How to Tell a Real Italian Restaurant
How to Tell a Real Italian Restaurant

If you want to know if a restaurant is truly Italian, look for the Ospitalità Italiana Seal of Quality. Promoted by ISNART, Italy’s National Institute of Tourism, the certification recognizes Italian restaurants worldwide that function as ambassadors of Italian culture and cuisine.

Artisanal chocolatiers from Bologna showcased their creations at Ospitalità Italiana, as a preview of Cioccoshow, an annual event in Bologna attended by 350,000 visitors. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Artisanal chocolatiers from Bologna showcased their creations at Ospitalità Italiana, as a preview of Cioccoshow, an annual event in Bologna attended by 350,000 visitors. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

 

Among other factors, selected restaurants carry Italian products with certified DOP (protected designation of origin) and IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) appellations; carry a certain percentage of DOC (controlled designation of origin) Italian wines; exclusively use extra virgin olive oil in their preparation; and have at least one Italian-speaking employee on staff.

This year, the recipients of the Ospitalità Italiana Seal were diverse.

Il Corse Chef de Cuisine Christian Sbordi at Ospitalità Italiana event at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan on Sept. 23, 2014. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Il Corso Chef de Cuisine Christian Sbordi at Ospitalità Italiana event at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan on Sept. 23, 2014. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

 

Bar Eolo and Pastai, whose owner Melissa Muller Daka learned to make fresh pasta under the tutelage of her Sicilian grandmother, earned the designation. At Pastai, diners find little treasures like whole wheat torch-shaped pasta, paired with sausage, or tagliatelle made with squid ink, or saffron ravioli stuffed with lobster and mascarpone.

Other restaurants served to showcase artisanal products.

At Osteria del Principe, the dishes and drinks are meant to highlight Principe’s products, the star of which is the famed, meltingly tender prosciutto di San Daniele. Paired with burrata, it makes for possibly one of the most perfect aperitivos around.

Lasagna from Academia Barilla at Ospitalità Italiana event at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan on Sept. 23, 2014. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Lasagna from Academia Barilla at Ospitalità Italiana event at the Metropolitan Pavillion in Manhattan on Sept. 23, 2014. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

 

At Academia Barilla Restaurant, COO Stefano Albano said there is only one ingredient, out of Barilla’s many products, that the restaurant uses: its Academia Barilla dried pasta, extruded with bronze die, which creates that all-important rough texture for the sauce to hang on to.

Roasted red pepper panna cotta from Circo. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)
Roasted red pepper panna cotta from Circo. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

 

The following restaurants were given the Ospitalità Italiana Seal:

Academia Barilla Restaurant
Alfredo 100
Altesi Ristorante
Antinori
Bar Eolo
Bar Italia
Barbalu
Broccolino
Enoteca Siciliana
Fino Wall Restaurant
Forno Siciliano
Galli Restaurant
Manducati’s
Monte’s Trattoria
Morandi
Osteria del Principe
Osteria Siciliana
Palma
Pastai
Piadina Restaurant
Portalia
San Marino
Savore
Via Della Pace Villa
Mosconi
Zagara

A number of restaurants have previously been awarded the Ospitalita’ Italiana Seal of Quality. They include Eataly, Asellina, Eataly New York, Salumeria Rosi, and San Pietro.

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