Ritorno: The finest Sicilian Cicchetti in London

Fed up with standard restaurant menus?
Today we will explore some Sicilian dishes revisited with a modern light touch by Ritorno, an elegant, premium lounge bar and Italian kitchen in Chelsea.

Ritorno, which aims to bring an authentic Italian aperitivo experience in London, offers over 40 small plates (cicchetti) created using the highest quality and freshest produce. Cicchetti, encompass a variety of classic dishes from across Italy. Some examples are: Tagliolini di Ragù e Polpettine di Fassona (Authentic homemade tagliolini with mini “Fassona” meatballs), Guancia di Manzo con Polenta Morbida (Braised beef cheek with polenta) and Vitello Tonnato (Veal round steak in tuna sauce).
However, on the occasion of Italian Restaurant Festival, Ritorno proposes a Sicilian themed menu with some typical Sicilian Cicchetti such as: Polipetti murati con caponata siciliana (Grilled octopus with Sicilian ratatouille) and Anelletti al forno con ragu e piselli (Oven-baked Anelletti pasta with beef ragout & peas).
Cicchetti are complemented by cocktails and fine wines to to make the art of aperitivo memorable.


Let’s discover these Sicilian delights.

Ritorno at Italian Restaurant Festival

During Italian Restaurant Festival, Ritorno will propose a menu made up of 3 courses and a glass of Italian wine. Each course has 2 versions: one is meat/fish based and the other is suitable for vegetarians (v).

Polipetti murati con caponata siciliana: Grilled octopus with Sicilian ratatouille

Parmigiana in crosta di pane (v): Parmigianino in homemade bread crust

Anelletti al forno con ragu e piselli: Oven-baked Anelletti pasta with beef ragout & peas

Busiate alla norma con ricotta salata (v): Pasta Norma style with salted ricotta

Cannolo siciliano scomposto: Sicilian cannolo

Tiramisu di amaretti e pistacchio di Bronte: Amaretti & bronte pistachio tiramisu

Wine: Feudo Montoni, Grillo, Sicily, Italy 2015

£35.00 per person

Did you know that…?

Pasta alla Norma: a music-mad dish

Pasta alla Norma originated from Catania (Sicily) and is dedicated -just as the name suggests- to the famous opera lirica ‘La Norma’, composed by Vincenzo Bellini in 1831, a renowned musician from Catania.
There are two different stories which explain the name of this dish.
According to the first, the name was given by a playwright, Nino Martoglio, who, after comparing the pasta to the famous opera lirica shouted: This is a Norma! He meant that the pasta was so tasty that it could deliver the same positive feelings as the Norma.
The second story is that, whilst writing this masterpiece, Vincenzo Bellini used to attend a restaurant and to order this pasta almost every day. Therefore, the restaurant’s owner finally named the pasta ‘Norma’ as a tribute to the musician.

Anelletti al forno: The Sicilian Lord of Rings

Anelletti is a typical, ring-shaped pasta of Sicilian origin. Nowadays, it can easily be found among the regional specialities of large pasta manufacturers. This type of pasta is used almost exclusively for this traditional Sicilian dish, which can be served both as pasta course and main.
There are many variants of pasta al forno (baked pasta) according to the different parts and cities of Sicily. Depending on the area, anelletti may be replaced with maccheroni, rigatoni and other types of pasta, while the ingredients vary greatly: hard boiled eggs, mixed cold cuts and vegetable.

Pistachio from Bronte: the green gold of Sicily

A tasty delicacy enveloped in a light, bright green hue, the Bronte Pistachio is good on its own, or when used in recipes savory and sweet.
Whether fresh or dried, it is perhaps the most precious ingredient in Sicilian cuisine and symbolizes its town of origins, Bronte, a village the Province of Catania. Indeed, the pistachio is so important to Bronte’s economy that it has long been graced with the nickname “green gold.”
The pistachio actually has several names in Sicilian dialect, including scornabecco, spaccasassi and fastuca.
The pistachio plant can live between 200 and 300 years, and thrives above all in Bronte. While the nut’s most ancient origins lie in ancient Persia, that grown in Bronte is distinguished by very unique characteristics – even in comparison to other Sicilian pistachios – and is thus known as pistacia vera.
Such may very well be attributed the fact that pistachios in Bronte are cultivated in volcanic soil, on the scorching terrain of Mount Etna and the Nebrodes. Here, the terroir seems to favor the resinous plant, from its thick foliage that necessitates little water, down to its ability to cling to the steepest and craggiest mountain slopes (thanks to its knotty branches and deep roots).

