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Recipes from a 4 star Italian Restaurant

Twenty years ago, along with one of the best partners I could ever ask for - my mother Yolanda - I opened a fine dining Italian restaurant outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We had a vision: to offer the highest quality food and service and create a memorable dining experience for each and every guest. Our hard work and focus rewarded us with many new friends around the globe, and almost as many awards.

Besides being mentioned in many magazines including Wine Spectator, and the Italian-published book, The Best 100 Italian Restaurants in North America, we were also one of only 647 in America, Canada and Mexico chosen to receive the prestigious DiRoNA award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) in 1999 where we are honored to be listed in the company of such great restaurants as Emeril's in New Orleans, Washington D.C.'s Galileo, The Fountain Restaurant in Philadelphia's Four Seasons Hotel, and among New York City's finest including, Felidia Ristorante, Montrachet, San Dominico, Palio, Le Cote Basque, The 21 Club, Petrossian and many others throughout North America that met the strict 75 point criteria to receive this honor.

Yolanda Salezze and Emeril Lagasse at the DiRoNa awards

We thought we would pass along some recipes that were our most requested. Yolanda has designed this menu with accompanying wines so you can enjoy a taste of Italy when you are snuggled in your own home and day dreaming of Italy. Put your favorite CD on the stereo, sharpen your knives and be prepared for an evening that will transport you back to Bella Italia.

In the future, we will offer seasonal menus based on the most popular choices in our restaurant. Feel free to email us with your requests for upcoming menus.

Buon appetito!


Cheese Hors d'oeuvre
Bellini with Fossi Prosecco di Valdobbiandene (Veneto)

Funghi alla Nino
Nino's Wild Mushrooms
Abbazia di Novacella Muller Thurgau (Alto Adige)

Soufel di Capelli d'Angelo
Angel Hair Pasta Souffle
Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d'Abruzzo(Abruzzo)

Filetto di Spigola alle Mandorle
Sea Bass Filet with Almonds
Cerretto Arnes Lange Blange (Piedmonte)


Francia Corta Brut Gremolata (Abruzzo)
Champagne Sorbet

Filetto di Vitella alle Perle di Zucca e Tartufo Nero
Filet of Veal with Zucchini Pearls and Black Truffles
Villa Cappezzana Carmignano (Tuscany)

Insalata di Arugula e Parmigiano Reggiano
Arugula Salad with Parmesan cheese

Tira mi su
Lady fingers with shaved chocolate and mascarpone cheese
Cerretto Moscato d'Asti (Piedmonte)

Espresso e Café

Nonino Single Grape Fragolino Grappa


Food and love in the Italian home go hand in hand. It is the center of all family gatherings and an expression of who they are. Our house was always centered around the kitchen table, and when I return to Italy, the most memorable times are the meals my family has prepared for us and the many family and friends gathered around the table. Almost everything on the menu is picked that day, with much fussing for choosing everything at their peak flavors. Italian cooking is not difficult; the most important thing in the Italian kitchen is using only the highest quality and the freshest ingredients you can buy. Do not skimp on the ingredients or you will sacrifice the flavor of the dish. If possible, shop the same day you are going to cook your meal.

If you are serving the entire menu for your dinner party, as is the European tradition, these recipes will serve eight. If you are choosing from this menu then they will serve four.