Fasano, São Paolo, Brazil
Opened in 1982, Fasano has truly raised the bar for Italian cooking in Brazil. Winning more awards than any other restaurant in São Paulo and currently sitting at number 59 in the S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list, it continues to push the boundaries of the cuisine to this day.
Under the guidance of chef Salvatore Loi and seasoned restaurateur Rogério Fasano, the restaurant has built up an enviable reputation for its innovative cooking served in stylish surroundings. While the Fasano family originally hails from northern Italy the restaurant is not restricted to cooking from this region, but instead provides a culinary tour of Italy’s “patchwork quilt of gastronomy” with food inspired from all parts of the country. As well as a la carte, it serves regional four-course menus from Capri, Piemonte, Milan and Umbria, as well as a menu comprising dishes held dear by the Fasano family, giving diners a true yet diverse flavour of Italian cuisine.
Loi’s trademark is combining the old with the new, so traditional, time-honoured recipes – some dating back 200 years – are refined, reinterpreted and reimagined on the plate with a light and confident touch. As you’d expect, the ingredients shift with the seasons while Loi’s almost fanatical approach to sourcing the finest produce, both homegrown and from Italy, ensures the quality of food is second to none.
An impressive wine cellar with one of the best selections of Italian reds in Brazil, overseen by group sommelier Manoel Beato, rounds off the offer showcasing traditional barolos and brunellos picked personally by Beato and Rogério Fasano on visits to Piemonte and Tuscany. Since 2003 the restaurant has sat at its new location on the ground floor of the swanky Fasano hotel. The new surroundings have undoubtedly created a more elegant dining atmosphere that befits a restaurant that has attracted so many plaudits, yet it continues to offer a taste of La Dolce Vita with a bar that plays live music every evening.
Cucina Paradiso, Buenos Aires, Argentina
This cafe-restaurant-cum-deli is a melting pot of authentic ingredients, rustic preparation and homely charm that has made it one of Argentina’s most talked about Italian eateries. From cold cuts of Italian meats and cheeses and homemade focaccia and antipasti to seafood platters, risotto, regional pastries and the finest Italian coffee, this bustling, no-frills establishment brings the true essence of Italian hospitality to the people of Buenos Aires.
L’Osteria del Becco, Mexico City, Mexico
L’Osteria del Becco celebrates its 10th birthday next year, testament to its success in serving bold, modern Italian food that remains true to its culinary roots. Chef Julian Martinez fuses traditional seasonal ingredients – either imported from Italy or, in the case of his meat and fish, locally sourced or caught off the Mexican coast – with cutting-edge techniques, making this restaurant in the Polanco district of Mexico City the talk of the town.