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16 January 2019

The Gourmet Pizza of Giuseppe Maglione at Daniele Gourmet in Avellino, Italy

Neapolitan by origin and having grown in the world of pizzas, Giuseppe's recollections of his childhood were breathing flour and dipping his hands in the dough in his grandmother's pizzeria in Naples. Opened in 1965 in Naples, Anna Daniele (thus the name of the pizzeria), followed her passion of frying pizzas (and we know that they are in their best in Naples where they originated from). It was Anna from whom Giuseppe inherited the "pizza gene" that made him into a great pizza maker today. 

14 January 2019

Truffles and Wine at Chez Serge in Carpentras, France

Truffles, foie gras, Mont Ventoux meat, exceptional French wines, what else can you ask forin a French restaurant? Chez Serge is one of the best and most popular restaurants in Carpentras, a town in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azure region (southeastern France). It's a destination for the French gastronomic lovers.

13 January 2019

Terra Roma: Eataly’s Wood Burning Grill Restaurant

After a double success with the American public in Boston and Los Angeles, Terra finally lands in  Italy, the country where it was born. The first chosen city is Eataly in Rome, the branch in the country (and in the world) that has the most square-meter space. Terra is a restaurant that highlights the true heart of its philosophy by grilling raw materials of superior quality. A 3-meter long grill was specially by an artisan's hands in Spain where it continuously spews fiery red fire. With particular attention to the superior aspect of the food, the oven is fueled only by virgin oak wood from the Italian Calabria region for the unique aromas that they give.

The Healthiest Sicilian Winter Citrus Salad

It's been ages since I shared a recipe at Apron and Sneakers. My attention had been diverted to other branches of enogastronomy. Truth be told, I have a very long list of  recipes in the computer waiting to be shared. Let me start today with this extremely simple citrus salad recipe that I learned yesterday from my trusted Sicilian citrus fruit vendor yesterday. I usually prepare a much simpler version of oranges, extra virgin olive oil and salt but this one is very good. It is very easy to prepare and can be eaten for lunch or dinner while the fruits are in season when they are at their best - sweet and exploding with nutrients. Citrus fruits, as we all know are significantly rich in vitamins like fibers, vitamin B, magnesium and most especially vitamin C. With the cold of the winter, we need it the most.

Eataly Rome Gets a Total New Look

Six years after it opened in 2012, Eataly Rome, the biggest branch in the world, is refurbished and gets an exhilarating new look in its more than 50,000 square-meter space. The shops and restaurants from the ground floor to the second floor have been reformatted with new workshops, thus they are more thorough with their proposals to the consumers. Eataly has 13,000 references and 5 authentic restaurants dispersed in its vast space: the new Birreria (Brewery), Pasta and Pizza, Osteria Romana, the temporary restaurant on the third floor which is hosting Bosco Umbro and Terra, the new signature restaurant of Eataly.  The biggest surprise of all is the opening of the new pop-up store of Ikea in an additional 700 square-meter square space located in two levels inside Eataly. 

11 January 2019

So Wine So Food Magazine Starts a New Journey to Luxury

Before the year 2018 ended, So Wine So Food Magazine organized a gala where they unveiled their new image for the coming year amidst Italy's icons of luxury and prestige of Ferraris and Maseratis. It took place in Sa.Mo.Car, a car showroom in Rome of two of the world's best car brands. Highlighted in the event are four renowned chefs in Italy and the dishes that they prepared specially for the night's dinner accompanied by the wines of Champagne A. Bergère and Castelli Romani Food & Wine, water of Acqua Filette and coffee of Momento Espresso.

10 January 2019

The Barolos of the Langhe Hills: Cascina Amalia in Piedmont, Italy

The Boffa Family had an aspiration when they created Amalia Cascina in 2003. After acquiring an early 20th century farmhouse in Monforte d'Alba in Langhe and its surrounding vineyards, they decided to cultivate Dolcetto and Barbera. After all, they are in the Langhe hills, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Langhe is a wine growing landscape that enraptures the eyes with its soft hills filled with neatly combed rows of vines and most importantly, home to one of Italy's finest red wines.

09 January 2019

Vini Raimondo: The Different Portraits of Cesanese di Affile

Cesanese di Affile, a distinct relative of the Cesanese Comune, is unique to the area of Affile. Affile is located in the region of Lazio, about 50 kilometers in the east of Rome, in the valley of Aniene on slopes of the Affilani mountains where the soil is noted for its reddish tint because of the major presence of iron oxide.

