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There’s nothing like a great piece of fish…

pan seared salmon recipe

Especially when it’s cooked Italian style!

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Casual elegance at Ciao Bello

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Ciao, the history of the word that is part of our name

From the department of “Just for Fun”…

Ciao… It’s a word that you hear nearly every day. Whether Italy, France, Germany, England, or the U.S.

It’s one of those words — a popular salutation — that has become a thread in the fabric of our lives. From teenagers to their grandparents, from celebrities to Joe the Plumber, from New York to Los Angeles and every neighborhood in between, even if you don’t use the word, you know what it means…

In English ciao is used exclusively as a salutation when saying good-bye.

In Italian, it’s used as both a greeting and a farewell. And when saying good-bye, Italians will often say it twice: ciao ciao

The word comes from sixteenth-century Venetian dialect, ciao from the Latin sclavus meaning slave.

It was commonly used at the court of Venice (at the height of the Most Serene Republic of Venice) to express respect as in the saying, “I am your humble servant.”

In English it’s commonly pronounced similarly to the word chow (/ˈtʃaʊ/).

In Italian, the oh in the (letter) o is more prominent (ˈtʃaːo).

The Venetians, who have a five- as opposed to seven-vowel system (like that in Italian), emphasize all the vowels: chee-ah-oh.

Such a small word but such a great legacy. All stretching back to a form of courtesy in Renaissance Venice.

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Mayor Parker proclaims April 1 “Tony Vallone Day”

Left: Donna and Tony Vallone.

It was fifty years ago today that Tony Vallone first opened the doors of his celebrated and critically acclaimed restaurant Tony’s on Sage in 1965.

To honor this momentous occasion, Mayor Annise Parker has proclaimed April 1 “Tony Vallone Day.”

The text of her proclamation follows.

For his own celebration of the anniversary, Tony is planning a gala event at the restaurant to benefit Memorial Hermann Life Flight on November 19, 2015.

We’ll be posting event details as soon as they become available. So please stay tuned.

And in the meantime, thank you for sharing Tony’s fifty years as one of America’s great gastronomic pioneers and one of Houston’s most beloved restaurateurs.

From the office of Mayor Annise Parker, Houston:

WHEREAS, Tony Vallone and his restaurant, Tony’s, have set a new standard for fine Italian dining in Houston ever since the restaurant opened in April 1965; and,

WHEREAS, Tony Vallone has been widely recognized — in Houston and beyond — as an American gastronomic pioneer who introduced authentic Italian cuisine to a generation of food lovers in Texas; and,

WHEREAS, today, as a culinary renaissance continues to expand across the country, Tony Vallone stands apart as a prince among foodies and an indefatigable champion of gastronomic innovation and creativity; and,

WHEREAS, on April 1, 2015, Tony’s will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The City of Houston commends and recognizes Tony’s for its exceptional service and extends best wishes for continued success.

THEREFORE, I, Annise D. Parker, Mayor of the City of Houston, hereby proclaim April 1, 2015, as Tony Vallone Day.

Brunch? In Italy they call it “broonch”


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Above: The Kobe Burger with Fried Egg, Parmigiano Reggiano Fries, and Tomato Marmalade.

Italians love American pop culture: from Coca Cola to Michael Jackson, from Timberland boots to Woody Allen, they just can’t seem to get enough of it.

But in recent years, another all-American phenomenon has begun to command the attention — and appetites — of the Milanese and the Romans: brunch, or as the Italians call it, “broonch”.

It’s quite remarkable, really: in a country whose cuisine has conquered the world (can you imagine an American city or town without a pizzeria and an Italian restaurant?) and where food lovers generally hold American food in disdain (partly out of snobbery and partly because of the commercial forces that drive American fastfood), brunch has become an unstoppable fashion.
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