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Our Favorite Traditional Italian Foods (and Where to Get Them!)

Looking for the best traditional Italian foods to try during your next trip to Italy? Take it from us- we know all the best traditional Italian foods from each region of the beautiful country.  Check out our list below:

Pizza

Arguably the most iconic symbol of Italian food is the pizza.  What many may not know is that the modern development of pizza is argued to have originated in Naples after poor locals began using tomato as a topping on their yeast-based flat bread.  The dish slowly began gaining popularity in the early 1800s.

Most true Italians will argue that there are two different types of pizza — the marinara and the margherita.  The ‘marinara’ pizza is a flatbread pizza topped with tomato, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. La marinara refers to the seaman’s wife, who is traditionally known as the one to cook and prepare this meal for when her husband returns from the Bay of Naples.  The ‘margherita’ is a flatbread pizza topped with a light spread of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. As the story goes, Raffaele Esposito baked several special pizzas for King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889 while the two were passing through.  The Queen’s favorite was the one that captured true Italian patriotism, symbolizing the Italian flag. The basil leaves represented the green, the mozzarella was the white, and the tomatoes of course represented the red. In honor of how much Queen Margherita enjoyed this pizza, the creation was named ‘margherita’ pizza.

Due to its popularity, pizza can be found on nearly every street in Italy.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that every restaurant has great pizza however.  The general rule of thumb for ordering pizza in Italy is ‘less is more,’ in terms of toppings.  Italians traditionally like more natural flavors and believe that adding more will distract from the true beauty of the meal.

Best place to get it: Naples

Florentine Steak

When most people think of Italian cooking, steak isn’t usually one of the first traditional Italian foods to come to mind.  However, bistecca alla Fiorentina, is actually one of the most famous traditional Italian dishes in the city of Florence.  For all the meat lovers out there, this unique dish will make your mouth water.

Florentine steak has a very specific preparation.  The Porterhouse cut between the sirloin and tenderloin, or the costata, must come solely from the loin near the shoulder of the Chianina cow, which is raised in Tuscany.  The 5 centimeter-thick T-bone is cooked for 5 to 7 minutes on each side over a wooden fire until the outside is cooked, while the inside remains a dark red, tender rare.

Unlike the pizza, this Italian dish should be exclusively order within the Tuscan region, whether that be in the heart of Florence or more in the countryside.  Another unique aspect about this Italian dish, is that it’s meant to be shared. Italians customarily look down upon sharing food, but this 1-2 kg item, they’ll make an exception.  

One of the best restaurants within the heart of Florence is Ristorante Perseus, located near Piazza della Libertà and Piazza Savonarola.  Most people order the steak with a side of the crispy roasted potatoes.

Best place to get it: Florence

Risotto

Northern Italy is known for its delicious, creamy rice bowls known as risotto.  Arborio and Carnaroli are two of the most common varieties grown in the expansive rice paddies found in Italy.  To make risotto, rice is cooked in stock and mixed into a velvety consistency. Sometimes vegetables, seafood, porcini mushrooms, or sausage may be added to intensify flavors.

Saffron-infused risotto alla milanese is arguably the most famous type of risotto.  This dish is made with meat stock, bone marrow, cheese, and of course, saffron, giving the creamy soup-like meal a yellow tint.

Best place to get it: Milan

Gelato

If you go to Italy and don’t get at least one or two scoops of gelato a day, did you even enjoy yourself? 

Like pizza, gelato can be found everywhere in Italy.  When seeking to find the perfect gelato, however, there are a few things to keep in mind.  Look at the material of the containers the gelato is being stored in. If the gelato is in a silver or metal circular container, that usually indicates the gelato is freshly made.  True artisan gelato is slowly-churned to ensure an intense flavor and creamy texture. Gelato isn’t made for long-term storage, so stay away from the white or plastic containers. In addition, look at the actual color of the gelato — are they neon or natural tones?  If the fruit flavors (strawberry or fragola for example) are in season, they should be bright in color as good gelato is made with real, natural ingredients.

Best place to get it: Sicily

If you’d like to try some of these traditional Italian foods right here in Los Angeles, come join us at Spumoni Restaurants! Buon appetito!

Book your reservation today here: http://www.spumonirestaurants.com/reservation/

Our locations are listed below.