Cacciari’s Restaurants: delights from Bologna, the City of Culture and Food

Are you passionate about Bolognese sauce and the famous tortellini?
Today we will make you experience the authentic soul of Emilia Romagna with its well-established culinary traditions. Paticularly, we will keep alive the connection with this beautiful Italian region through the format and dishes of a typical trattoria bolognese: a traditionally family owned, casual, rustic neighbourhood restaurant that serves fresh, unassuming and conventional local food.

Cacciari’s restaurants have been established with the aim of making customers familiar with the culinary experience provided by the typical trattoria bolognese. As such, these restaurants are based on 2 pillars: freshness and quality. Indeed, the products offered are freshly prepared every morning according to the old traditions from Bologna.
Additionally, most ingredients are directly imported from Emilia Romagna, while others (e.g. meat, fish, fruit and vegetables) are carefully selected from the best local markets in London.

Are you ready for a thrilling journey through Emilia Romagna? Read on.

Cacciari’s at Italian Restaurant Festival

During Italian Restaurant Festival, Cacciari’s will surprise you with 2 menus: one is perfect for meat lovers, while the other will satisfy those who prefer fish. Both menus consist of 4 courses: starter, pasta dish, main course and dessert and each course comes with a glass of typical Italian wine to exalt its flavours.

Meat menu: £70
Emilian charcuterie: Pistcchio I.G.P. Mortadella, Parma ham seasoned 18 months, Piacentina coppa & Reggiano parmesan seasoned 36 months


Wine: Modena D.O.P. rosato spumante, sparkling rosè wine, flowrery, dry & harmonic

Pasta dish
Boscaiola Tortellini: Handmade Bolognese Tortellini filled with meat, served with champignons, peas & cooked ham from Modena in a cream sauce


Wine: Sangiovese Riserva D.O.C., red tannic wine, with wild berries & violet flavour

Grilled rib-eye tagliata with radicchio & Balsamic vinegar reduction: Sliced rib-eye with grilled radicchio, Vinegar from Modena, rock salt, fresh rosmary & Reggiano parmesan 36 months

Wine: Sangiovese Riserva D.O.C., red tannic wine, with wild berries & violet flavour

Croccante Semifreddo in a chocolate sauce: Caramelized Mixed nuts with frozen cream & dark chocolate sauce

Wine: Lambrusco di Sorbara D.O.C.,Red sparkling wine, fresh & red ruits flavour

Fish menu: £75
Homemade wood-fired focaccia withSquacquerone cheese: A fresh & creamy cheese D.O.P. from Modena, mealted in a crispy focaccia, fresh rocket& cervia sea salt

Wine: Trebbiano dei Colli d’Imola D.O.C., dry white wine, aromatic & pleasant

Pasta dish
Handmade Strozzapreti with King prawns, sundried tomato pesto & taggiasche olives: Twisted short fresh Pasta with Italian sundried tomato, Bolognese olives & fresh King prawns

Wine: Pignoletto Colli Bolognese D.O.C.G., fresh white wine, delicate, fruity & aromatic

Main course
Fritto misto in a Bolognese recipe: Deep fried calamari, prawns, zucchini & carrots, served with homemade tartare sauce

Wine: Pignoletto Colli Bolognese D.O.C.G., fresh white wine, delicate, fruity & aromatic

Mascarpone mousse with amaretto biscuit and dark chocolate flakes: Mascarpone cheese flavoured with amaretto crumble & chocolate

Wine: Lambrusco di Sorbara D.O.C.,Red sparkling wine, fresh & red ruits flavour

Did you know that….?

