A restaurant/takeaway which has a major appreciation for a country’s cuisine would have to be very courageous in being called ‘We Love (Insert Country Name Here)’. It would have to understand and agree to the traditional methods of how to produce such exquisite food items which are praised by that particular country.
As it happens, a restaurant known as ‘We Love Italy’ has been created to ensure that the passion for Italian cuisine is passed on across Europe and the UK. To be exact, there are six restaurants in total covering this spread of land (Two in Spain and one in Switzerland, Italy, Czechia, and the UK). The founders began selling pizza, piadinas (wraps), polenta, and other typical Italian food items in 2012 as a sole proprietorship in Padua, Italy.
The company began the ‘We Love Italy’ project in late 2014 (opening the first store in Venice) and in Cardiff in January 2015 (first store abroad from Italy). Its mission is to provide a large number of customers the chance to eat real, high-quality, and healthy Italian food at a reasonable price, complete with friendly and fast service. The Cardiff restaurant was the establishment I visited to be provided with the full ‘We Love Italy’ experience.
As I step inside the restaurant in time for lunch service, I am pleasantly surprised at the cosiness of the place. Five tables out of six were available for me to choose from, and the chef behind the counter invites me to sit anywhere I wish due to the quiet nature the restaurant is experiencing. I decide to sit just opposite the counter so I can watch the chef work her magic in producing the pizzas and other dishes on order.
A few minutes after sitting down, the chef on current duty walks over and delivers a menu to me. The menu is very clear to read and boldly displays certain pictures of how a number of the dishes appear once completed. The selection of food items includes pasta & Gnocchi, specialties, pizza, and piadinas. A drink menu is also available on the back of this menu, but I’m not tempted to purchase anything alcoholic with it being so early in the day for that.
After studying this menu, and upon the food runner’s arrival at my table, I request the Crudo Pizza, which is a pizza that is supplied with the toppings of mozzarella cheese and Parma ham with a tomato pizza sauce supplying the real flavour of Italy. I also request an Orange San Pellegrino to quench my thirst after a morning full of strolling around the centre of Cardiff. The chef then heads back to his kitchen area to prepare and serve my order.
A good ten minutes pass by, and I am presented with my Crudo Pizza along with my Orange San Pellegrino. The pizza appears in a rustic circular form, and the mozzarella cheese and tomato pizza sauce are close to representing the exact two red and white colours on the Italian flag. The lightly pinked Parma ham is scattered evenly over the mozzarella cheese, and contributes to the pizza’s aromatic smell along with the aroma of the freshly baked pizza dough.
The first bite of this pizza describes to me that the toppings easily slide off of the pizza dough, which makes me look slightly messy as I use my fingers to guide the toppings into my eager mouth. I head over to a counter where napkins and cutlery are available should I wish to not look too much like a messy eater. The slight saltiness of the Parma ham kicks in after my first slice is consumed, and it continues to deliver its presence as I consume the rest of the pizza. Silence falls around me as I become the only person dining for lunch in ‘We Love Italy’, and it is a silence that I personally like to experience from time to time.
Between each slice, I sip on my San Pellegrino, its freshness is soothing to my throat as it is relieved of thirst. I then draw my focus to consuming the last three slices of my exquisite Crudo Pizza, and I am intent on savouring these last three slices. I then finish these pizza slices off and the chef checks on me to see if I am finished consuming my pizza, and I confirm that I have done so. She removes the contents from my table, including the empty San Pellegrino can, and I then prepare to depart from my table.
I head over to the checkout in front of the kitchen and I state my table number to the chef. She then adds up the amount she is looking for me to pay for the whole service I have just received for my lunch. I then pay the balance, compliment the chef for a delicious lunch and depart the restaurant with a full stomach.
The experience at ‘We Love Italy’ really showed me that the chefs at this restaurant are indeed knowledgeable of the different food items that originated in Italy and how to create these following the traditional methods in making them. It acts well as a beacon of the love that Cardiff has for Italian cuisine and also as a beacon for other cities around Europe in which this restaurant is located.
To read more about this restaurant, head to https://weloveitaly.net/, where you will find out more about ‘We Love Italy’ and the menu items on offer.
The Crudo pizza I sampled came to a cost of £8.45, which is the average cost for most pizzas available at 'We Love Italy' in Cardiff.