, when we sat down there was a giant, straw covered bottle of Chianti (from the owner's estate we found out). This bottle was huge, and you drink on kind on the honor system. Well, this group never met a huge bottle of Chianti we didn't like, so we certainly put a dent in the bottle as our meal took a long time to consume.

When we were first seated, there were a lot of Americans finishing their meals, but by about half way through our dinner, the Americans had all left, and the entire room was speaking Italian, except for us, of course. The room was noisy and everyone seemed to be having a blast. After all the Chianti and Vin Santo, the four of us were feeling no pain, including yours truly. We were having such a great time and in such a great mood that for some reason (ok, perhaps inebriation could be a factor), out of the blue I sang out, "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie ..." Before I could sing another note, a large group of Italians at the table next to us, belted out, "That's Amore!"

Well, that sort of opened the fun floodgates. For the better part of 90 minutes (or more) the four of us, along with about 20 of our newest Italian friends, sang a variety of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra tunes, took pictures of one another and laughed the night away. They all spoke English pretty damned well. It was the coolest night.

Finally, about 12:30 a.m., the owner came back to our room and reluctantly said that he had to close up, and it was time for us to go. When we were handed the bill, we could hardly believe it. The total cost for one of the most fun evenings I have ever spent came to a total of 120,000 lira per couple (60 bucks)! We all laughed more as we walked through the rest of the restaurant that was now pitch black because the rest of the patrons had left about an hour previous to our departure. Damn, what a night!!

And here is the evidence!

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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 08:19 AM
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The above posts were attached to a thread from 2006. Not only was that topic eighteen years old, and many of the participants no longer with us, it is likely many of the restaurants have changed or no longer exist. A new, current thread has been created.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 08:43 AM
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Best restaurant in Italy

My favorite food being Italian I spend about two months in Italy each year. Much of the time I have spent with local tour guides who have taken me to their favorite restaurants.
In Verona I have now eaten several meals at Botteca Vini .
Every meal has been consistently great. I am sure there are more restaurants like this in Italy.
Old school conservative Italian ambiance, very serious sommelier, PERFECT PASTA every time.. Casual but very careful about their food.
Photos taken last week. By staying in Venezia Mestre I could easily take the train to Verona from Venice.

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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 02:50 PM
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I am glad that you mentioned "Uliassi" in your list which is probably my most favorite restaurant in Italy. A brother and sister Mauro and Catia Uliasssi run the restaurant.
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Old Jun 9th, 2024, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FarleyJo
I am glad that you mentioned "Uliassi" in your list which is probably my most favorite restaurant in Italy. A brother and sister Mauro and Catia Uliasssi run the restaurant.
Yes, they are the perfect team, both gracious and welcoming, and Uliassi is sublime. In Senigallia in 2019 I also liked Nana Piccolo Bistrot and Sepia by Niko. But Senigallia has numerous excellent restaurants and I only regretted that I didn't have more stomach space to try more.

Have to say that while the food at L'Imbuto in Lucca was highly creative and tasted great, with a lovely setting and terrific service, it just didn't have that warmth I felt at Uliassi.

I can't really choose a favorite otherwise. It's like trying to choose a favorite film, really depends on my mood! I've had good-to-wonderful meals most everywhere, north and south. Unlike eks, I tend to alternate trips to Northern (and/or Central) Italy with trips to Southern Italy.
  • Stano in Matera
  • Cibus in Ceglie Messapica
  • What about Pizzeria I Masanielli di Francesco Martucci in Caserta?
  • Ca da Frara in Ferrara
  • Da Noemi in Ferrara
  • While Antico Arco in Rome is not perfect, I dine there every time I'm in town and have been doing so since 2005 or 2008. I enjoy much more now that my Italian is so much better.
  • Vini da Gigio - Venice
  • CoVino - Venice (now closed, I learned, but he has a new restaurant/wine bar quite nearby)
These are all from trips in 2022 and 2023. Of course also enjoyed other places, including usual suspects like Roscioli and Cesare al Casaletto in Rome.
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Old Jun 10th, 2024, 05:52 AM
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Cibus is the one place that keeps eluding me.....I want so much to get to Ceglie.
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