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simple small italian menu all made scratch ideas and criticism plz

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

 

     Appetizers (5)

Spinach Salad

(Tossed with thinly sliced red onion, and a balsamic bacon reduction)

 

Bruschetta Trio

(French bread sliced and topped w/ White bean citrus, classic tomato basil, and caramelized onion)

 

Carpaccio

(Thinly sliced beef rounds topped with olive oil, basil pesto, and lemon juice)

 

Smoked Salmon Spread w/ Flat Bread

(Shredded wood smoked salmon tossed with lemon caper dill aioli. Served with Flat bread wedges)

 

Classic soup of the day

(Cream of mushroom, minestrone, French onion,…ect.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entree (6)

 

Classic Spaghetti Marinara

(Spaghetti pasta tossed in a simple Marinara sauce)

 

 

Shrimp And Ricotta Ravioli Aurora

(Shrimp and Ricotta Stuffed Ravioli in a Aurora sauce) 

 

 

Mushroom Pancetta Risotto

(Arborio rice cooked in chicken stock, with diced mushrooms, Pancetta ham, and parmesan cheese)

 

 

Filet w/ Red Wine Demi-Glace

(8oz Filet Steak in a red wine sauce served with mixed vegetable)

 

 

Chicken Florentine

(Pan seared chicken breast Topped with a spinach cream sauce)

 

Cioppino

(Seafood Stew w/ muscles, clams, white fish, shrimp, and calamari)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desserts

 

Crème Brule

( Vanilla custard topped with caramelized sugar)

 

 

Classic Strawberry Cheese Cake

(Cheese Cake with sliced strawberries and a strawberry coulis)

 

 

Tirmasu

( Lady finger layered cake, with coffee liqueur and mascarpone)

 


Edited by Easychef - 12/22/11 at 4:31pm
post #2 of 27

Things may be different in Texas, but given that my usual dining companion is vegetarian, I won't eat at a place with only one veg choice -- especially if that entree is the least interesting item on the menu.

 

One of the joys of menus in Italy is the "contorni" section, something rarely seen on U.S. "Italian" menus.  These not only serve vegetarians well, but let you make a meal out of small dishes if you're not in the mood for big entrees.  One possibility, especially on a small menu, would be more (and more innovative) small dishes.

 

"Classic" is overused.  You might instead identify a region.  What Italian tradition(s) are you drawing on?

 

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

good valid points

 

 

i was thinking of adding a eggplant parmesan.  my concept is to keep the menus small and simple with a small staff as well so that i can make everything fresh and from scratch without sacrificing quality. i forgot to add that there would be 1 or 2 specials run a day as well 

post #4 of 27
The menu seems rather bland, no offense. How small of a staff for how big of a restaurant? I feel you could pull off much more interesting and appealing dishes, and still do everything from scratch. There's a lot you can do with Italian food that allows for a lot of creativity. You know who orders menu items such as spaghetti and eggplant parm? Senior citizens. Again, no offence, but I don't think that's exactly the crowd you're trying to cater to. Make some stuff up on your own that you'd like to eat at a nice Italian restaurant, or try and do a spin off of a classic dish.


Obviously I don't know what you're situation there is, but have some fun with the menu, don't be afraid to try new things. People are really into trying new foods more than ever it seems like.

Best of luck to you, keep us posted!
post #5 of 27
As far as menu items...

What do you think of osso bucco of some sort? Veal or chicken romano might be nice. Antipasto? How about an espresso zabaione as a dessert?

