Italian cuisine in the world
I write these lines from a table in an Italian restaurant in Cape Town, an authentic and convivial little place. I’m waiting for my primo while munching a piece of warm focaccia. One of our colleagues in the zone suggested it, and we came to confirm a positive rating for our new guide, Top Italian Restaurants in the World. We’re setting things straight. It’s time to archive the image of distorted names, overcooked pasta, signs that picture coastal vacation towns, the usual red-checked tablecloth. Cucina italiana is living a golden moment everywhere, with a multitude of top quality places that visibly shifted gear. They changed in terms of menu, research, availability of good ingredients, personnel training and innovation in their kitchens. At first, Italian restaurants were opened by casual cooks, people from other walks of life looking for new adventures. But today, there are some professional Italian chefs working abroad who would be top-ranking even in Italy.
A new generation of young chefs
We met a new generation of very young cooks, inveterate travelers, who are raising the bar for cucina italiana. Their menus are more personal and well-defined, often regional. They aim at seasonality, essential flavors, and some carefully considered local variations. The great hotel chains around the world are now investing in top quality Italian restaurants, and classic French fine dining is losing ground. You can eat a simply extraordinary risotto in Tokyo, a perfectly turned out Neapolitan pizza in Sydney. You can lose yourself in an Italian wine list worthy of a thousand and one nights in Mexico City, browse labels unfindable in Rome or Milano, including vintage years that by now are cellared only six thousand miles from their home. We selected about 300 places where you can experience the best in Italian food, pairing our wines with our specialties.
Top Italian Restaurants: a new guide by Gambero Rosso
We have a lot to say in this field: we’re probably unbeatable. To bring you the most complete overview, we put together a panel of collaborators from around the world – journalists, experts and operators in the sector, all with their suitcases at hand. The guide will be available in a digital format, only in English, and will appear in March. We take into account restaurants, pizzerias and Italian wine bars.
by Lorenzo Ruggeri