08 January 2019

Giulia Restaurant: Along the Most Luxurious Street in Renaissance Rome

Four big windows give a wide panorama to the cobblestone ground of Via Giulia from the Renaissance period. It has a fundamental history that shares its story with the building of the St. Peter's Basilica. In the early 1500s, Donato Bramante, the same Italian architect commissioned by Pope Julius II to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica, was also responsible to make the new layout of Via Giulia wherein all the administrative seats of power of Rome were to be located. Hence, elegant Renaissance buildings line the street one after the other.

06 January 2019

Va.Do al Pigneto in Rome, Italy

Over the years, with the refreshed identity of Pigneto from being circumvented to a frequented home of some of Rome's hippest restaurants and bars, the eclectic selection of places to go to has increased in number. A walk in the neighborhood takes you to different portrayals of food and drink - the Pigneto way.

05 January 2019

The Resplendent 125 Years of Hotel Hassler Hospitality in Rome, Italy

Hotel Hassler, an icon of the capital for its luxuriant hospitality for more than a century, stands proud just a few meters from the Church of the Trinità dei Monti on top of the Spanish Steps. For the city of Rome, it represents the capital's portrait of elegance and excellence that has been a part of its modern history and renowned all over the world. It has recently renovated and it still maintains its high standard of quality and affluence in perfect balance with its historical past, present and future.

03 January 2019

Restaurant Fanny Rey et Jonathan Wahid in Saint Rémy de Provence, France

Anyone who loves to delve into the pleasurable intricacies of the French cuisine shouldn't miss Restaurant Fanny Rey et Jonathan Wahid in Saint Rémy de Provence. In the main road of the typical Provencal town where cafès, shops, art galleries and little squares abound, this restaurant is one way of experiencing the cuisine in the hands of two accomplished young chefs, Fanny Rey and Jonathan Wahid.

Ristorante Al Capriolo: From an 1850 Postal Office to a Michelin Star

There's a long history behind Ristorante Al Capriolo, 168 years in the same family and still counting. It started as a postal office in the Dolomites, a fundamental part of the town in the year 1850 when postal offices were used not only for postal services but also for lodging, eating and changing of horses for the transit of travelers along the Habsburg - Alemannia Road that connects Venice with Bavaria crossing the Dolomite mountains.

Created For You by Chef Giulio Terrinoni in Rome, Italy

Walk your way along Via Giulia then turn towards Vicolo del Malpasso and you will see a charming restaurant with a few modern external tables set on the old Roman cobblestones. Fringed with leafy green plants and flower pots with glass walls where you can see through the restaurant's contemporary interior. An open kitchen upon entry assures you of transparency in the cuisine of Giulio Terrinoni, Chef Patron of Per Me Ristorante.

16 December 2018

Korea Week 2018: Four Hands Lunch With Riccardo Di Giacinto and Kwon Woo-Joong

How interesting can lunch be when two great chefs from totally divergent gastronomic cultures swap ingredients, collaborate together and represent their individuality and traditions with the dishes they created? The game of flavors between Korea and Italy took shape in the hands of Chefs Kwon Woo-Joong  (2 Michelin stars) and Riccardo Di Giacinto (1 Michelin star) in Ristorante MadeITerraneo in Rome. "The goal is not to promote our culture but also to create a harmony between two different cultures," declares Soomyoung Lee, Director of the Korean Cultural Institute. The culinary meeting between the two great chefs representing Korean and Italian cuisines happened on the 29th of November as part of the week-long celebration of Korea Week 2018 in Rome, Italy. 

13 December 2018

Christmas 2018 and New Year 2019 in Rome: Open Restaurants

We're just counting the days until the big Christmas and New Year celebrations arrive. It's the time of the year when we are all aiming to commemorate the special holiday with great food in the company of our families and friends. Most of us would be putting together the menus for the dinner and lunch at home while some of us are opting for more relaxed celebrations in restaurants. If you are spending it in Rome and would like to know which restaurants are open during these special holidays, here's a list that you can refer to. Prices are per person and without drinks unless indicated.

12 December 2018

Pascucci al Porticciolo Restaurant in Fiumicino (Rome), Italy

The sea is my biggest supplier, where I had to get everything. Chef Gianfranco Pascucci has a vast source of ingredients right in front of him, where fishes of different kinds are taken to the dock by the local fishermen of Fiumicino as soon as they come in from fishing. He doesn't limit his ingredients to the usual sea bass or turbot, because he feels impelled to take out the immense supply that the sea can provide us, more the unknown than the ones we are used to. There is the desire to generate awareness and through his kitchen, his dishes can create stories from the sea, the fishermen then to us.

01 December 2018

A View For Two at Ego Bistrot in Rome, Italy

The latest vogue in the Roman dining scene is elevating to a higher point in enjoying the capital's famous panoramic skyline. What is Rome from a towering perspective where terracotta tiled roofs, church domes and the maze of cobblestone streets are seen from a bird's eye view? Whichever part of the city you are, it never disappoints. 

