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Simplicity, diversity, healthy nutrition, and with a focus on high-quality ingredients: Italian cuisine is adored across the world and new Italian restaurants are always openig all around. As a nature-inspired diet, Italian dishes are based on unprocessed food, such as wheat products, olive oils, vegetables, fish, cheeses, meat. Thanks to Italian chefs who take forays into foreign lands, people have opportunities to savor a kind of Mediterranean diet.
Shanghai is a good example that Italian cuisine has got splendid blooming. In 2018, three outstanding Italian restaurants debuted in the city, one of which was awarded 1 Michelin star. Do Chinese need more good Italian food and restaurants in Shanghai?
Il RISTORANTE - NIKO ROMITO
Together with the inauguration of Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai in June, 2018, Il Ristorante Niko Romito was awarded 1 Michelin star in September. The reputable award landed just only 3-month running, showing the restaurant co-founded by the celebrity chef Niko Romito is exceptional unique.
Based on the chef Romito’s philosophy of simplicity, synthesis, and a quest for the quintessence of flavor, establishes a true “canon” of contemporary Italian cuisine that expresses the culture, elegance and vitality of Made in Italy to the maximum. Starting from traditional recipes, the ending point of the menu is a punctual yet updated philological reinterpretation of Italian heritage that is streamlined and essential.
“We worked to create an anthology of ‘standards’: great classics – not just in terms of ingredients and recipes, but concepts tied to presentation and service – of our tradition, which we strove to interpret in a philologically correct but also updated way, concise and necessary, and that would be replicable without the risk of error. This is the food that I would like to eat far from home, my ideal of Italian cooking,”concluded chef Niko Romito.
An original antipasto that encapsulates a grand tour of all the regions of Italy, recodified versions of Tagliatelle with Ragù, Veal Milanese, Broken Pasta with Octopus and Potato, and Tiramisù are just a few of the quintessential dishes on Il Ristorante table.
LAGO by Julian Serrano
Following the award-winning restaurant LAGO by Julian Serrano in the luxury hotel Bellagio Las Vegas, the Italian restaurant in Bellagio Shanghai has become the second in the world succeeding its sister hotel restaurant. Co-founded by the celebrity chef Julian Serrano in February, 2018, LAGO by Julian Serrano features innovative Italian cuisine in a hip atmosphere of modern design.
“Appetizers Are the New Entrées” – a major dining trend which has been popularly accepted in numerous cosmopolitan cities world-wide in recent years. Besides, small and sharing plates are Chinese dining culture. Therefore, LAGO presents playful dining with smaller portion sizes and sharing platters in bold flavors, attracting guests who wish to dine in a vibrant and elegant setting with family and friends.
At the helm of the kitchen in Shanghai is Jair Gudiño Chavez, a Mexican-born chef with over 10 years’ experience in top kitchens around the world who took part in 2016 to the local challenge of S.Pellegrino Young Chef in China. Chef Chavez said that the menu highlights classic Italian soul with a Chinese twist. “We take the classical dishes from Italy, and put our own local twist using local ingredients,” chef Chavez indicated that his team makes fresh pastas by themselves, and get vegetables from farms outside of Shanghai.
What amazes chef Chavez is that a lot of chefs are doing foraging and growing their own vegetables across the world, so his team is growing their own herbs. When they serve, they can tell their guests that the mints for tiramisù come from their herb garden, or the rosemaries in the lambs are cut right before service.
Arva, a new gastronomic project to pay tribute to Italian rich culinary heritage, is launched by the luxury hotel group Aman Resort across the world. Starting from Aman Venice in October, 2017, Italian restaurant Arva landed in Shanghai Amanyangyun at the beginning of 2018, and is on the lists of Michelin Plate in 2019 Michelin Guide Shanghai.
Arva highly appreciates the Italian deep-rooted culinary traditions of seasonal and sustainably-sourced ingredients. The dishes are inspired from Italian culinary philosophy, which symbolize not only local fresh ingredients from the nearby gardens, forests and oceans are respected, but also the art of comfort culinary are warmed embraced. When connects with the classics, the restaurant dedicates to creating family-style comfort food for local dinners.
Located over 30 km out of Shanghai city center, Amanyangyun is surrounded by nature. Arva is able to have the fresh ingredients arrived in the kitchen that are delivered by the nearby farmers and suppliers, such as asparagus, tomato, cauliflower, or eggs. In addition, the restaurant has got the finest ingredients from Italy, including olive oil produced in Tuscany and Liguria, artisanal pasta.
Chefs Stefano Artosin and Andrea Torre, as co-creators of the gastronomic project, came from Italy. “Arva offers honest, simple dishes which champion the incredible ingredients sourced locally,” said chef Artosin.
Italian bistro on the rise
Italian bistro welcome people with casual dining atmosphere, comfort food and affordable price, so it can be seen that people are eager to dine in an emerging city. Scarpetta is an Italian trattoria that has been awarded Michelin Plate, which brings the Italian simplicity in cozy chic interior.
The Executive chef Patrick Leano said that he would like to spoil dinners with Italian family-style dishes with a China twist. Apparently, Scarpetta is only one example. At the moment. because as chef Chavez said, “Italian bistro is on the rise, and he is looking forward to having chefs reborn the true roots of Italian food.”