Affettati (Charcuterie): the most humble yet noblest Italian specialty

Affettati (also known as charcuterie) are one of Italy’s most iconic foods and include a vast array of cured pork charcuterie. Affettati unite everyone: from gruff workman, pausing mid-morning to revive themselves with towering ‘pane e prosciutto’ (bread and ham) sandwiches, to chic urbanites, relaxing over an evening aperitivo accompanied by the same prosciutto elegantly wound around thin grissini breadsticks.
Affettati vary vastly from region to region, and each area has its own traditional specialty reflecting the local climate and culture.
Let’s discover some typical Emilian affettati…

  • Mortadella (large Italian sausage): is synonymous with Bologna. This pink cold cut with its unmistakable aroma is called by the name of the town where it was born – centuries ago. Mortadella has indeed a long history. It appears that it was already known and thoroughly appreciated by the Romans: proof of this is an ancient stele on display inside Bologna’s Museo Civico Archeologico depicting a butcher using a mortar, the tool employed to crush together the meat and spices to prepare mortadella.
  • Prosciutto Crudo di Parma (Cured ham): made primarily in the town of Langhirano near Parma in Emilia-Romagna. This is the most common type of prosciutto crudo, popular for its delicate nutty and slightly sweet flavour.
  • Culatello: A slightly more prestigious cousin to prosciutto crudo, culatello (the most famous from Zibello in Emilia-Romagna) is the cured ham made solely from the trimmed upper haunch, leaving it with more meat and less fat.
  • Salame (cured and dried sausage) Felino: produced in the area surrounding the town of the same name in Emilia-Romagna, is one of the most prestigious and historic of Italy’s salami, documented as early as the 1100s. Made with only certain heirloom breeds, this flattened pork salame makes oblong slices and the coarse texture and seasoning only highlights the excellent quality of the meat.


Strozzapreti: When the priest chockes on pasta

These are thin strips of pasta 4/5 cm long made with flour, water and salt. One of the legends created to explain the origin of the name goes back to the tradition of the women from Romagna preparing this type of pasta for the local priest, while the husbands, evidently a little bit more anticlerical, wished the priest would choke while he was stuffing himself with it. Graziano Pozzetto, an expert in tradition and cuisine from Romagna, suggests that the name’s etimology can be taken back to “the good texture of the strozzapreti … which was used to calm the hunger, so well that even the priest (that in the popular imagination was pictured as heavy eater) would have chocked on them”. Pozzetto gives one more interpretation of the name, linking it to that sharp and firm movement with which the azdora [the housewife in Romagna] ‘chokes’ the dough strips to make the strozzapreti: “… in that particular moment you would presume that the azdora would express such a rage (perhaps triggered by the misery and difficulties of her life) to be able to strangle a priest!”.

Franzina Trattoria: From Palermo to Brixton

Still curious to explore more specialties from Sicily?
Try the authentic cuisine of Palermo, the bustling and breathtaking capital of Sicily.

Palermo is a special and unique city, know for the astonishing beauty of its landscape, architecture and for its marvelous artistic treasures, coming from different areas of the world.

thumb_IMG_8510_1024 (1)Franzina Trattoria is a Brixton Pop which aims to serve no-fuss wholesome dishes drawing upon the ancient tradition of family-run tavernas in Palermo. Just like a typical Taverna in Palermo, Franzina’ s proposes quick lunch and take away options, hand-made fresh pasta and unique Sicilian delicatessen.
This converted shipping container was founded with the idea of delivering the authentic Palermitan cuisine.

In fact, when you enter this small restaurant you are surrounded by many “Pupi Sicilani”, the traditional marionttes used as theatrical representation in the Sicilian puppet theatre.

These beautiful puppets are still considered a symbol of Sicilian folk culture.
They became popular in Sicily late in the Middle Ages, during the 15th century.



Franzina at Italian Restaurant Festival

During Italian Restaurant Festival you will be delighted to taste Franzina’ s menu, including a choice of 3 courses: A starter, a main and a dessert.
Each course comes with a glass of authentic and fine Sicilian wine.

Let’s find out more about this delicious menu!

Menu Price : £30.00 per person


“Schiticchio” : a sharing platter with different samples of canapés.

This mix platter includes:

  • Sfincione: Homemade pizza from Palermo with Caciocavallo cheese, anchovies, onions and tomato sauce.
  • Cazzilli e Panelle: Potato croquettes and chickpea fritters, served with lemon and smoked tomato sauce.
  • Polpetta di Melanzane: Flash fried aubergine balls with pine nuts and raisins.
  • Caponata and Olives: Cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery, seasoned with sweetened vinegar and capers, served with a sweet and sour sauce.



