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30 March 2018

La Galleria di Sopra Ristorante in Albano Laziale (Rome), Italy

La Galleria di Sopra is about two brothers, both thrown into the world of enogastronomy. Andrea Carfagna, the sommelier, takes care of the wines and the dining area while Claudio, the chef unites his fresh and seasonal ingredients in the kitchen. The outcome? Something you have to drive 25 kilometers to from Rome. Albano Laziale is one of the towns of Castelli Romani, a popular destination for day trips outside Rome. Albano is flanked by the notable ones like Castel Gandolfo, Ariccia, Nemi and Rocca di Papa. 

28 March 2018

Roma Maxima: Stories, Places & Secrets of The Eternal City

Rome, a four-letter word that sends a tingling excitement to all the world travelers. A history that spans 3,000 years back, the historians convinced that it was exactly 21 April of 753 B.C. when this great city was founded. There is a legend that is strongly attached to its history. The story goes that Rome was named after its founder and first ruler, Romulus. Romulus and his twin brother Remus, apparent sons of the god Mars and descendants of the Trojan hero Aenas, were suckled by a she-wolf after being left abandoned. The brothers grew and once, a fight ensued between them and Romulus killed Remus. Romulus then founded Rome and permitted men of all classes to come to the city as citizens, including slaves and freemen without distinction.

21 March 2018

Come Si Mangia L'Olio (How To Eat Oil): A Gastronomic Manual of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

How do you eat oil? Oil is not just an anonymous part of our dishes. It can play a fundamental role beside the protagonist of the dish because if used properly, the flavors of the whole dish can improve decisively. Come Si Mangia L'Olio, written by Andrea Leonardi, Filippo Falugiani and Marco Porvinciali is the second practical manual of gastronomic matching between food and extra virgin olive oil. Oil, whether raw or cooked can enhance the characteristics of the food that you are eating.

14 March 2018

Queen Makeda Grand Pub: Crowdfunding for its Milan Branch

Queen Makeda Grand Pub, born in Rome in December 2014, is quite ready for its next branch in Milan. This time, it is approaching the project with a totally different method. It is using Equity Crowdfunding to collect investments from the public. The target is to gather €200,000 within 4 months (13 March to 20 July 2018) to help open its branch in Milan by the end of 2018 towards the beginning of 2019. It is open to everyone, not just in Italy but in every corner of the globe with a minimum investment of €200 per person. Shall we do it?

Cantina Scacciadiavoli in Montefalco (Umbria), Italy

There's a peculiar myth behind the name Scacciadiavoli. If you translate it to English, it means to banish the devils. A legend from Johaness de Ruescissa's Trattato sulla Quintessenza says that in the 18th century, a young woman who was possessed by the devil was made to drink some local red wine by an exorcist who succeeded in dispelling the devil. This particular exorcism event gave its name to the village where the winery stands close to. In 1884, Prince Ugo Boncompagni from Rome had the winery built and he decided to call it Scacciadiavoli.

09 March 2018

Ristorante La Trota in Ridovutri, Italy

Ristorante La Trota's location may not be conveniently inside the capital and it may take a bit of traveling from the center of Rome towards Rieti because it has a distance of about 100 kilometers but rest assured that if you do make that trip, the gourmand in you will be more than satisfied. In fact, you might even go back for more trips. A restaurant with 2 stars in the French Michelin guide, 3 hats in the Italian L'Espresso guide, and 3 forks in another important Italian restaurant guide, Gambero Rosso, can hardly disappoint anyone.

05 March 2018

Locanda del Teatro in Montefalco (Umbria), Italy

There are a lot of things that make Montefalco one of the best destinations in Umbria. It's not only for its celebrated Sagrantino but also for its history, impeccably preserved ancient cobblestone streets and buildings and of course, the food. Montefalco is a very tranquil small hamlet where going around on foot gives you the pleasure of browsing the artisan shops to feed that gourmand inside you or better yet, sit down in one of the town's restaurants where local ingredients are cooked and transformed into exquisite dishes represented by their kitchen experts.

