Top Italian Restaurants. The Reason Why, Criteria & Credits

 

Abundant carbohydrates, heavy on the red sauce, and a good dose of folklore. Italian restaurants abroad have lived on that reputation for a long time. Until a few years ago, Italian restaurants were emblematic of an emigrant generation that invented professions for themselves. Today, Italian chefs go abroad not out of necessity, but to add weight to their own cultural baggage. And they often never return. There are well over five million Italians living abroad, according to Consular records, a number that has almost doubled in the last ten years and is more people than have immigrated to Italy. Most are young, between 25 and 35 years old. They are curious and motivated, they are the force behind Italian food services at the highest level and in all its forms, from trattorias to prestigious star-seekers.

The marked leap in quality has been encouraged by a knowledgeable public, more aware and better traveled than before. This observation convinced us to compile the first digital guide to Italian restaurants around the world. This led us to the necessity of distinguishing one place from another, of rating them. We kept our classic score from one to three and we adopted the same symbols we use in Italy: forks for fine dining restaurants, shrimps for traditional restaurants, pizza slices for pizzerias and bottles for wine bars and enoteca. Authentic character, product traceability, purity of flavors (cucina italiana can’t exist without a proper extra-virgin olive oil), service and the depth and choice of the wine list were important considerations.

From the 100,000 estimated eating places that serve up our traditions in wine and food, we selected 370 for now. It’s a good place to start, but we are following closely about the same number. Every week we’ll add new locations and new stories.

A special thanks goes to Gerardo Antelmo, who has been facing more flights than coffees over the last year, and to Stefania Annese, who has coordinated a complex process, although without dealing with borders or customs. And, it goes without saying, to all those who worked with us, tasted, and inspired this project: Eleonora Baldwin, Michela Becchi, Leah Bickford, Winifred Bowman, Sonia Canfora, Lara Caraturo, Giuseppe Carrus, Steve Chen, Micky Choi, Marcelo Copello, Linda Davidson, Francesco de Mauri Antonella de Santis, Giovanni Silvestri, Indra Galbo, Michele Gianazza, Masakatsu Ikeda, Jorge Lucki, Nicola Massa, Marco Milani, Livia Montagnoli, Fabio Parasecoli, Ermes Pavese, Chiara Pepe, Pina Sozio, Yumi Tanabe, Massimiliano Tonelli, Annalisa Zordan.

Grazie.

Lorenzo Ruggeri

Editor-in-chief Top Italian Restaurants