Arancina: Rice ball filled with traditional Sicilian-style Ragout (Bolognese sauce) or with mushrooms and Tuma cheese.

Polpo: Chargrilled fresh octopus, served with lemon and extra virgin olive oil.

Involtino di carne alla Palermitana: Tuma cheese, pine nuts, bread crumb and raisins wrapped in loin pork skewer.


Tagliatelle: Fresh handmade pasta

Tagliatelle Confit: Slow cooked confit tomato sauce, ricotta salata and mint.
Tagliatelle Evo: Olive oil, Pecorino cheese and pepper.
Tagliatella Ammuttunata: Stuffed baby aubergines smoked in garlic, mint tomato sauce.
Tagliatelle with Sicilian beef ragout
Tagliatelle with sarde: Tagliatelle with sardine fish


Sfingette: Sicilian doughnuts with sugar and cinnamon, with Ricotta cheese and chocolate.
Warm dark chocolate soufflé with raspberry and lemon cream.
Cannolo Siciliano: A crispy Sicilian pastry served with ricotta cream and pistachio.


Wine pairing:

White Inzoilia (Bianco Inzoilia): A Sicilian wine made from native grapes Inzolia, fresh and fruity pale yellow color that has a pleasant aromatic and dry taste.
Grillo: A sicilian white wine which is crispy and savory.
Nero d’Avola (Black of Avola): has a ruby red color and intense fruity fragrance that shows bodied taste and remarkable personality.

Did you know that…?

Sfincione: The traditional pizza from Palermo

Sfincione is a thick Sicilian pizza, more similar to a focaccia, topped with tomatoes, onions, a few anchovies and perhaps grated Caciocavallo cheese and seasoned with a dash of oregano. Probably the name derives from the latin spongia, which means “sponge”, or from the Arab sfang, meaning a sweet soft fritter.
When you walk along the streets of Palermo is very common to see a small vehicle (similar to a pick-up but on three wheels) that sells portions of sfincione with a recording voice sent out through a megaphone that says how good is this kind of pizza… And indeed it is delicious!
By tradition, sfincione is served on two Festivities’ Eve: the night of the 7th of December, before the Immaculate Conception Day and on Christmas’ Eve, the 24th of December but you can find it in bakeries and markets every day of the year.


Panelle e cazzilli: traditional street food from Palermo

Panelle are savoury fritters made with chick-peas flour and are mainly eaten in the streets, in a loaf wrapped in paper yarn waste. Cut into smaller shapes, they are part of the typical hot starters you could be served, generally with cazzilli, pan-fried, potato croquettes, also known as crocchè.


Caponata: a sublime blend of Mediterranean flavours

From the Spanish “caponada” the word “caponata” derives from “capone”, name with which in some areas of Sicily it’s called the “lampuga”, a precious fish once eaten only by the aristocracy, seasoned with the bittersweet sauce typical of Caponata. In the past, people who couldn’t afford this expensive fish, replaced it with the cheaper aubergines.

Sfingette (also known as sfinci or Sfingi)

Sfingette are fried pastry puffs, filled with ricotta-based cream similar to the one used for Cannoli and Cassata. It is important that the puffs are fried and not baked, because it’is the interaction with the boiling oil that makes them hollow. Unlike similar pastries in other parts of Europe, sfinci contain no butter or meat fat.
It is true that certain authors identify sfinci, cassata and cannoli with Arab cuisine as it existed in the medieval Sicily. There is not absolute certainty here, but it is beyond doubt that cane sugar was introduced by the Arabs, and without it these confections would not exist today. That the Sfinci may have existed – in some form – before the Arab period is implied by the former practice of serving sfinci topped with honey instead of filling them with cream.
Like Cassata, Sfinci are generally considered a winter dish, perhaps because in the past, winter and spring were the best seasons for sheep milk production. The best Sicilian ricotta cheese comes from sheep’s milk, and that’s what gives the ricotta cream produced in Sicily its distinctive flavour.

Cheers, Buonappetito! 

Sign up to our newsletter: http://www.italianrestaurantfestival.com/newsletter/ to be informed about our latest news. Remember that shortly you will be able to book online on our website!

Tziganos: Discover the taste of the Island in the Sun

Sicily is worldwide known as the Island in the Sun.
Characterized by its warm weather, its impressive architecture and the Mediterranean landscape, Sicily is the largest Italian island and represents the meeting point of the most ancient and fascinating cultures: Greek, Norman, Spanish and Arab.