04 March 2018

QuarantunoDodici in Fiumicino (Rome), Italy

Nautilus Marina Yacht Club, a nautical complex in Fiumicino that has an internationally renowned shipyard and has one of the most important moorings of Lazio along the Tiber River has been hosting the bistrot of QuarantunoDodici and Michelin-starred Ristorante Il Tino, both at the helm of Chef Lele Usai, since mid-2016.  In these days, both restaurants are undergoing reformatting of the structure and philosophy. Both restaurants are located in the same building where QuarantunoDodici, open for lunch and dinner, resides on the ground floor that includes outdoor seating right in front of the Tiber River. Ristorante Il Tino, open only for dinner instead, is located on the upper floor of the building which faces the river too.

03 March 2018

Il Bosco Umbro di Paolo Trippini (Inside Eataly) in Rome, Italy

The flavors and aromas of Umbria are back to Rome with the kitchen of Chef Paolo Trippini. For the second year in a row, Chef Paolo Trippini of Ristorante Trippini in Civitella del Lago and Hotel La Badia in Orvieto, makes a comeback to Eataly Rome for the whole months of March and April (until 30 April).  Named Il Bosco Umbro di Paolo Trippini, the temporary restaurant is being hosted on the third floor of Eataly where exquisite innovations of the Umbrian cuisine in the kitchen of Paolo Trippini will be presented in an inviting menu dedicated to the Umbrian woods.

Preview Tasting of Sagrantino 2014 Vintage in Montefalco, Italy

Umbria, with all its panoramic splendor of soft monochromatic green hills with olive orchards, vineyards and ancient hamlets played host again to more than 200 international and local experts in the sector of wine as they opened up the Sagrantino 2014, the latest vintage of the wine, for a preview tasting. The Fourth Edition of the Anteprima Sagrantino 2014 was held in the ancient hamlet of Montefalco between 19 and 20 February 2018, full of events to get a full comprehension of the latest vintage of Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG Secco (dry) and Passito (sweet) and other wine labels of the producers of Montefalco.

28 February 2018

Elegance Cafè Jazz Club in Rome, Italy

There are three paramount things that will lead you to Elegance Cafè Jazz Club. Jazz, mixology and gastronomy. It’s a kind of union under one roof that we hardly meet, especially Rome. After three years in Via Veneto, Elegance Cafè left its Dolce Vita and found a new home in the Ostiense district of the capital which is just a stone throw’s away from the Pyramid of Cestius and the Ostiense Station. At its new home, Elegance Cafè dwells in a much bigger space where it aims to become a state-of-the-art venue for those who love listening to good live music, eating well-prepared dishes by a talented chef, and having a selection of original cocktail drinks by a master barman. Simply said, all three components are going to bear the same importance in the jazz bar.

Suburra 1930: Traditions and Italian Liquors 2018 in Rome, Italy

After the success of the first season, Assagi di Cucina e Miscele (Tastes of Kitchen and Mixtures) returns to Suburra 1930 again. Suburra 1930 is a restaurant and cocktail bar with an Art Deco style featuring geometric shapes, bold designs, clean lines, vibrant patterns and colors. It is housed in two floors with an open kitchen and a delightful outdoor terrace on one of the little squares of the Monti district. In summer, it is a splendid place to stay for a drink or a bite right in the small piazza of one of Rome's most historical and oldest areas.

25 February 2018

Aka Sushi in Ostia (Rome), Italy

Japanese and Italian cuisines may be worlds apart but there is something that they have in common. The stringent usage of ingredients of superior quality binds both kitchens together. With raw fish, extreme attention is needed in selecting the ingredients and preparing them.  For this reason, there's no other perfect place for Aka Sushi to find its home in Ristorante Red Fish in the district of Ostia. Aka in Japanese, by the way means red too. Ostia is a coastal district of Rome on the Tyrrhenean Sea that's about 30 kilometers away from the center of the capital. It is a popular place for Romans to spend their summer holidays in the long stretch of beach, crystal-clear water, and seafood restaurants.

23 February 2018

Riserva della Cascina Winery in Rome, Italy

If you are flying over Rome and landing in Ciampino Airport, then you must have seen patches of large combed vineyards around it. Riserva della Cascina is just about a kilometer from the Ciampino Airport. The winery is located inside the Appian Way Regional Park, along Regina Viarium, an ancient tree-lined cobblestone Roman road that goes back more than 2,000 years ago. The scenery, as you can imagine, is a stunning mixture of trees, vineyards, and ancient Roman ruins. Having such proximity to the center of Rome, it can easily be visited from the center of the city and it has to be one of the best ways to spend a few hours to get away from the urban bustle.