Santa Monica

713 Montana Ave. 

Santa Monica, California

90403 United States

(310) 393-2944

Sherman Oaks

14533 Ventura Blvd.

Sherman Oaks, California

91403 United States

Stevenson Ranch

24917 Pico Canyon Rd.

Stevenson Ranch, California

91381 United States

Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks

1714 Newbury Rd.

Newbury Park, California

91320 United States

Best Health Benefits of Italian Food

Italian cuisine has had a bad reputation in the world of health for as long as we can remember. It is true that Italian food is typically full of cheesy goodness, carb-filled heaven, and rich deserts.

However, there are actually countless health benefits of Italian food that many people don’t know about. If you weren’t already, here are some healthy reasons to indulge yourself in the best cuisine in the world.

 

Olive Oil

Olive oil might be the most obvious health benefit. Olive oil is widely known as a very healthy fat, filled with ones called monounsaturated fats that are extremely beneficial for your heart health. It also helps reduce low-density lipoproteins, which are the “bad” cholesterol that negatively affects your heart. Instead, it boosts levels of high-density lipoproteins, which are the good kind of cholesterol that removes harmful cholesterol. It can be found in salad dressings, pasta dishes, used to cook seafood, meat, or veggies, or simply in a dish for bread to be dipped in.

Garlic

Garlic is strong in more ways than just spicing up your food and making your breath smell bad. It has amazing antibacterial and anti-fungi properties. Even better, it contains sulfides that fight risks of almost every type of cancer; breast, colon, throat, stomach, skin, etc. Its commonly found in the majority of Italian dishes, from sautéed vegetables to pasta sauces.

Tomatoes

Also known as the staple fruit of Italian food, tomatoes are rich with potassium, and both vitamin C and A. If thats not enough, tomatoes also contain lycopene, a heart protective antioxidant. Cooking tomatoes is an easy and effective method to bring out the available lycopene. Eating pastas dishes with fresh, homemade tomato sauce is a great way to boost your lycopene intake, ensuring a healthy heart.

Whole Grains

Thats right, carbs aren’t all bad for you! As opposed to refined grains, whole grains have a lower glycemic index which means they don’t raise glucose and insulin levels with a dramatic spike. Instead, they retain fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. Sustaining a diet rich with whole grains can protect against heart disease and diabetes. Whole grain pastas are served in a variety of ways at Italian restaurants so you will never be limited to one dish.

Seafood

Whether it be grilled fish, shrimp, or octopus, the health benefits of seafood are plentiful. Specifically, salmon is often attributed with low cholesterol and high protein. It is true that salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, B vitamins, and antioxidants. However, shrimp doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. A healthy dose of shrimp provides a sufficient amount of omega-3 acids to decrease inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve the function of cells lining your arteries. Stop in for our salmon dish complete with lemon, capers, and a white wine sauce or our Cioppino Mediterraneo, which is a seafood lover’s heaven; fresh fish, clams, shrimp, calamari, and mussels in a light tomato fish broth.

If those don’t appeal to your taste buds, Spumoni is proudly home to all of the healthy ingredients above! We are proud to offer something that everyone will love, especially when they include these health benefits. Next time you’re craving Italian, head into Spumoni Restaurants and don’t feel guilty indulging a little bit!

Best Family Friendly Restaurants in Los Angeles

spumoni-catering

Best Family Friendly Restaurants in Santa Monica

When it comes time for a family dinner, we understand that it can be a daunting task to make it a success. Firstly, you need the perfect environment that still feels like a nice night out, but isn’t too fancy to bring the kids. You don’t want to receive unwelcome glances from fellow diners as soon as you walk in with children. Then there’s the challenge of finding a restaurant whose food will make everyone happy. Naturally, each person member will likely want to eat something different, so you need a family friendly menu with a wide range of options. Lucky for you, Spumoni checks off on all the above.

Versatile Atmosphere

Spumoni Restaurants pride themselves on the fact that the mood of their restaurant can fit whoever the diner is. The atmosphere is extremely versatile, making it a perfect destination for date night or family dinners. The tables are adorned with candles and flowers, giving it a very romantic feel if thats what you’re looking for. If its a full family affair, Spumoni has you covered there too. The restaurant is extremely family friendly, complete with children’s menus to keep the younger ones happy and entertained. Even better, Spumoni also caters to the needs of dogs for those that want to bring their furry friends to dine with them. The dog friendly outdoor dining area is even complete with doggy bowls filled with water.

