We are overly superstitious. Italians can take superstition to the next level. Avoiding walking under a ladder is pretty common, but things can get tricky when someone refuses to carry on driving because a black cat has just crossed their path.   To avoid "sfortuna," or bad luck, one would make a substantial detour. After tripping up, i...

After 18 years in an assuming little building on South Carrollton Avenue, chef "Nino" Bongiorno plans to close his doors there for the final time at the end of next month. "Everyone knows me, and everyone cries," Bongiorno said of word about his plans to close getting out.   But fans of Nino's chicken marsala and red wine still have rea...

If you're drinking coffee with the sole intent of staying awake, being productive or battling the Houston heat, Starbucks will do just fine. For all other days, seeking out small, independent shops is the best way to ensure a quality espresso.   Soon there will be another local Italian café to satisfy your quality caffeine craving. Fellini C...

by Nick Panzarella   If you're strolling down Kelvin in Rice Village, you'll eventually encounter an upscale coffee shop that seems in line with the entire Village vibe—that is until you realize the customers inside are all speaking in Italian. And those customers aren't just one Italian family in Houston by rare accident. You'll notice grou...

For all I know, it might actually have belonged to my great-grandmother, Giuseppina, a rock of a woman who brought her two younger kids over from Italy to track down her husband, who met them at the boat then disappeared again.   (There's more to that story, I'm sure.) You see how the tarnish on it, the bangs and dents, the sense of a histor...

by Meta Pettus   National Coffee Month is nearing its end but that doesn't mean you're going to stop drinking coffee. In fact, if you're like other Americans you might be nursing a cup of coffee right now. Galllup recently found that 64 percent of American adults reported drinking at least one cup of coffee daily, with only 10 percent o...

Smooth. Bold. Strong. Authentic. Italian. Words typically reserved to describe a delicious and gratifying cup of espresso coffee. However, the same words can also depict the man behind his coffee and espresso machines, Massimo Bresin, founder of Roma Espresso located in Kearny Mesa. Migrating in the late 1970's from Rome, Italy, Massimo's intentio...

by Mike Riccetti Coffee brewed as espresso – quickly in small amounts under pressure – is possibly the most distinctively Italian of beverages. In Italy espresso is consumed hastily, a very small cup at a time, in the morning and afternoons at small coffee shops called bars. It is the most common post-meal drink, too.   It has long been a s...

When I lived in Rome, "taking a coffee" (or, prendere un caffè) gave me heart palpitations. I never mastered the speed, system, or standing-up-ness of their counter culture.   I desperately craved a grande skim latté. No — I desperately craved a grande skim latté TO GO, which is absolutely impossible, as anyone who's ever visited Italy knows...

I was born in Rome, Italy but now live in San Francisco, CA where there is a big focus and excitement surrounding coffee; not just American coffee but Italian Espresso, Cappuccino and everything in between — unfortunately the espresso coffee is mostly terrible. Coffee shops/bars spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in interior design, purchase f...