22 February 2018

I Migliori Vini Italiani di Luca Maroni 2018 in Rome, Italy

The year 2018 saw more than 150 wine producers as the protagonists of a 4-day wine event in Rome between 15 to 18 February.  Entitled I Migliori Vini Italiani di Luca Maroni 2018 (The Best Italian Wines of Luca Maroni 2018), the event took place in Salone delle Fontane in EUR, Rome with more than 1,600 square meters of space dedicated to more than 900 Italian wine labels.

14 February 2018

Fettuccine Alfredo of Ristorante Alfredo alla Scrofa, A True Love Story

How often have you heard about love being the secret ingredient in cooking? I agree, it is one of the most clichéd quotes but I believe in it. An inspired and impassioned cook can whip up a much better dish than someone who does it without any inclination to enthusiasm. Let's take Alfredo Di Lelio as a very good example when he created the Fettuccine Alfredo in 1914 at his restaurant in Via della Scrofa in Rome, Italy. His sole reason was love - for his wife and kids.

08 February 2018

La Meridiana Resort Relais & Chateaux in Garlenda (Liguria), Italy

Three years have passed since my last visit to La Meridiana Resort in the summer of 2014 but it seems just like yesterday when I last set foot on the grounds of my favorite hotel. Nothing much has changed. The atmosphere is still the same as I remember it to be. Luxurious, welcoming, cozy, professional and closely feels like a home away from home. And now there is Posh, a Pembroke Welsh Corgie whom proprietors Alessandra and Edmondo Segre have fondly added to their family recently.  She has taken the role of welcoming all the guests with her perennially smiling face while her four short legs make decisive strides towards her family's new guests. A long sniff here, a friendly look there, perhaps even a smile can escape from her then you are approved before she goes back to her post at the entrance of the hotel. Welcome to La Meridiana Resort Relais & Chateaux!

05 February 2018

Perpetual Ristorante in Rome, Italy

Perpetual Ristorante is a 750 square meter space of gastronomic multi-purpose venue in Rome. It's a restaurant, a bistrot, a wine bar, kitchen and experimental food laboratory that are spread out in three levels. Half of the space is dedicated to the kitchen, another 80 square meters are assigned to a food laboratory while 150 square meters are committed to the dining areas. The spaces are elegant, minimal and there's a lot of space to move around. Wood, metal, and glass make up the interiors while the dramatic lighting of Davide Groppi plays a key role in the three floors of Perpetual which changes the mood. significantly. It has crossed the line of being just a restaurant to an oasis for gourmands where a team of  chefs take them on gastronomic journeys of multitude of aromas and flavors. 

31 January 2018

Il Salento in Una Stanza in Rome, Italy

Salento in a room, that's how Il Salento in Una Stanza translates to English. It's a name that aptly describes the restaurant at Via Mantova, near Piazza Fiume in Rome. It's a small restaurant that can accommodate about 20, with tables against both walls. Compact places have the tendency to radiate a warm ambience and the restaurant easily takes that out for the friendly service given by its proprietor, Corrado Amato, the touch of bright colors on the table setting and the food, the protagonists that lift the spirit when they arrive on the table.

30 January 2018

Dinner of the Agrichefs for Eataly's 11th Birthday at Eataly Rome, Italy

Eleven candles for eleven years and eleven chefs to celebrate the eleventh anniversary of Eataly's first opening at Torino Lingotto in 27 January 2007. To underline the milestone, eleven Agrichefs of CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori) cooked in the different restaurants inside Eataly Rome (Ostiense) on the anniversary night. Founded in December 1977, CIA is one of the largest agricultural professional organizations in Europe that represents over 900,000 direct growers and farmers. Eataly on the other hand has continued its philosophy of a place where you can shop, eat and learn about good food with ingredients produced by local Italian growers who respect the concept of clean and fair production.

