Welcome to the Authentic Italian Table
Guastavino's, one of NYC’s most spectacular urban spaces under the Queensboro Bridge in Manhattan's Upper East Side, hosted the event Ospitalità Italiana, The Authentic Italian Table where 18 New York restaurants were awarded the “Ospitalità Italiana – Ristoranti italiani nel mondo” Seal of Quality and shared with guests their unique and diverse interpretations of regional Italian cuisine.
This evening of fine dining was organized by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce and before dinner the restaurants received an Seal of Quality Award. This is a new certification promoted by Unioncamere in collaboration with FIPE, Federazione Italiana Pubblici Esercizi and ISNART, Italy's National Institute of Tourism, which officially recognizes Italian restaurants around the world that are committed to authenticity in Italian cuisine. “Restaurants receiving the Seal of Quality are ambassadors of Italian cuisine and culture, and as such, are called upon to actively safeguard Italy's culinary heritage against the growing phenomenon of 'Italian sounding' products and dishes,” the vice president of Unioncamere, Costantino Capone said, “Through the use of DOP and IGP products from Italy as well as through their commitment to providing diners with an authentic experience, these restaurants aim to preserve the integrity and authenticity of true Italian cuisine,” the president of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce, Claudio Bozzo, added.
The restaurants at the event were: Alfredo of Rome, Amarone Ristorante, Aroma Kitchen and Winebar, Azalea Ristorante, Cacio e Vino, Circo, Il Capriccio, Il Corso, Il Gattopardo, Il Poeta, Luna Piena, Pinoli, Salumeria Rosi, San Pietro, Tiella, Tramonti Ristorante e Pizzeria, Trattoria Cinque and Via Emilia. Other New York restaurants, such as SD26, Eataly New York, and Barolo, have earned the Seal of Quality but were not part of the event. Giancarlo Deidda, president of the Evaluation Committee explained that he was selected as judge because he himself is in the restaurant business and that “The objectives are to develop and promote the traditions of the Italian agricultural and food products and value the Italian gastronomic culture; promote the image of the Italian Restaurants abroad that guarantee the respect to standard quality of the Italian hospitality and create new opportunities and promotion.”
The evaluation steps were: Identity - the restaurant must employ at least one person able to relate with the clients in Italian; the Look of the restaurant - the room must have one or more elements of distinctive Italian nature (pictures, photos,furnishings, Italian design or typical Italian features) and they have to be in good state. Plates, glasses, cutlery, and table setting should be, in part, of definite Italian origin as well; the Menu - the percentage of dishes and recipes of the Italian tradition should not be less than 50% of the total dishes offered in the menu. Plus the dishes included in the menu must be written in correct Italian language. The menu must also include a description of at least 5 recipes of the Italian tradition and a description of the ingredients of Italian origin that most characterizes each recipe, with indication of the geographic zone (Region, Italian zone) of origin; the wine list - the list of wines must include at least 20% of DOP (DOC,DOCG, IGT) wines and all wines must be identified with the Italian region of origin; the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil - in the room the client should have at his/her disposal, on a trolley, tray or other, Italian extra virgin DOP olive oil. For the cooking and dressings, the kitchen staff must use the Italian extra virgin DOP olive oil or registered in the list of Italian traditional products; the Staff - the Head Chef must be skilled for the preparation of dishes and recipes of the Italian cuisine by at least one of the following requisites: professional Italian cooking certificate, training in an Italian restaurant for a non less than 6 month period and not less than 3 years cooking experience; the Products - the restaurant must use DOP products and a list of all the oenogastronomic DOP products should be provided.
The owner of Cacio e Vino, Giusto Priola explained that Daledda visited his restaurant to evaluate it and he appreciated that Daledda was chosen because he works in the restaurant business so “he knows and understands our issues. We are simply honored especially because New York is a city where there are over 30.000 restaurants. We represent Italy although it is a challenge sometimes as there is the need of authentic Italian products here in the US. It is still difficult at times to find real products and hopefully this will improve things.”