Just a few ideas that popped into my head.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw203 View Post

As far as menu items...
What do you think of osso bucco of some sort? Veal or chicken romano might be nice. Antipasto? How about an espresso zabaione as a dessert?
Just a few ideas that popped into my head.


word... jstraw you also made some good points... the daily specials would be my time to really kick it up and get creative while at the same time moving product that i need gone

 

 

the problem is finding a veal farm in my area. thinking also about adding a carbonara , and hand made tortellini (with spinach and ricotta) ... i just find that the best italian food i have dined on was for lack of a better word simple with good fresh ingredients and just not messing them up ... plus there isnt one restaurant with in a hundred miles of where i live that makes their pasta from scratch that i have found

 

lol and i make one mean marinara sauce ;)

 

post #7 of 27
Carbonara is a good idea, I like to make mine with pancetta instead of bacon. But you're absolutely right about simple, fresh ingredients. Are you baking your own bread as well? Roasted red peppers can make a great cream sauce for pastas. Another place I worked use to take dry linguine, fry them, and toss them in ranch seasoning, cajun, and a few other spices. Makes for a nice snack to have at the bar on weekends, or every night. Super cheap, and we use to have people asking to buy it in bulk to take home. Just a few more ideas. Good luck, keep us posted, I love new restaurants!
post #8 of 27
Oh, also, an Italian chef I had once showed me the wonders of gnocci. It's very versatile and can be used for all sorts of dishes or appetizers. Make a big batch on Monday and you got specials, sides, and appetizer bases for a week. We also use to take pizza dough, cut it into squares about inch by inch, fry em, toss em in some cinnamon and sugar...boom, doughnuts! Use to cost us about fifty cents to make and we sold them like hot cakes at $7-8 I believe. Serve em with a ramakin of zabaione for dipping.


Alright, I'm done rambling on and on!
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

lol all good man can never get enough good input.

post #10 of 27

Plenty of wild boar in E. Texas, no?  And rabbit shouldn't be hard to come by.  Lots of good Italian dishes there.

post #11 of 27

I think Colin has the right idea, if you want to have an exciting and dynamic menu look to the less explored aspects of Italian cuisine.  Also look for good sources of local proteins that are out of the ordinary.  Octopus, boar, venison, rabbit are all great choices if the dining public can handle it.

 

Also do some reading, strike out some new and interesting culinary trends, read up on various local Italian cuisines and have fun.

 

For example with octopus you can do a grilled octopus with arugula pesto, caponata and pickled cherries.  You can roast the rabbit in rustic cut (or cook it in a sugo) with a simple jus, sage and thyme caramelized root veg with a creamy citrus polenta.  Even for desserts give it a bit of Italian flair (even for a dessert as French as crime brûlée) with pistachio flavor and lemon biscotti.

 

Finally look to the various regions for different pastas.  Pici is a classic Tuscan shape that also goes well with tomato sauce, orecchiette, garganelli and so forth will set your menu apart from the other red sauce Italian joints.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin View Post

Plenty of wild boar in E. Texas, no?  And rabbit shouldn't be hard to come by.  Lots of good Italian dishes there.



lol i actually just shot a wild pig a few days ago... roasting him hole today

post #13 of 27
I think you need to understand your clientele before taking up this innovative and creative tangent. Take your basics and put your feelers out there, and specials are a great way to do it. But if it were me, I would have classics on my menu and build from feedback, but risking all to be innovative out of the gate doesn't seem like smart business, it seems like unnecessary risk in the name of ego.

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post #14 of 27

the01chef is probably dead right in business terms.  But this response makes me very sad -- it explains all those cookie-cutter "Italian" menus, all those restaurants that are like a thousand other restaurants.  "Classics" you can get at Olive Garden!  

post #15 of 27

Easychef isn't working in Podunk, it's a fairly decent sized town with universities and tourism.  I lived in a similarly sized university town a lifetime ago and it supported a number of interesting restaurants that boasted good and interesting food.  The city's probably saturated with enough eye-talian restaurants and it'll probably be tough to fit in another one in such an intense market.  If there's little competition a restaurant that caters to a different, albeit smaller market can do quite well.

 

Ultimately if you can't control other factors to the success of the restaurant all you can do is create food that has good perceived value, tastes good and sells at a profit.