29 January 2018

Babingtons Tea Room's 125th Anniversary at Villa Wolkonsky in Rome, Italy

In the morning of the 25th of January, I opened the Babingtons Tea Room gift bag that I received the night before. Going through the black paper lining, I fished a black shopping tote pouch, a bookmark, a mini version of the two-tier cake of the party, and the best part, a small black canister containing the Babingtons 125 Anniversary Blend. I tried the special tea the previous night, cold, in a cocktail glass that was mixed with gin. You would rarely see me choosing cocktails over sparkling wine but that night, the refreshing tea cocktail just won me over.

27 January 2018

Tenuta Bellafonte in Bevagna (Umbria), Italy

Collenottolo Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG and Arnèto Spoletino Umbria IGT by Tenuta Bellafonte, two wines that express elegance and the authenticity of the grape varieties in the heart of Umbria. Tenuta Bellafonte owned by Peter Heilbron, is located in a 30-hectare estate in the region of Umbria, not far from the town of Bevagna, near the village of Torre del Colle which is divided into woodlands, orchards of olive trees (mainly Moraiolo and some Frantoio and Leccino varieties) and vineyards. The vineyards occupy 11 hectares of the land between 260 to 320 meters above sea level with the cultivation of the Sagrantino and Spoletino grape varieties. 

Osteria Del Mare: Pesce e Champagne in Naples, Italy

When you're in Naples, don't forget to eat your way around because it's one of the best cities in Italy where you can get phenomenal food. There are two things that I love about the Neapolitan cuisine: the pizza and the seafood dishes. In this post, I'm going to introduce to you a splendid discovery where seafood dishes abound with excellence in quality. Osteria Del Mare, a typical seafood restaurant, located just off the Caracciolo seafront, specializes in seafood dishes of the Neapolitan cooking tradition.

25 January 2018

Me Geisha: Japanese Fusion in Rome, Italy

If you have an eight year-old daughter who asks you only two things for her birthday and one of which is to take her to a Japanese restaurant so she can have that endless sushi kind of dinner, then you would take her to a place where you are assured of the food's optimum quality. Kids and raw fish are delicate matters. That's why when I search for a Japanese restaurant, I look deeper than the face of the place. Me Geisha was one of my options being popular among food experts in Rome and knowing the person behind the kitchen doors, Executive Chef Rodelio Aglibot.

22 January 2018

Festival della Carbonara 2018 at Eataly Rome, Italy

Festival della Carbonara. I wonder how many representations of carbonara can be invented for the festival. I have seen, heard and tried some interesting variations in the past but to have all of them under one roof is quite a fascinating event especially if you love carbonara! Pasta alla carbonara is a typical Roman dish that is composed solely of eggs, most of which are egg yolks, guanciale, black pepper, Pecorino Romano, salt (only for the boiling of the pasta) and the pasta. Typically, spaghetti or rigatoni are used. From these basic ingredients, some recipes are slightly modified and personalized according to the one cooking. There can be lots of egg yolks, or whole eggs to make it lighter instead of just the eggs yolks, Parmigiano Reggiano in place of half of the Pecorino or substituting the pasta with other kinds.

Food Bunker, A Culinary School in Nepi (Lazio), Italy

Food Bunker, a new training school for kitchen enthusiasts and aspiring chefs recently opened its doors in the lower Tuscia Viterbese between Rome and Nepi. It will be hosting cooking classes, meetings and enogastronomic events. With just about 40 kilometers of distance from the center of Rome, it presents a more tranquil atmosphere in an industrial area outside the chaos of the city.

17 January 2018

La Locanda Del Profeta in Naples, Italy

Naples may be about pizza (yes I agree how incredibly good the pizza is there) but it's also about dishes of antipasto, pasta and main courses. Being along the coast, it's also about the Mediterranean diet, an abundance of fish, vegetables. fruits and meat. The city has one of the best cuisines in Italy. Ask any Neapolitan about it and they would proudly tell you about what, how and why Naples is definitely one of the homes of excellence in the kitchen. There's no denying that because for a fact, some of the best chefs hail from Naples or its region, Campania.

16 January 2018

Bistrot 64 in Rome, Italy


In Rome, there is a star that glistens a tad shinier that the rest because that star brings out what the others can't take out of the Italian cooking. From the heart of Land of the Rising Sun, love, as simple and precise as I can put it, takes forth an incredible rendition of the Italian cuisine. Let me present to you Bistrot 64 in the hands of Chef Kotaro Noda, one Michelin star, Japanese transplanted to Italy and one big love for the Italian cuisine.