Endless Options

As far as menus go, Spumoni’s is one of the most extensive in Santa Monica. There is something for everyone, no matter how picky the eater. They provide wide array of authentic Italian classics, such as minestrone soup, eggplant parmesan, and linguini with clams. These don’t even include the entire section of the menu dedicated to homemade pastas and the vast ‘gnocchi bar’. For those not in the mood for pasta, do not fear; the bases are also covered for fresh meat, fish, and salad dishes. And of course, one could never go to an Italian restaurant and not think about pizza. Aside from their general pizza menu, they also offer a category for specialty New York Style pizza. Let the adults have their wine and three course meal, while the younger members of the family can enjoy the more kid friendly options. Everyone will leave full and happy!

Entertaining Environment

Santa Monica is one of the most family friendly environments in Los Angeles. It is famous for Third Street Promenade, a charming and welcoming outdoor mall that stretches multiple blocks through Santa Monica. In addition to the wealth of stores it offers, you can also find countless restaurants, movie theaters, and other sources of entertainment. However, one of the best features of Third Street Promenade is the street performers. At almost any time of the day or night, you are guaranteed to find at least one dance group, musician, or magician within the span of the promenade. It is unbeatable, family friendly entertainment thats a perfect way to end the night after a meal at Spumoni. The two happen to be in conveniently close proximity to each other, so it wouldn’t be asking too much to take a stroll down the promenade while everyone digests their delicious meal.

Come into Spumoni’s Santa Monica location and enjoy the ideal family friendly restaurant. You’re sure to be the hero of the family and make everyone’s night!

Why LA Eateries Featured Spumoni on Instagram

Why LA Eateries Featured Spumoni on Instagram

If you haven’t jumped on the foodie-instagram train yet, it is highly recommended that you change that; you’re missing out. They can be turned to for cooking inspiration, restaurant recommendations, or simply good, old fashioned food porn. Food Instagrams, aka “Foodstagrams” are beginning to take over a large percentage of the content on the social media app. Established connoisseurs and passionate foodies alike are taking to Instagram to share the most mouth-watering foods, and the best restaurants for their followers to find them.

LA Food Community

Those who are part of the food-Instagram world know that Los Angeles is the proud owner of some of the most creative, mind-blowing foods in the country. It is impossible to think up a cuisine or combination that hasn’t been done by a niche restaurant or food truck in Los Angeles. Because of this, the LA “Foodstagram” community is a competitive one, all vying with each other to be unique enough to build as much credibility and as many followers as possible.

One of the accounts that has earned this reputation goes by the Instagram handle @losangeleseateries. With over half a million followers, Los Angeles Eateries is a respected source of food-related content primarily in the Los Angeles area, but also ventures into the world beyond at times. Their account features everything from outrageous burgers to opulent brunches to deserts that look too beautiful to possibly be edible.

Spumoni’s Shoutout

Just four days ago, Spumoni Italian Restaurant earned a post on the ever-impressive Los Angeles Eateries account. The post included an extremely complimentary caption, advising followers to visit the Santa Monica Spumoni location. It also featured four beautiful pictures of some of Spumoni’s authentic Italian dishes: two classic wood-fired pizzas, a pasta dish, and a salad garnished with salmon. The post garnered 15,194 likes (and counting), as well as over 70 positive comments.

What Makes Spumoni Special?

While this particular shoutout was specifically for the Santa Monica location, Spumoni has numerous other locations in the Southern California/Los Angeles region. They are widely known as a neighborhood favorite due to their cozy Italian atmosphere and extensive menu. Not only do they offer classic Italian favorites, but they also stand out from other Italian restaurants because of unique additions such as their gnocchi bar. Perfect for any occasion, Spumoni is your destination for date night, a big family dinner, or even a night in, thanks to their delivery option.

Most importantly, the A+ quality of the food cannot be questioned now that Spumoni received a positive shoutout from Los Angeles Eateries. In the LA food community, that is the ultimate stamp of approval. Come in to one of Spumoni’s locations to see for yourself, and follow @losangeleseateries for more of LA’s best food recommendations!

Best Restaurants in Santa Clarita

Best Restaurants in Santa Clarita

Who says you have to journey across the globe to experience authentic Italian food? Citizens and visitors of Santa Clarita, look no further; you are among some of the best restaurants, namely Spumoni Italian Restaurant. Learn more about this Southern California favorite that feels just like dining in Italy!