Eager to taste the authentic Sicilian Cuisine? Drop in to Tziganos, a Sicilian Restaurant located in Blackheath village.
The word Tzigano means ‘wandering gypsy’. Indeed, the name of the restaurant refers to its founders: two committed culinary tziganos Salvo and Peppe, who moved to London to spread their passion for their land and for the Mediterranean cuisine.

locale chitarra

Tziganos at Italian Restaurant Festival

During Italian Restaurant Festival, Tziganos will surprise you with 3 different Menu options: Vegetarian Menu, Fish Menu and a Menu dedicated to meat lovers.
Each dish has an interesting story to discover!


Vegetarian Menu: £35.00

Bruschetta di Castelvetrano: Toasted black bread of Castelvetrano (Sicily) topped with fresh tomatoes, grilled artichokes, salted ricotta cheese, basil, olive oil.


Involtini di Pasta: Tagliolini with tomato sauce, basil and pecorino wrapped in grilled aubergine slices, topped and baked with primo sale cheese.
Grigliata di verdure: Grilled vegetables with olive oil and mint sauce.
Cassata al forno: Typical Sicilian cake made with sheep ricotta cheese, tears and baked with shortcut pastry.

Wine pairing:

Nero d’avola
Passito di Pantelleria

Fish menu: £49.00

Sarde a Beccafico: Sardines fillets filled with peanuts, black currant, orange zest, olive oil, pecorino cheese, garlic.
Pasta Cu Nivuru: Spaghetti with black squid ink.

Branzino al carbone: Charcoal grill sea bass fillet drizzled with salmoriglio sauce served with salad.

Sorbetto al limone: The classic Italian frozen dessert. Sorbetto is prepared with sugar syrup flavored with fragrant lemon juice, fresh herbs (basil, mint), wine and liqueur.

Wine pairing:
Fico d’india liqueur

Meat menu: £47.00

Arancine al Ragout: Stuffed rice balls, with Sicilian-style Bolognese sauce.
Anelletti al forno: Ring-shaped pasta with beef and pork ragù, aubergines, caciocavallo cheese and mozzarella.
Spitini: Rolled tender beef slices filled with onion, pecorino cheese, sultana peanuts, orange zest, breaded and bbq grilled. Spitini are served with red onions and tomato salad.

Cannolo: A tube-shaped shell of fried pastry dough filled with sweet ricotta and chocolate chips.

Wine pairing:
Passito di Pantelleria


Did you know that…?

The history behind the Black Bread of Castelvetrano

The beautiful bread’s color depends on its ingredients. The dough is made by mixing two stone-ground flours: Sicilian durum wheat flour and a flour milled from an ancient grain called timilia or tumminìa. It is thanks to this rare Timilia that Castelvetrano bread becomes so dark and extraordinarily sweet and flavorful, with intense aromas and a particular toasted scent. The other ingredients are water, salt and sourdough starter (“lu criscenti”).


Cassata: Back to the Arabs

Cassata is arguably the most famous cake of Sicily and a symbol of the Southern Italian patisserie.
The name derives from the Arabic ‘Al Qassati’ which refers to the bowl that was used to shape the cake. The genesis of the Sicilian Cassata may very well be traced to the Arab era. Cassata is believed to have been first made in its elementary form in Palermo during Muslim rule in the 10th century.

The history behind “Sarde a Beccafico”: not just a fish dish

“Sarde a Beccafico” is a well known Sicilian dish, particularly loved in Palermo. It’s essentially a poor fisherman’s dish, made from the most economic of ingredients, a cheap version of a sought-after dish meant for nobles. Beccafico (“fig-pecker”) refers to a songbird that was historically considered a great delicacy in many Mediterranean countries. The French gastronome Brillat-Savarin said of the Beccafico bird: “If it was the size of a pheasant, it would be worth an acre of land.”
Since the fishermen and the poor people couldn’t afford buying meat, they used sardines and filled them with simple ingredients, such as breadcrumbs, pine nuts and little else to imitate the sophisticated dish.
Therefore, the stuffed, rolled and baked sardines dish is said to be the poor version of the original recipe of the stuffed bird.
Nowadays hunting these birds has become illegal in many countries.