26 November 2018

Olio Colato Flumeri 2018: The Excellence of the Ravece Olive Cultivar in the Irpinia Hills

In a stunning panorama in the Italian region of Campania, the town of Flumeri lies in the Valley of Ufita, at the back of a hill at 638 meters above sea level and surrounded by two rivers, Ufita and Fiumarella. But deeper than its beauty, this enchanting landscape of rows of olive tree orchards bestows another offering to Flumeri. Because of the soils rich in volcanic sediments combined with the calcareous clay soil, the microclimate in its high altitude and the centuries-old cultivation techniques, the olive varieties cultivated in this zone thrive in perfectly good condition especially the Ravece cultivar. In fact, the area is characterized by a production of high quality biological extra virgin olive montocultivar obtained from Ravece variety, a precious ancient olive cultivar native to the area, blends of olive cultivars like Ogliarola, Leccino, Marinese and Carpellese and the Irpinia Colline dell'Ufita DOP.

23 November 2018

Elevating the Cocktail Culture at Drink Kong in Rome, Italy

When the sun goes down and the dark skies sway in, cocktail drinks aflow in a dystopian futuristic setting. Influenced by the 1980s neo-noir science fiction film, Blade Runner, the 300 square meter place takes you to a labyrinth of smoky alleys of an oriental metropolis splashed with neon signs and arcades. A melange of eras from the characteristic minimalist Japanese, the loud chaos of New York and the innovative modern London style. Four distinct rooms with subdued lights, reddish glare, velvet chairs, live music and a splendid lighted bar overflowing with rows of liquors and glasses, that's how Drink Kong is to its visitor's eyes.

When Emotions Unfold on the Table at Metamorfosi Ristorante in Rome, Italy

Rarely do emotions take over you when you eat in a restaurant. A delicious dish is a great treat but something that can stir up sentiments that the chef wants to convey in his dishes is profoundly impressive. When Roy Salomon Caceres is in the kitchen, his dishes unravel with the unverbalized stories that he wants to tell. Born in Colombia in 1977 then transplanted to Italy when he was at a young age of sixteen, his stories are unique and bountiful which are spiced with aromas from far away. A chef is like a silent storyteller whose words are the ingredients that he uses and the the way he puts them together is the story that he wants to relay. He provokes sentiments with what he has shaped. He leaves a door open to the adventurous gourmand who likes to traverse a cuisine that continues to reveal different roads.

The Winning Chefs at the Festival della Gastronomia 2018 in Rome, Italy

The second edition of the Festival della Gastronomia, organized by Luigi Cremona and Lorenza Vitali concluded on 30 October 2018 in Officine Farneto after four days of celebrating the Italian gastronomy. The four-day festival put emerging chefs (under 30 years old), pizza chefs (under 35 years old) and chefs de rang from different parts of the country at the center stage with competitions that lasted throughout the four days of the festival. The juries were composed of professionals working in the field of gastronomy wherein I had the honor of taking part in. Another highlight of the festival is the presentation of Touring Club Italiano’s 2019 edition, one of the most prestigious Italian guides on hotels and restaurants of the country.

09 November 2018

Le Guide di Repubblica 2019 of Rome and Lazio

The Le Guide di Repubblica Roma e Lazio has 418 new additions to its 2019 edition. Released last September in Italy, the new guidebook with text in Italian, once again presents the beauty and gastronomy of the Lazio region, with the main focus on the capital, Rome.

05 November 2018

American Homestyle Bakery House in Rome, Italy

Bakery House is a chain of bakeries owned by Italian couple Stefano Rocchi and Viviana Lorenzini. Just six years from the year it was established in 2012, Stefano and Viviana now has a Bakery House in Turin and three others in Rome, the latest of which is located in EUR. It was born out of passion for American food, a fascination that has grown over time from frequent trips to the US.

30 October 2018

16th Century Dining Room Passages at Passpartout in Rome, Italy

Passpartout, master key in English, is located on the ground floor of a 16th century building that underwent several modifications over the centuries. Presently, it is still going through a renovation to the construction of a hotel with 14 rooms and a terrace that gives a view of the St. Peter's Basilica and Roman terracotta tiled rooftops. The building is positioned in the heart of Borgo Pio, a stone's throw away from the Vatican City and the Passetto, an elevated passage that links the Vatican to Castel Sant'Angelo that served as an escape route of the popes when they were in danger.