15 January 2018

Cantina Del Tufaio Winery in Zagarolo (Lazio), Italy

There are some Italian regions that I tend to favor when I have to go through a wine list. I have this usual tendency to go far away from my home region. I live at the outskirt of Rome which is inside the region of Lazio. What I am saying is that I look everywhere but Lazio. It has 30 controlled designation labels, 3 of which are DOCG (Denominazione Origine Controllata e Garantita) and 27 are DOC (Denominazione Origine Controllata). With these much quality-controlled labels that wineries have to abide rigorously, a terrain that's rich with minerals, Mediterranean climate, sea and hills and producers who are keen in their focus on the production of quality wines, well then, I don't have to look farther.

12 January 2018

Giro d'Italia Enogastronomic Event 2017 in Rieti, Italy

The first time I attended Giro d'Italia (not to be confused with the annual Italian bicycle race) in Rieti, I was quite impressed with the number of food and wine producers in attendance. I was going to start my sommelier course and it was fundamental that I attend as much wine tastings as I can to build my practical knowledge about wines. Giro d'Italia was an excellent start off point in getting familiar with the diverse characteristics of all the regions of Italy under one roof, spread out in two vast levels of the restaurant and 4 spacious rooms.

08 January 2018

Halabos na Hipon (Filipino Sautèed Shrimp)

There are not so many Filipino recipes from my childhood that I cook for my family. I like the simple ones that my kids' and husband's palates can easily comprehend like this Halabos na Hipon. It doesn't hide any other flavors because really, the ingredients are so minimal and basic. Shrimp, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. With ingredients like that, you can only expect to taste the best that the shrimp can give you. It's very close to Italian cuisine and I think for that reason, this particular dish is favored by my family and friends so much.

04 January 2018

I Migliori Vini Italiani 2018 di Luca Maroni in Frascati, Italy

The best Italian wines of Lazio, 240 labels in all, by more than 40 wine producers were on the spotlight in the fifth edition of I Migliori Vini Italiani 2018 di Luca Maroni (The Best Italian Wines For Luca Maroni) in Frascati. In the magnificent setting of Le Mura del Valadier in the town of Frascati at Castelli Romani, the collaboration between Luca Maroni, Comune of Frascati, Consorzio Tutela Vini Frascati and Gruppo di Azione Locale - Castelli Romani and Monti Prenestini (GAL) was a success just like the previous editions. 

03 January 2018

International Prokupac Day 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia

Prokupac, the celebrated indigenous red grape of Serbia, took the spotlight again on its second anniversary in Belgrade. I was among the forty people, all winelovers, who flew from all over the world, who were enthusiastic in uncovering the wines made from these grapes. These wines don't get much attention outside Serbia since its small exportation is limited only to Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland. On Prokupac Day, all of Serbia's Prokupac wine producers showcased their wines and won the international guests' opinions with their excellence.

30 December 2017

Antonello Colonna Restaurant in Labico (Rome), Italy

In 1985, when Antonello Colonna took the reins and installed a bright red door in his family's restaurant in Labico, not only did the name change to Antonello Colonna but it also became one of the best restaurants in Italy. The red door symbolized the preservation of traditional dishes and their flavors while adapting them for the modern day refined palates. He started a gastronomic revolution that became sought after by Italian gourmands. What a big change it was from what his family started in 1874 when Trattoria Andrea Colonna was just a simple restaurant that travelers stopped for, stay, eat and change horses for the last time before heading to Rome. But what remained unchanged for centuries is the distinguishing quality of its home-style cooking.

23 December 2017

Grand Hotel Via Veneto in Rome, Italy: A Festive Afternoon Tea

Green Christmas, Orange Christmas, White Christmas or perhaps the Racconto di Natale (Story of Christmas). Choose your color, smell around you but most importantly, indulge your eyes with the magnificent Christmas decors of Grand Hotel Via Veneto. The hotel's lobby is dressed up splendidly with such festive atmosphere. Water runs continuously on the glass ceiling while the hanging Christmas trees and shiny gold balls twinkle in the air. It's an extremely charming retreat after a walk along Via Veneto.