“Pasta cu nivuru de sicci”: The traditional Sicilian pasta with squid ink

This dish is extremely popular in Sicily and it is eaten especially in summer time. In the past, the ink secreted by the squid was used to write documents. However, nowadays, it is mostly used in cooking as a condiment for pasta.

Sorbetto al limone: The classic Italian frozen dessert

In Sicily the Arabs learnt how to use the snow from mountain Etna mixed with sea salt as a way to keep cool the sorbet during processing (lack of alternative cooking methods).

Arancine: The most famous rice balls in the world

Arancine (also known as “Arancini”) originated in 10th-century in Sicily under the Arab rule. In the cities of Palermo and Trapani in Sicily, arancini are a traditional food for the feast of Santa Lucia on 13th December when bread and pasta are not eaten. Today, with the increasing popularity of this food, arancini are found all year round at most Sicilian food outlets, particularly in Palermo, Messina and Catania. The dish is often made using rice from left-over risotto.


Cannoli: The quintessentially Sicilian dessert

The origin of Cannoli can be traced back to the Arabs during the Emirate of Sicily. Cannoli come from the Palermo and Messina areas and were historically prepared as a treat during Carnevale season, possibly as a fertility symbol. Nowadays Cannoli is a year-round dessert.

Sign up to our newsletter: http://www.italianrestaurantfestival.com/newsletter/ to be informed about our latest news. Remember that shortly you will be able to book online on our website!

Alla Salute! Trattoria – Pizzeria – Social : A sensory voyage to Apulia

Now let’s jump from north to south to discover Apulia, nominated the ‘Best Value Destination 2016’ by National Geographic for its beauty, traditions, landscapes and tourism. Apulia is a south-east Italian region which has everything you could ask for: from the flat lands ideal for biking and walking, to the miles of Adriatic and Ionian coastline, beg for holiday makers

A perfect representation of Apulia is the Italian restaurant Alla salute!, which aims to deliver the traditional and authentic flavours from Apulia, whilst emphasising the Mediterrean Diet.

locale alla salute

Alla salute! is located in Deptford (south east London) and it is few minutes walk from the DLR station.

Alla salute!: history and founders

Alla Salute! was founded in 2016 by Barbara and Enrica, two dynamic and enthusiastic ladies from Apulia who share the passion for authentic Apulian food.
Barbara, the shopkeeper, moved to London 10 years ago and founded a home business to import and sell regional products from Apulia. The Co-founder is Enrica, the Chef. Enrica has always been passionate about cooking, but since she moved to London in 2011 her desire to communicate the Apulian tradition through the art of cooking further increased. In fact, Enrica’s aim was (and still is) to spread the authentic Apulian culinary experience in London.


Alla salute! Kitchen

The idea lying behind Alla salute! is to promote slow food (food prepared in accordance with Apulian culinary traditions using high-quality products and locally sourced ingredients). In line with this aim, the dishes of this restaurant are carefully prepared with organic, healthy and local ingredients. All dishes are made from scratch following the ‘sound body in a sound mind’ concept. For instance, pizza is proofed for at least 24 hours and freshly prepared with organic flour and extra virgin oil.

The menu is extremely varied: it ranges from typical Apulian starters (e.g. Burrata: mozzarella cheese with a creamy heart served with cherry tomato medley, fresh rocket salad and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil) to fresh artisanal pasta (e.g.Troccoli Salsiccia, Broccoli & Caciocavallo Podolico: durum wheat artisanal spaghetti with fresh Italian sausage, broccoli sauce and creamy caciocavallo cheese); from pizzas (14 topping options are available) to desserts.
Vegetarian dishes are also available. An example is Fave and Cicorie, a traditional vegan dish served with homemade croutons prepred all around Apulia.


Alla salute! at the Italian restaurant festival

During the festival, Alla salute! proposes a menu based on two courses (the starter and the main). Each course reflects the authentic Apulian tradition and it is accompained by a glass of typical Apulian wine.

Below the menu’s details and photos.


Fave & Cicorie: Mashed broad beans and sautee Wild Chicory (Broadbeans and Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Collina di Brindisi PDO” – both organic – are sourced from Azienda Agricola Umberto Cavallo, Carovigno (BR) Apulia. Wild Chicory is sourced from Spirito Contadino, Borgo Tressanti (FG) Apulia).



