Italy's taste invasion

For years Italian food to most Americans meant Southern-style red sauce, meatballs, and spaghetti.

Now there's been an invasion from Northern Italy as diners become more adventurous and crave different tastes. Some restaurants pride themselves on the fact that they don't serve Americanized Italian dishes, choosing instead to send their chefs to study in Italy, in order to serve truly authentic cuisine. Whether from the North or the South, Italian food is a hit.

From bread baskets, full of farinata, crostini, and grissini; to hearty soups and appetizers like zuppa di grano duro and vongole al forno con pancetta; to satisfying entrees, orecchiette con salmone and asparagi alla salsa verde; through to the creamy, rich desserts, featuring tiramisu, gelato, and cannolis; and after-dinner liqueurs, such as anisette and grappa served with espresso; patrons will be gratified Italian-style.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


McDonald's is a chicken chain now

The company’s chicken business is “on par” with its beef business as Americans continue to devour more poultry. It plans more chicken products in the coming years.


Brands shift their attention back to smaller operators

The Bottom Line: While plenty of franchises like Subway still want large-scale franchisees, there is a movement to keep their sizes down.


Should Cracker Barrel get out of the gift shop business?

Reality Check: The retail component of the family dining concept drew off sales and profits during the brand's most recent quarter. Maybe it's time to leave the shops out of future Cracker Barrels.


More from our partners