22 October 2018

Occident Meets Orient in the Kitchen of Claramì Bistrò in Frascati, Italy

Two divergent countries on opposite poles, one from the east and one from the west, two completely different gastronomy brought about by their distinctive cultures, come together in the kitchen of Chef Andrea Ritarossi at Claramì Bistrò. The amalgamation of sundry aromas remains persistent in the kitchen of Andrea, a stimulating direction that he executes with excellent results.   

21 October 2018

1255 Pizzeria in Tivoli (Rome), Italy

You will know when the pizza is done well when you start digesting it like any other light food you eat. If you go through it smoothly without any sudden continued thirst and feeling of prolonged fullness, then my advice is, keep that pizzeria as a referral point for good pizzas. The soul of the pizza is the dough and that's what always counts when choosing the right one.

Il Marchese in Rome, Italy: Market, Osteria and Europe’s First Amaro Bar

Spacious, illuminated and a magnet to the passers-by along Via di Ripetta. Il Marchese has been a curiosity to the Romans and the city's guests from the time it opened last month where it enjoys a very central position just a few steps away from Ara Pacis and right in the triangular route of Piazza Navona, Colosseo and Piazza del Popolo.

The Flavors of the Sea at Locanda Indelli in Monopoli (Puglia), Italy

A small town along the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Monopoli flourishes with a rich gastronomy tied to the waters. From the freshest catch of the fishing boats to the produce that are cultivated in its land, Monopoli, like its neighboring Apulian towns, has its own specialties on the table.

06 October 2018

Ristorante Trabocco Cungarelle in Vasto Marina (Abruzzo), Italy

On a clear sunny day, the wooden rustic structures on stilts on the emerald water against a backdrop of the blue sky, paints a picture of a tropical island. A trabocco is an old fishing construction on wooden stilts along the coastline of the Adriatic Sea with earliest existence in the 18th century. It can be anchored to the rocks and jut out to the sea or they can also be on the water itself. The structures differ between the areas where they are built, in Puglia or in Abruzzo.

05 October 2018

The Traditional Maritozzo Turns Gourmet at Il Maritozzo Rosso in Rome, Italy

Maritozzo is a cream-filled sweet bread bun that's typical in Rome and as any Roman would say, you can't possibly not love it! It's an icon of the capital' gastronomy and if it has been around for centuries, then it will remain in the city for centuries and centuries more. But Edoardo Fraioli has other ideas. Perchè limitarsi a mangiarlo solo dolce? (Why limit yourself in eating it just sweet?) In starting something a bit different without taking away the concept of the traditional sweet bread, he grabbed the salt instead and ditched the sugar and cream.

Cannubi, A “Grand Cru” of Barolo: Damilano Winery in Piedmont, Italy

History, heritage and tradition are three factors that complete the excellence Damilano Barolo. Founded in 1890 by Giuseppe Borgogno, Damilano is one of the oldest wineries in Barolo where the king of wines has been in production for centuries. But it wasn't until the following generation, through the hands of Giacomo Damilano, his son-in-law, did the winery turned towards the innovation of generating quality in their wine making process. And with Giacomo's direction, the winery also changed its name to Damilano. From 1997 until present, Giacomo's three nephews, Guido, Mario and Paolo Damilano took over the family winery and gave renewed value to Nebbiolo, the most important red grapes of the hills of Langhe in Piedmont.

03 October 2018

We Say Oishii at Doku Japanese Bar in Rome, Italy

Three hours after an extraordinary dinner at Doku, the first thing that you can only utter is Oishii. It means delicious in Japanese. Simone Puteo, a young Italian chef who's an ardent lover of the Japanese gastronomy, grew up knowing the cuisine by heart. And this love led him to the four corners of Doku and opened its doors last year to the Romans. Forget about sushi, sashimi or ramen because when you enter the doors of Doku, you will get a re-education of Japanese cuisine.

02 October 2018

First Rate Seafood at Osteria di Chichibio in Polignano a Mare (Puglia), Italy

Being an extremely popular small seaside town in Puglia, Polignano a Mare is teeming with seafood restaurants so anyone will never run out of places to go to. The big question is always the same. Which one is the best place to go to where the quality of the food is foremost? The most sought after are usually the ones that enthral the diners with the best views of the sea and the town. But for every serious food loving diner, what can actually ensnare anyone's attention is what's served on the table. Freshness, quality and value go side by side and at Osteria di Chichibio, you can get all three.

30 September 2018

The Neoteric Alpine Cuisine of Aga Ristorante in San Vito di Cadore, Italy

If you put two extremely talented young chefs in the kitchen, one from the southern part of Italy where Mediterranean seafood cuisine is celebrated while the other one is from the mountainous region where alpine influence is utmost, the result is a surprising innovation of grand ideas, aromas and flavors intertwined in a luscious approach to gastronomy.