For Italian cooks, excellence trumps innovation. And delivering a perfect pizza, a perfect cup of coffee, a perfect dish of smoked salmon with chives and lemon, is not simply a culinary act, it is also a cultural act. In Bar Italia, the excellence is delivered with sprezzatura polish – delivered confidently, calmly, all the hard work and consideration hidden from view, leaving just the most perfect dish of risotto, or an impeccable casserole of Tuscan sausage, with tomato and Sibilline lentils, or prawn tempura with basil pesto.
But this excellence of Bar Italia is not easy won. It depends on flawless sourcing, both of Italian and Irish foods, and then on intricate consideration – those signature pizzas, for example, are as good as they are because David Izzo has carefully sought out a special type of flour with higher protein and lower carbohydrate levels, and because pizza dough has had a 24 period in which to prove. Nothing, then, is as difficult as making something simple, and Bar Italia's signature dishes seem simple because the complicated work is disguised, by deliciousness, by excellence. It's a masterly work of art, and a masterly work of cultural discipline.
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