La Burrata Pugliese: Delicious Mozzarella with a creamy heart served with cherry tomato medley, fresh rocket salad and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil (we source our Burrata from Caseificio Olanda (Apulia).



Wine pairing: Bombino Bianco Casa Primis (Stornarella FG, Apulia), native of North Apulia. Fruity scent with hints of green apple; well balanced intensity and light flavour. 12% ABV



Troccoli Salsiccia Broccoli & Caciocavallo Podolico: Durum wheat Apulian Spaghetti with fresh Italian sausage, broccoli sauce and creamy caciocavallo cheese. (Troccoli pasta is sourced from Pastificio D’Amicis, Serracapriola (FG), Apulia. Caciocavallo Podolico is a Slow Food certified product from Masseria Paglicci, Rignano Garganico (FG), Apulia).


Pizza alle Cime di Rapa: Mozzarella, Sauteed Cime di Rapa (Broccoli Rabe) with anchovies, chili, white wine and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Vegetarian/Vegan option available (Our Pizza dough is made with heritage stone-milled Apulian flours like Senatore Cappelli, sourced from Mulino Macchia Grande, Carovigno (BR), Apulia. Cime di Rapa are sourced from Spirito Contadino, Borgo Tressanti (FG) Apulia).


Wine pairing: Brindisi Riserva 1952 Cantine Sampietrana (San Pietro Vernotico (BR), Apulia. Montepulciano and Negramaro native grapes give this wine a scent of cherries; spices flavour, chocolate and caramel on the finish.

Price: £38.00 per person

Did you know that….?

The name ‘Alla salute!’ can be translated in English as ‘cheers!

The logo represents three ingredients typical of Apulia: tomato, olives and wheat. These 3 ingredients are grouped under a cook hat which has the colours of the Italian flag: green, white and red.

Design and furniture: All around the restaurant you are surrounded by warm colours (e.g. orange, red and yellow) which create a welcoming and bubbly atmosphere. In the meantime, on the walls several pottery plates and bowl from Apulia hang: these keep a linkage with the Apulian tradition.

Sign up to our newsletterhttp://www.italianrestaurantfestival.com/newsletter/ to be informed about our latest news. Remember that shortly you will be able to book online on our website!

Manitoba Kitchen Restaurant: A Taste of Romagna

Today we are glad to introduce you Manitoba restaurant: the first Tigella Kitchen Bar in London, where Italian tradition and innovation blend perfectly to provide you with an extraordinary gastronomic experience.




Manitoba Restaurant is located in the heart of London, next to Tottenham Court Road Underground Station.

The main character: The Tigella

The main dish of this welcoming restaurant is the Tigella, the traditional stuffed bread, which originated in the Italian region Emilia Romagna during the Middle Ages.

The Tigella served at Manitoba is usually enjoyed filled in with a wide variety of Italian affettati (i.e., cold cuts) such as: Parma ham S. Ilario, Salame felini and mortadella Benfatti) or Italian cheese, (e.g. Parmiggiano Reggiano D.O.P.; stracchino cheese; pecorino cheese; burrata cheese) and served with mixed vegetables (e.g. Cerignola olives and cherry tomatoes).

Apart from these traditional versions of Tigellas, you will be delighted to taste the gourmet versions of tigellas: burger t (home-baked tigella with burger, confit tomatoes, cocktail source and provolone cheese); tuna (home-baked tigella with grilled tuna fish, smoked tomatoes sauce, thyme, mozzarella fior di latte, cheese and salad); pink pistacchio (home-baked tigella with mortadella foam and pistacchio crumble).

Also, our vegetarian guests will be glad to hear that there are some versions that perfectly comply with their tastes: the aubergine parmigiana (home-baked tigella with funghetto aubergine, parmiggiano D.O.P. cheese, tomato sauce and basil pesto) and the veggie burger (home-baked tigella with beans hamburger, red onion and embers onion sauce).

Did you know that…?

Tigella originated from the chestnut forests of the Apennine mountains of Emilia.
The term tigella derives from a latin word which means cover. Indeed, tigella was originally the name of the terracotta disc where the bread, called ‘crescentine’, was cooked.
The bread used for Tigelle was cooked by putting discs and the mixture of ingredients wrapped in chestnut leaves one upon the other in a pile under the embers of a domestic fire until it was warm.