The Best Compliment to Any Activity

Whether you are a local or just a visitor of the sunny city, Spumoni is the best restaurant in Santa Clarita to precede or follow your daily activities. Grab a quick pizza for lunch before a hike or biking excursion. End your day of shopping or golfing with a relaxing glass of wine in a dimly-lit setting. Satisfy the hunger you worked up from riding adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters all day at Six Flags Magic Mountain with your favorite pasta dish. No matter how you spend your time in Santa Clarita, Spumoni fits in perfectly at any time of day.

Perfect for Any Occasion

Spumoni Restaurant is also the best solution to any conflict about what kind of occasion you are looking for in Santa Clarita. Planning a romantic date night with your significant other? Enter Spumoni, whose candlelit and flower-decorated tables are sure to create a ‘Lady and The Tramp’ moment between the two of you. If its a big family night, Spumoni is also eager to create the best family friendly environment for family members of any age. In addition to the dine-in options, Spumoni understands that sometimes you just need to cuddle up in your pajamas with your favorite Italian comfort food. For those occasions, Spumoni also delivers to your home; no need for the added effort of going out in public.

Extensive Menu

Feeling like a casual pizza, a comforting pasta dish you know and love, or wanting to branch out a little bit? Spumoni’s diverse and large menu allows for all of the above. It covers the classic Italian salads, soups, pizzas, homemade pastas, and fish and meat dishes for those that want to stick to what they know. However, the more unique sections of Spumoni’s menu include an entire section of New York-style Italian dishes, as well as a Gnocchi Bar offering 10+ different variations of the pasta. Feel free to take a chance on something new or keep it classic.

Authentic Italian Experience

Spumoni Restaurant knows and respects the charming atmosphere that comes with authentic Italian dining, and the goal is to replicate it so that you don’t have to fly across the world to experience that. Pay Spumoni a visit for the same cozy character that you would find in a genuine Italian cafe. Bottles of wine adorn the walls against dark wood, while candles and flowers bring a romantic warmth to each table. At certain times, guests can delight in live music while they dine, delivering alluring favorites of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the like. If the indoors are not completely satisfactory, guests also have the option of dining on the outdoor patio, for a more open and lighter experience.

Spumoni is takes its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Santa Clarita seriously, and is constantly striving to create the absolute best dining experience for its customers. Join them for a visit to see for yourself. Buon Appetito!

Great Tasting Tiramisu

besttiramisu

Spumoni is a popular Italian cafe and pizzeria with several locations in the Los Angeles area. Spumoni has great tasting tiramisu. Spumoni’s  tiramisu has traditional Italian flavors. If you love tiramisu, you should try tiramisu from an authentic Italian restaurant.

Best Cannoli In Town

dessert-cannoli

Spumoni is a great family restaurant that serves traditional Italian food. Spumoni has the best cannoli in town. Be sure to save room for desert after enjoying a delicious Italian meal, because you are going to want to try Spumoni’s cannoli. Visit one of the many Spumoni locations in the Los Angeles area and try their cannoli, it will have you saying holy moli!

What Is Spumoni

What is spumoni? When talking about what is spumoni, one could be talking about one of two things. First off, spumoni is traditionally an Italian ice cream composed of three different colors, each color being a different flavor. Secondly, when asking what is Spumoni, one could be talking about the amazing Spumoni Italian cafe and pizzeria. Spumoni’ has several locations in the greater Los Angeles area.

Spumoni Ice Cream

spumoni-ice-cream
If you want some spumoni ice cream, then what better place to go then Spumoni. Spumoni has excellent spumoni ice cream. Traditional spumoni ice cream consists of red/pink, green, and brown color combinations. Each of these colors is a different delicious flavor. Visit one of the many Spumoni locations in Los Angeles and try some of the best spumoni ice cream.

Best Newbury Park Pizza

Enjoy some of the best Newbury Park pizza! Spumoni is a Italian cafe and pizzeria. A contributing factor that makes this the best Newbury Park pizza is the fact the Spumoni only uses the highest quality Wisconsin cheese. Additionally, every single slice of this Newbury Park pizza is made with fresh dough. Choose from one of Spumoni’s specialty pizzas or custom make your own Newbury Park pizza.