When I opened the door to my Chicago apartment one April evening, I found my neighbor, Francesca, standing there, cradling a dish the size of a truck tire. I recognized it immediately. It was her pasta bowl: white porcelain decorated with tiny painted roses and crazed inside with spidery lines the color of strong tea. Once, the bowl had been her mo...

A new restaurant combining Italian and Southern food is scheduled to open this week in Biddeford. Yeto’s,at 299 Main St., will open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday to serve Valentine’s Day dinner, then open for good the following Tuesday, according to manager Jackie Hardin, who co-owns the restaurant with her fiancé, chef Bryan Casale. The food will ref...

Kim Trafton, a former waitress at Mimmo’s Italian restaurant, said her old boss Mimmo Basileo is probably cooking up a storm for all of his friends in heaven, sitting down with them at the dinner table and enjoying good conversation and a good glass of wine. Certainly, that is what he did in life, this “local legend” who held forth at his restauran...

Unless you’ve been to Italy, you may very well have never experienced anything quite like the Damariscotta restaurant Osteria Bucci. The little gem is tucked away off a small alleyway, and the sign hanging beside the door is as small and unpretentious as the interior is. In fact, unless you happen to get a whiff of whatever is cooking inside on any...

The Roma Café you remember is gone forever. You should know that from the outset. The original, an Italian-American restaurant that once occupied the lower floors of the Rines mansion in Portland’s West End, had a remarkable run. When its white tablecloths were taken to the laundry for the last time in 2008, the restaurant had been open (and mostly...

Maine is the birthplace of the Italian sandwich. They were first made by John Amato at his shop down on India Street. For the past 45 years, they have been made by Dominic Reali who has also expanded the chain to 42 stores. Mr. Reali is a real Italian himself, having immigrated to the United States in 1955.  Speaking no English, he went to work and...

The owner of Portland Pottery Café at 122 Washington Ave. has applied for a liquor license so the popular breakfast and lunch spot can transform into a casual Italian restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining at night. The café is open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Under the new arrangement, hours wi...

Eating at Lazzari, a new pizza restaurant in Portland’s Arts District, I learned a few surprising things. First, you can safely put your hand on the glinting copper dome of their Le Panyol pizza oven, built in Skowhegan from imported blocks of French white clay. Even though the deck routinely reaches 750 degrees F, and the surrounding cavity snorts...

I attended the Sept. 18 City Council meeting that was attempting to eradicate Columbus Day as a city holiday, a proposal sponsored by Councilor Pious Ali. It is true that Native Americans endured many atrocities in the past, and these actions should be rectified, but not at the expense of celebrating our Italian ancestors, who also faced discrimina...

A Newcastle selectman has suggested that the town formally recognize the second Monday in October, Columbus Day, by some other name. Joel Lind brought the topic up for discussion during the Newcastle Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, after reading an article about the Portland City Council’s resolution to recognize the day as Indigenous Peopl...