"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #16 of 27

I agree that the offerings look a bit generic.  If you're making the pasta fresh you could at least do some ravioli with unusual fillings.  I personally love a good pasta arrabiata, and Bolognese sauce can also be killer.  If you have a few things with some "zing" that will help weed out the "blue-hairs" (ie old women).  Italian cooking also makes good use of seafood, so maybe you should work up some good fish dishes.  Shrimp, tuna & swordfish are all good options; they're readily available fresh yet not exotic enough to put people off.  They're also very versatile.

 

It's probably a very good idea to add some dishes that are vegetarian or vegan (or that can be easily made so). 

 

At the risk of stating the obvious, you'll have to work on making your marinara and pesto sauces really "pop."  So many (most?) restaurants use canned tomato sauces with dried herbs.  You can really differentiate you joint from the Olive Garden-type places by making a killer sauce.

 

FWIW, I dislike doing Bruschetta...just too hard serve it and keep it hot.  Depending on the bread, of course.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #17 of 27

Easychef,

 

 

I also agree with The01chef that unless you have identified your demographic as one that will embrace a more adventuresome main menu, you should stick with the direction your going.  A small menu with hopefully something for everyone and specials that let you go outside the box and play (and figure out what sells and what does not).  I also like the thought of osso bucco, but a less expensive option might be a lamb shank.  I opened my own place 8 months ago and had a menu that mirrors yours size wise.  My wife and I tried to hit all the taste bud options and also provide different price points for all.  With that in mind, you might want to offer a Petite and Double Cut Fillet instead of just the 8oz version.  Does not hit against prep time but we sell a heck of a lot of the 4oz version to people that would pass on the big 8oz one.  I have weekly (ok, sometime bi-weekly) specials that I can use to play and also move product before it becomes waste.  Last week it was a open faced seafood ravioli appetizer and a 24oz Porterhouse.  This week it is going to be 4oz lobster tail, scallop, shrimp and mussels in an Asian broth and something with skirt steak.

 

 

Also, I understand the cookie cutter comments, but I am confident that Olive Garden does not make their own pasta, and that if you do it right people will notice the difference. Ours seem to.

 

Good luck and keep it fun!

post #18 of 27

Hmm, doesn't sound bad, but if your in need of a small- ish menu, a couple more interesting dishes/spin on classics to go with some of your currents maybe? Just throwing out some possibilities; appetizer wise, fried Sicilian arangini, artichoke parmesan beignets, porchetta and broccoli rabe puffs with garlic and crushed red pepper. For entrees maybe balsamic braised short ribs with herb polenta, vegetable ragu over whatever kind of fresh pasta you prefer. For desser any kind of gelato or fresh berry sorbetto has worked well for me in the past. Good luck! 

 

Cheers, Torrie

post #19 of 27
I understand the sadness of cookie cutter, as this country is filled with it, but I promise Olive garden doesn't scratch make anything and that's why it tastes like frozen recontituted cardboard. Honest food stands out easily in this corporate riddled country. A country I love of course!
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post #20 of 27

Didn't really bother to read any of the replies on this one, but after a very quick glance I noticed quite a lot of non-Italian items...

Aioli - Spanish
French Onion Soup - French
Demi Glace - French
Creme Brulee - French
Cheesecake - Greek (I think...)


Edited by Guts - 2/2/12 at 1:33am
post #21 of 27

Bite the bullet and elliminate the menu all together.  Just run with 2 or 3 main course specials each day.  Have an assortment appetizer that you do special each day (serve family style based on the number at the table...combo hot and cold)  and have a couple special deserts to choose from.  We are all hung up on creating a "menu"  But, we're all happiest when we go to a friends house who makes us something filled with love...even though we have no menu to select from.

post #22 of 27

I think the items you listed should be on your menu, just not all that is on your menu.  The other posts give plenty of good ideas.  Having spaghetti with marinara not only pleases the seniors but also the kids, having some meatballs or sausage ready to add would be good.  Many "vegetarians" will eat seafood but many won't, every restaurant needs some vegan choices that are good enough that us meat eaters will want some too.  Good Luck Have Fun

 

post #23 of 27

I am on board with Colin and Guts...though I think I would take it one step further and say there really isn't much on this menu that is Italian...I don't know anything about Tyler,TX but I do know Italian food...i get you need to match your clientele...but my 2 cents...good food is good food, and the best Italian food is not new or cutting edge...it is simple and ingredient driven, regional and traditional. 

