The best restaurant in Hawthorn is always a good stop for some cultural and traditional education. This is especially the case when the restaurant specializes in a particular cuisine. Here, let’s focus on the glorious Italian way of life and cooking. Over the years, Italian dishes have been heralded as one of the world’s best, and that comes as no surprise.
Italian dishes offer something exquisite, one that’s often too irresistible to just about anyone. The intricate flavors are carefully balanced to produce a flavor that’s like no other. Ways and means of food preparation date back centuries. More often than not, their methods have been tweaked just a little bit to keep up with the times. However, some prefer the age-old and unchanged ways which make the dishes even more authentic.
Traditional and home-cooked component
These priced Italian dishes have been prepared at home for many years. In fact, traditional celebrations and feasts pave the way to showcase each and every household’s specialty. It even becomes a friendly competition among neighbors which makes it even more exciting. With the advent of many Italian restaurants, this method of traditional food preparation at home has to be duplicated.
With such demand to produce the most authentic and traditional home-cooked dishes, Italian restaurants continue to innovate. Some restaurants use modern technology to meet the order volume and demands of patrons while not veering away from the traditional preparation. Others take their own sweet time and use everything that’s been handed down by their elders. At the end of the day, it’s the finished product that matters the most.
From traditional means of food preparation comes the all-important ingredients. For centuries, traditional Italian dishes stick to the common staples. These ingredients define the unique and fascinating Italian cuisine. Wherever one goes, whether as a guest in a traditional Italian home or at an authentic Italian restaurant, these are the common ingredients no one can miss:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Not only is it used for frying, but the extra-virgin olive oil is also used for a wide array of salad dressings. Traditionally, it is also used for dipping Italian bread (like focaccia) with balsamic vinegar. This makes for a good appetizer or prelude to the main dish.
The authentic balsamic vinegar is produced in Modena or Emilia-Romagna. Balsamic vinegar is commonly used in marinades. It gives a robust and tangy flavor which completely enhances the flavor of any dish. Just like olive oil, balsamic vinegar is also commonly used as a salad dressing.
Perhaps, it is safe to say that no Italian dish is complete without garlic. It is used as a base for any dish commonly sauteed or fried in olive oil. Pasta dishes, particularly, often use a lot of garlic with other ingredients. However, the aroma and flavor of garlic are enhanced but not overpowered.
What’s the Italian best restaurant in Hawthorn without serving pasta? It’s like no burgers served in a diner. It just doesn’t make sense altogether, right? Aside from the beloved pizza, it’s most likely pasta that people visit an Italian restaurant for. Now, there are the ready-to-cook ones (which are awesome). However, many traditional Italian restaurants prefer to prepare it from scratch.
Locally known as capperi, the capers offer this salty and tangy kick to any pasta sauce such as the puttanesca. Also, other dishes get a good amount of the capers such as the chicken piccata. To some, capers may take a little getting used to. However, it won’t take long until one completely appreciates this tiny floral ingredient which makes any dish jump with so much unique flavor.
Cheese has been an Italian favorite. The likes of Parmigiano-Reggiano never fail to give a rich, creamy, and tangy flavor to many pasta sauces. Let’s not forget the Pecorino cheese which is made from sheep’s milk perfect for any pasta sauces as well. Who can ever forget the Mozzarella? Pizza, for one, will not be complete without seeing those intoxicatingly lovely strands of stretched mozzarella cheese before having a bite, right?
Perhaps one of the most commonly used greens in Italian cooking. The basil is usually used as an ingredient in pizza, pasta, and salads. It can also be used as a lovely garnish to complete the entire look of any traditional Italian dish. Let’s not forget that basil is the star of the show in pesto sauce.
Tips on choosing the best restaurant in Hawthorn
With traditional and home-cooked methods applied to every dish, plus totally Italian ingredients in check, the next is to scout for the best Italian restaurant to witness all these factors come to life. What are the important factors to consider in choosing the best restaurant in Hawthorn? Let these items help out when choosing the restaurant that best captures the very essence of Italian cooking.
Market research is key
How does one do this? First, utilize the most convenient resources- family and friends. Ask for recommendations. Surely, they have their favorite Italian restaurants as well. After securing some suggestions from them, go online and check on reviews.
It might be wise to search for the best restaurant in Hawthorn or perhaps the best Italian restaurant near me. The good and highly-rated ones should immediately appear. See if their recommendations are there. Don’t just rely on the score. Dig deeper by reading what other customers have to say.
Restaurant authenticity is key
Much has been said about traditional home-cooked preparation and Italian staples. Therefore, those should be considered in choosing an Italian restaurant. Apart from the ingredients and methods of cooking, the entire restaurant’s look and feel should also be considered.
From the outside all the way to the interior, the restaurant should give anyone a vibe of being in Italy. The look will even be more complete with traditional decorations and even music. Customers visit authentic Italian restaurants not only to enjoy their food but also to learn more about the country without leaving home.
Specific hours only
Well, this may not be applicable in places outside Italy for obvious reasons. However, the traditional and authentic Italian restaurants are only open during specific times of the day. This is because Italians are pretty serious with their meal timers. The authentic ones are only open between noon until 2:30 pm for lunch and re-opens from 7:30 pm until closing time (usually before midnight).
Outside Italy, authentic restaurants are most likely going to be open the entire day. However, there are also those that are closed after lunch and before dinner. If there is an Italian restaurant that follows this schedule, better make reservations! That’s clearly an authentic restaurant that should not be missed!
A picture paints a thousand but no thanks
In Italy, restaurants with pictures on their menu mean it’s not authentic. It can also be meant to please the tourists and not locals. End of the day, it is advisable to choose restaurants that do away with picture menus. Customers come back to the restaurant not because of its glossy photos but through the great food they serve.
Outside Italy, however, picture menus may come in handy to educate curious customers. That can’t be a fault. It can be one of the many innovations without taking away the overall authenticity of an establishment. But, if there’s one Italian restaurant that actually has no photos on the menu and all details are provided by its educated servers, that’s a gem! It’s a place that may be worth considering as the best restaurant in Hawthorn (an Italian one, for that matter).