Nowadays tigella is a simple food, which is very versatile (it can be either enjoyed at any time of the day) and extremely appreciated. Moreover, Manitoba’s tigelle are produced and packaged by hand in their kitchen and they are made up of natural ingredients and they do not contain any preservatives.



About Manitoba Kitchen 

Manitoba was founded by Nicola and Michele Buono, two brothers passionate about food who had always dreamt about opening their own restaurant. After visiting London, they fell in love with the city and decided to establish their business in the English capital. They are currently thinking of expanding their activity by keeping their philosophy of quantity over quality. This means that they strive to provide an excellent culinary experience by emphasising the typicity of Romagna’s products.

 Manitoba at Italian Restaurant Festival

The core of this festival comprises 2 menus options, each including three main courses and a half bottle of Italian wine. In order to satisfy every taste, each course is made up of 2 versions: the classic and the vegetarian.
Below the details and photos of the 2 menus served by Manitoba during this festival.

1st Menu:
£45.00 per person


Mix Affettati (Cold cuts) Board with tigelle: Parma ham S. Ilario 30 months, Salame Felini I.G.P, mortadella classica Bonfatti (presidio Slow Food), Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P. 24 months, Cerignola olives, sun dried cherry tomatoes from Puglia, three tigelle and one gnocco fritto



Mix Cheese and Vegetables Board with tigelle: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese D.O.P. 24 months, stracchino cheese, pecorino cheese D.O.P. from Sardinia, burrata cheese I.G.P. from Puglia and vegetables, three tigelle and one gnocco fritto





Classic Lasagna: Home-made fresh lasagna pasta prepared following the traditional recipe of Emiliana cuisine
Vegetable Lasagna: Home-made fresh lasagna pasta prepared following the traditional recipe of Emiliana cuisine


Manitoba Cream: Sponge cake, custard cream, amaretto syrup and chocolate cream



Chocolate Tigella: Small tigella with our chocolate cream


Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro 2015 (half bottle)


2nd Menu:
£35.00 per person

Mix Affettati (Cold cuts) Board with tigelle: Parma ham S. Ilario 30 months, Salame Felini I.G.P, mortadella classica Bonfatti (presidio Slow Food), Parmigiano Reggiano D.O.P. 24 months, Cerignola olives, sun dried cherry tomatoes from Puglia, three tigelle and one gnocco fritto.
Mix Cheese and Vegetables Board with tigelle: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese D.O.P. 24 months, stracchino cheese, pecorino cheese D.O.P. from Sardinia, burrata cheese I.G.P. from Puglia and vegetables, three tigelle and one gnocco fritto

Classic Lasagna: Home-made fresh lasagna pasta prepared following the traditional recipe of Emiliana cuisine
Vegetable Lasagna: Home-made fresh lasagna pasta prepared following the traditional recipe of Emiliana cuisine

Manitoba Cream: Sponge cake, custard cream, amaretto syrup and chocolate cream
Chocolate Tigella: Small tigella with our chocolate cream

Villa Rossi, Rubicone, Sangivese, Indicazione Geografica Tipica, 2015 (half bottle)


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Sartori’s Menu: a real south Italian experience in the heart of London

Are you crazy about Italian food?
Don’t worry, we are working to let you experience the real Italian taste!

During all the month of November, the most authentic Italian restaurants around London will delight guests with selected menus chosen specifically for the event, offering typical dishes from different regions of the Italian Peninsula.
The aim of this Festival is to communicate to Londoners the authentic Italian gastronomic tradition, a true immersion inside the real taste of Italy.

Today we would like to present the special menù created by Sartori Restaurant.
Sartori is a guarantee if you think that even many Italians living in London choose to visit Sartori for a genuine taste of Italy. It has an extensive menu offering antipasti, pasta, meat and fish second and many other traditional Italian dishes including “naughty” homemade desserts.

The highlights of this special festival menù include three main courses based on a whole fish, meat and vegetarian meal. A treat for all palates and preferences.

See below the description and photos of these delicious dishes.

Vegetarian Menu

Spaghetti with Nerano zucchine, basil and smoked mozzarella
Ricotta and pear cake, pastry Sal de riso di Amalfi
Wine: Cantina Rocca dei leoni, Aglianico rosso


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