Someone in the post mentioned this as well...Italian food is really about regional variations...what we have over here is an amalgamation and bastardization of what Italians actually eat... I would question any Italian menu that didn't have at least some of these items: prosciutto di parma or san daniele, parmagiano reggiano, grana padano, gorgonzola dolce/piccante, bresaola, culatello, speck, great olive oil, traditional or aged balsamic, mostarda, burrata, polenta, sopressata, pecorino romano, pecorino sardo, bottarga, bitto, fontina, asiago, coppa, guanciale, pancetta, anchovies, grappa, castelmagno, pinenuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, lentils (yes, lentils...incredible from Umbria), truffles...produce: eggplant, tomato, peppers, zucchini, lemon, basil, radicchio, arugula fish: spada (swordfish), tuna, bass, bream (branzino and orata) monkfish, cuttlefish or calamari

 Your menu should, at the very least, the menu should be Italian in inspiration...meaning simple and ingredient driven...absolutely use fresh pasta if it will win you points, but dried pasta is accepted (and even preferred in some parts...ie South...) in Italy.  Just use the hard semolina based pasta that have only 2 ingredients (Durum wheat and water) and cook to order to give them the right bite...etc.  De Cecco is a good brand but there are others...

 Some of the most amazing food products in the world are the simple Italian renditions of cured meats and cheese, and I don't really see any of this going on here...these are absolutely what I miss most about Italy (that and coffee on every corner)...you can rotate these and serve them on a cutting board, and all you really have to do is slice...great shelf life and cost, and the potential to blow you guests away...they also pair very well with apertif type wines and drinks so you can upsell and create a great experience for your guests...something we all strive to do...

 here are some ideas...

 apps and salads: as mainstream as you are looking to keep it, I would definitely do a 1) fried calamari, or piccolo fritto, with your killer marinara...maybe even with a cherry pepper relish for a kick...i would also consider a 2) caesar salad to ground your menu...just make your dressing with loads of freshly grated parm, lemon juice, fresh ground black pepper, and fruity olive oil and you will set it apart...

 other apps...3)ascolani olives are addictive...(from umbria...olives stuffed with sugo, cheese, sausage...etc, breaded and fried), 4) arancini (from sicily...essentially fried risotto balls stuffed with whatever you want (although there are traditional stuffings)...especially if you are keeping a risotto on the menu...could go 2 ways...5)grilled soppressa with balsamic syrup (killer...had this in Venice)...6)you could always do the standard and classic prosciutto with melon, or change it up with kiwi...just as good...7) also, there is this thing called panzerotti...i think it is originally from the south, but I had at a place called Luini in Milan next to the Duomo...love them...basically just pizza dough, stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella and fried...there were lines down the street at Luini...8) easy one that will blow people away...use buffalo milk mozzarella or burrata and serve with tomato, basil...etc. (or fried eggplant, pesto and dried tomatoes in the winter)... most people have never really tried the real thing with buffalo milk...it is such an amazing difference in texture and depth and flavor...maybe the best thing to come out of Italy...if you have had it, you know what i am talking about...9) think about doing your carpaccio with bresaola or venison...10) ribollita from tuscany

