In Italy, a ‘bar’ is a multi-functional establishment that welcomes its patrons throughout the day. In the morning it is a coffee shop, where to enjoy the traditional ‘cornetto and cappuccino’ breakfast; at lunchtime, it may offer quick hot and cold dishes; in the afternoon, it may turn into a tea room; and in the evenings, some choose to delight customers with a delightful ‘apericena‘ (playing with the words ‘aperitif’ and ‘cena’, Italian for dinner) proposing amazing recipes turned into morsels and signature drinks.
Not all establishments choose to wear so many hats, and many specialize in an aspect of this wide range of offers. ‘Bar d’Italia 2019‘ presents the state of the art of the entire sector, listing 1300 bars spread all over the country, with only three new entries: ‘Gilli Bar‘ of the St. Regis in Florence, ‘Bar Zucca‘ in Turin, and the newly opened ‘Spazio Pane e Caffè‘, the Roman adventure of Niko Romito. Of all the bars listed, 44 of them obtaining top marks expressed in ‘Chicchi‘ (beans), for the quality of the coffee, and in ‘Tazzine‘ (cups), an overall rating of the venue that includes the food offer.
The Gambero Rosso‘s experts identified the best bar of the year in Almenno San Bartolomeo (Bergamo), where the ‘Illy – Bar dell’Anno’ award went to ‘La Pasqualina‘ for the absolute quality of the products, for the pursuit of healthy products, and for the spreading of the food culture through didactical activities. A special mention, went to ‘Staccoli Caffè‘ in Cattolica (Rimini) for the especially high quality of its proposal, from the research of raw materials to their transformation, and for the way it declines tradition in a contemporary way. While the ‘San Bitter Prize for the Aperitif of the Year’ landed in Florence at the ‘Le Mènagere’, where it is possible to enjoy an aperitif of excellence and quality based on signature morsels.
Ilona Catani Scarlett