The other day I had to write up what I thought were the Top 5 Italian restaurants in Honolulu for Haute Living.
And after browsing menus with items like mushroom risotto and veal picatta, I started to crave Italian, too.
My mouth is still salivating!
It made me think: what makes good Italian food?
I have a few theories.
Dishes should showcase the bounty of fresh ingredients prevalent in Italy. We’re talking tomatoes, potatoes, rice, pasta, sausages, pork, herbs, fish, peppers, garlic, olive oil, nuts, artichokes, eggplants and every cheese you can think of. No canned tomatoes or cheap olive oil. Dishes should be packed with freshness, period.
And finally — and this just might be my rule — you should never leave an Italian restaurant searching out the nearest fast-food joint. You should leave full — not stuffed — and happy. To me, that’s the true sign of success, that you ate every bit your could fit comfortably in your stomach. And even better, you crave it later.
What’s your favorite Italian restaurant in Hawaii and what do you think makes it so good?