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Restaurants & Bars

Faux Italia

Jim Tarantino | Apr 15, 2003 09:18 AM

I don’t want to go off on a rant but… Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m use to the plethora of really good Italian restaurants BYOB or otherwise. But it seems to me that Italian or Med rim themed restaurants are becoming “holding tanks” for some restaurateurs to either catch their breath, retool, or recover. Example, in the past few weeks we’ve seen Blue Angel morph to Angelina, Arroyo Grill to Carmela’s (where have I heard that name before?). Aliza Green fronting Stella Notte in Chestnut Hill (in all fairness, Aliza has fronted other Italian theme restaurants in the past and has done very well by them). Even Neil Stein dabbled in a Med-rim style romp with Marabella’s, and while he still had storefronts, Steve Poses as well. I’m not even chasing down the rubber stamp pasta chains that are popular in these parts. Now I’m not saying you have to be Italian to cook Italian, but this trend seems to occur in other cities as well. I’ve heard the argument that that Italian cuisine is easy to set-up, prep and go faux with some olive oil, cracked pepper, parm and garlic. But some of my favorite Italian stops in the area have a distinctive style and balance about them. They’re the reason that this cuisine is not becoming a common dominator.

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