Favorite menu item at Bebo: Veal carpaccio—it’s thin slices of veal with fresh mushrooms on top, Parmesan, celery leaf, and lemon dressing. Very fresh.
Favorite type of pasta: Linguine with shrimp or lobster.
Favorite pizza toppings: The Quattro Stagione. It has mushroom, artichoke, ham, and black olives. It’s something I would order in Italy.
Favorite cuisine: Besides Italian? Spanish.
Favorite dish to cook for the kids: Pizza. They love pizza the American way, with pepperoni.
Favorite cocktail: Negroni.
What are your fridge staples? It’s always milk, Parmesan cheese, and two or three different types of other Italian cheese, like Robiola or provolone. Then I always have prosciutto and two or three kinds of salami.
Favorite junk food: A burger from Five Guys. Just plain, maybe with a little mustard.
Favorite late-night eat: Usually, what I do when I go home is just relax a little bit with one nice bottle of red wine and some hazelnuts or dried fruits, maybe a piece of Gorgonzola.
Favorite meal of the day: A midday plate of pasta.
Favorite local restaurant: A la Lucia in Old Town Alexandria. I don’t have much time to go to restaurants. When I’m on my day off, I usually just do something at home on the barbecue.
Most memorable meal: The first day I was here in the US, I came to Galileo, and Roberto was cooking in Laboratorio. There was one empty table; he told me to have a seat there. This was my first very good meal.
Favorite dessert: I need to ask my wife about this—she’s the one who makes the desserts [at Bebo]. Right now, it’s the bonet al limone. It’s like a custard, with lemon cooked and blended inside the custard. Very refreshing. It’s from a Roberto recipe.
Who’s your favorite of the Iron Chefs? I think my favorite is Mario Batali. I met him when we went there in New York for the taping. That night we ate at his restaurant, Babbo. Don’t ask me what I had—I don’t remember! It was a long day.
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