Twenty years ago,
along with one of the best partners I could ever ask for - my mother
Yolanda - I opened a fine dining Italian restaurant outside of
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We had a vision: to offer the highest
quality food and service and create a memorable dining experience for
each and every guest. Our hard work and focus rewarded us with many new
friends around the globe, and almost as many awards.
Besides being mentioned in many magazines including Wine Spectator, and the
Italian-published book, The Best 100 Italian Restaurants in North America, we were
also one of only 647 in America, Canada and Mexico chosen to receive the prestigious DiRoNA
award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) in 1999 where we are honored to be listed
in the company of such great restaurants as Emeril's in New Orleans, Washington D.C.'s
Galileo, The Fountain Restaurant in Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel, and among New York
City's finest including, Felidia Ristorante, Montrachet, San Dominico, Palio, Le Cote
Basque, The 21 Club, Petrossian and many others throughout North America that met the strict
75 point criteria to receive this honor.
Yolanda Salezze and Emeril Lagasse at the DiRoNa awards
we would pass along some recipes that were our most requested.
Yolanda has designed this menu with accompanying wines so you
can enjoy a taste of Italy when you are snuggled in your own home
and day dreaming of Italy. Put your favorite CD on the
stereo, sharpen your knives and be prepared for an evening that will
transport you back to Bella Italia.
In the future, we will offer seasonal menus based on the most popular
choices in our restaurant. Feel free to email us with your requests
for upcoming menus.
Food and love in the Italian home go hand in
hand. It is the center of all family gatherings and an expression
of who they are. Our house was always centered around the kitchen
table, and when I return to Italy, the most memorable times are the
meals my family has prepared for us and the many family and friends
gathered around the table. Almost everything on the menu is picked
that day, with much fussing for choosing everything at their peak
flavors. Italian cooking is not difficult; the most important thing
in the Italian kitchen is using only the highest quality and the
freshest ingredients you can buy. Do not skimp on the ingredients or you
will sacrifice the flavor of the dish. If possible, shop the same
day you are going to cook your meal.
If you are serving the entire menu for your dinner party, as is
the European tradition, these recipes will serve eight. If you
are choosing from this menu then they will serve four.