Entrees...pasta...to each his own I guess here...in Italy you won't ever really see proteins in pasta, and they are courses...not really entrees...and every Italian is pissed off that we call spaghetti and meatballs "Italian" over here, as it doesn't exist there...but you may consider doing 1) meatballs on a pasta (and also use as an app braised in tomato and showered with fresh pecorino), 2) all'amatriciana (usually bucatini) is one of my favorite (from Lazio)...could americanize it by using bacon, caramelized onions in your marinara, then pecorino romano on top is key...3) gnocchi with pesto (liguria),     4) tagliatelle with bolognese (ER) or look to the areas aroun Bologna for inspiration on stuffed pasta dishes..or ...i have been waiting for this one to show up in America...it’s a dish called 5) pizzocheri from the valtellina..really rich and filling with a special type of pasta made from buckwheat, with potato, butter, bitto cheese, and I think kale...

 6) polenta with braised rabbit or beef is traditional up north... (although not a great dish in the Texas summer) 7) cotoletta alla Milanese (essentially Wiener Schnitzel) and also from Milan the 8) saffron risotto with osso buco…steaks are not typically Italian, but they do exist, mostly in the piemonte and tuscany…but the filet with demi is not really Italian in spirit…could do a 9) tagliate di manzo like you would find in Tuscany, essentially a sliced steak.  There I had it served on a searing hot stone…drizzled with aromatic oil (herb infused) at service…cool presentation…10) a simple roasted chicken with bread salad, and I would think about changing your risotto up 11) (Daily risotto)…then you wouldn’t be as tied to specials to keep your menu fresh…

 desserts...

1)crepes with nutella and powdered sugar (you will sell a billion of them...)

2)warm french toast made with panetone, with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla gelato

3) Just crumble amaretti cookies over fresh strawberries and drizzle with 15+year balsamic...ridiculous!

4)Gelato

5) Biscotti...make 'em and serve them to dunk in Vin Santo

Please also consider your wine list…Italian wine is great and varied…typically the stuff over here most people know is junk…indistinct and average…a lot is very affordable as well…great eye openers will educate your guests and give them a great experience…minerally whites from the Alto Adige, Friulano, sparklers from Franciacorta, nebbiolo based wines from Lombardy and Piemonte, Barbera (super-acidic red) and Dolcetto (“little sweet one”) from Piemonte, Sangiovese from the middle of Italy…straight “rosso” wines to chiantis to brunellos…verdicchio and vermentino, canonau from Sardinia, nero d’avola and primitivo going further south…marsala from sicily…plus you have to have grappa, limoncello, mirto, and Italian bitters like fernet-branca and Campari…

I know I went a little crazy…hopefully something in here helps…best of luck to you and congrats on the restaurant…

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alticibi View Post

I am on board with Colin and Guts...though I think I would take it one step further and say there really isn't much on this menu that is Italian...I don't know anything about Tyler,TX but I do know Italian food...i get you need to match your clientele...but my 2 cents...good food is good food, and the best Italian food is not new or cutting edge...it is simple and ingredient driven, regional and traditional. 

Someone in the post mentioned this as well...Italian food is really about regional variations...what we have over here is an amalgamation and bastardization of what Italians actually eat... I would question any Italian menu that didn't have at least some of these items: prosciutto di parma or san daniele, parmagiano reggiano, grana padano, gorgonzola dolce/piccante, bresaola, culatello, speck, great olive oil, traditional or aged balsamic, mostarda, burrata, polenta, sopressata, pecorino romano, pecorino sardo, bottarga, bitto, fontina, asiago, coppa, guanciale, pancetta, anchovies, grappa, castelmagno, pinenuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, lentils (yes, lentils...incredible from Umbria), truffles...produce: eggplant, tomato, peppers, zucchini, lemon, basil, radicchio, arugula fish: spada (swordfish), tuna, bass, bream (branzino and orata) monkfish, cuttlefish or calamari

 Your menu should, at the very least, the menu should be Italian in inspiration...meaning simple and ingredient driven...absolutely use fresh pasta if it will win you points, but dried pasta is accepted (and even preferred in some parts...ie South...) in Italy.  Just use the hard semolina based pasta that have only 2 ingredients (Durum wheat and water) and cook to order to give them the right bite...etc.  De Cecco is a good brand but there are others...

