Authentic Italian in Sao Paulo’s Itaim: Fornaio d’Italia

While there are tons of delicious Italian restaurants in São Paulo, Il Fornaio d’Italia might be the most authentic.  When you walk in you will notice how simple and informal the restaurant is: small tables, paper table cloths, a large open kitchen window and a wall covered in awards.  There is no fixed menu. The 3 pastas and 3 meats change according to the disposition of the owners, Marcello and Leticia Pesce. This means that the menu is different every day making it a constant ‘first experience’ (kind of cool).  Once you have ordered your drinks they will write menu on the table (below) and you have the option of selecting your pasta and a meat.Start off with a basket of homemade croutons and bread.  If you are really hungry get the ‘couvert’ of meat, cheese and delicious tomatoes (below).  I’ll be honest the multi-color deli meat is not for me so I steered clear of that, but the cheese was good and the tomatoes were excellent.

Before your meal arrives you will receive a “Bib” so you can reallydig right in (see the red below).  I think that the real reason for the bib is because the restaurant is very popular with the guys in finance that work near by and it probably wouldn’t go over well if they returned from a lunch break with their suits covered in tomato sauce.  The food was simple and yet extremely flavorful.  The beef (prepared brisket style) served with pasta bolognese (below) tasted like it was straight from Italy.

And the zucchini ragu pasta and chicken that I had was superb.  The potatoes were a bit unnecessary so I skipped those but the pasta was out of this world good.If you want a taste of traditional Italian food, Il Fornaio d’Italia  will satisfy that craving.  It is closed on weekends and there is usually a line out the door during lunch so I recommend going for an earlier dinner if you are seeking a nice quite meal.

 Il Fornaio d’Italia: R. Manuel Guedes, 160 – Moema – São Paulo – SP

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