 Some of the most amazing food products in the world are the simple Italian renditions of cured meats and cheese, and I don't really see any of this going on here...these are absolutely what I miss most about Italy (that and coffee on every corner)...you can rotate these and serve them on a cutting board, and all you really have to do is slice...great shelf life and cost, and the potential to blow you guests away...they also pair very well with apertif type wines and drinks so you can upsell and create a great experience for your guests...something we all strive to do...

 here are some ideas...

 apps and salads: as mainstream as you are looking to keep it, I would definitely do a 1) fried calamari, or piccolo fritto, with your killer marinara...maybe even with a cherry pepper relish for a kick...i would also consider a 2) caesar salad to ground your menu...just make your dressing with loads of freshly grated parm, lemon juice, fresh ground black pepper, and fruity olive oil and you will set it apart...

 other apps...3)ascolani olives are addictive...(from umbria...olives stuffed with sugo, cheese, sausage...etc, breaded and fried), 4) arancini (from sicily...essentially fried risotto balls stuffed with whatever you want (although there are traditional stuffings)...especially if you are keeping a risotto on the menu...could go 2 ways...5)grilled soppressa with balsamic syrup (killer...had this in Venice)...6)you could always do the standard and classic prosciutto with melon, or change it up with kiwi...just as good...7) also, there is this thing called panzerotti...i think it is originally from the south, but I had at a place called Luini in Milan next to the Duomo...love them...basically just pizza dough, stuffed with tomato sauce and mozzarella and fried...there were lines down the street at Luini...8) easy one that will blow people away...use buffalo milk mozzarella or burrata and serve with tomato, basil...etc. (or fried eggplant, pesto and dried tomatoes in the winter)... most people have never really tried the real thing with buffalo milk...it is such an amazing difference in texture and depth and flavor...maybe the best thing to come out of Italy...if you have had it, you know what i am talking about...9) think about doing your carpaccio with bresaola or venison...10) ribollita from tuscany

Entrees...pasta...to each his own I guess here...in Italy you won't ever really see proteins in pasta, and they are courses...not really entrees...and every Italian is pissed off that we call spaghetti and meatballs "Italian" over here, as it doesn't exist there...but you may consider doing 1) meatballs on a pasta (and also use as an app braised in tomato and showered with fresh pecorino), 2) all'amatriciana (usually bucatini) is one of my favorite (from Lazio)...could americanize it by using bacon, caramelized onions in your marinara, then pecorino romano on top is key...3) gnocchi with pesto (liguria),     4) tagliatelle with bolognese (ER) or look to the areas aroun Bologna for inspiration on stuffed pasta dishes..or ...i have been waiting for this one to show up in America...it’s a dish called 5) pizzocheri from the valtellina..really rich and filling with a special type of pasta made from buckwheat, with potato, butter, bitto cheese, and I think kale...

 6) polenta with braised rabbit or beef is traditional up north... (although not a great dish in the Texas summer) 7) cotoletta alla Milanese (essentially Wiener Schnitzel) and also from Milan the 8) saffron risotto with osso buco…steaks are not typically Italian, but they do exist, mostly in the piemonte and tuscany…but the filet with demi is not really Italian in spirit…could do a 9) tagliate di manzo like you would find in Tuscany, essentially a sliced steak.  There I had it served on a searing hot stone…drizzled with aromatic oil (herb infused) at service…cool presentation…10) a simple roasted chicken with bread salad, and I would think about changing your risotto up 11) (Daily risotto)…then you wouldn’t be as tied to specials to keep your menu fresh…

 desserts...

1)crepes with nutella and powdered sugar (you will sell a billion of them...)

2)warm french toast made with panetone, with warm chocolate sauce and vanilla gelato

3) Just crumble amaretti cookies over fresh strawberries and drizzle with 15+year balsamic...ridiculous!

4)Gelato

5) Biscotti...make 'em and serve them to dunk in Vin Santo

Please also consider your wine list…Italian wine is great and varied…typically the stuff over here most people know is junk…indistinct and average…a lot is very affordable as well…great eye openers will educate your guests and give them a great experience…minerally whites from the Alto Adige, Friulano, sparklers from Franciacorta, nebbiolo based wines from Lombardy and Piemonte, Barbera (super-acidic red) and Dolcetto (“little sweet one”) from Piemonte, Sangiovese from the middle of Italy…straight “rosso” wines to chiantis to brunellos…verdicchio and vermentino, canonau from Sardinia, nero d’avola and primitivo going further south…marsala from sicily…plus you have to have grappa, limoncello, mirto, and Italian bitters like fernet-branca and Campari…

I know I went a little crazy…hopefully something in here helps…best of luck to you and congrats on the restaurant…


 

I live in Bergamo in the northern part of Italy and have lived here for 20 years. During that time I have been fortunate to visit most of Italy and experience many region's cuisine. What Alticibi said is SPOT-ON. He took a lot of time to put down some helpful info and I would suggest anyone interested in "authentic" Italian cuisine pay close attention to what he wrote.

 

I would maybe add a little about the great Italian wines that in my opinion hold their own versus the best that any country can offer, ie. the French, but that's because I love my vini from Tuscany and Piedmont. I've just uncorked a bottle of Barbaresco that is particularly pleasing :)

 

Alticibi, so true- in 20 years I have never once seen "spaghetti and meatballs"... And you will be glad to know that Luini is still in business and I had a panzerotto a few months ago and it was as delicious as the ones I would get 15 years ago. Don't even try getting one when the school's let out or you will have to push and shove to ever make it close to the small counter. That little place does so much business it's scary.

post #25 of 27

James,

 

You are blessed to live in such a beautiful place.  I have great memories of my time in Bergamo...I actually managed to hit the town when it was overrun for a bike race of some sort which left little room for pedestrians... recall riding the bus back down the hill and chatting with an older gentleman who had just picked loads of fresh wild herbs off the hills, and of course drinking local wine in a bar off the square (Valcalepio)...I also had a very good meal there...does the restaurant Bernabo ring a bell?  For some reason that name is popping up as I try to remember Bergamo...anyway, wherever it was I do remember a killer onion tart with speck, and naturally some polenta dishes... 

 

I was fortunate enough to live just a short distance from Piazza del Duomo in Milan while attending Bocconi...so hit Luini up alot...couldn't get the wife away from there or Princi.

 

Anyway, thanks for the shout out, and I wish you all the best!

 

 

post #26 of 27

no idea what local stuff you can get and no idea about the local italian ingrediants you can put on the menu....

 

... for the menu itself though:

 

Bruschetta trio - don't use french bread use italian!

 

Classic soup of the day - cream of mushroom (use the italian) / French Onion - honestly use an italian soup...

 

Shrimp and Ricotta Ravioli - the description is the same as the dish... change the title to italian and leave the description the same or describe the aurora sauce more.

 

Filet with red wine (probably fine to keep) but think about the traditional ways... biftecka a la oilio (sorry for butchered italian)... at least use the italian to name the item and english to describe it.

 

Chicken Florentine - you're an italian place right?  Chicken Parm - or if you want to get personal Chicken with spinach cream (use the italian)

 

Drop Creme Brule - go for a glazed citrus tart....brule it all you want also - but use the italian verb!

 

Everyone loves strawberry cheese cake - so wtf go for it

 

Anyway hope that something makes sense to you!

 

o7

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #27 of 27

What exactly is "pancetta ham"? Pancetta is cured pork belly...ham is the hind of the pig. Is this a new meat/curing process I'm behind on? Thank you.

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