History

Influence of Food

As you dine at La Trattoria, you will quickly appreciate the Napolitan influence of the food. Both Nicola Russo and Angelo D’Amato were raised in the Campania (Naples region), and when they started at La Trattoria, they brought a taste of Italy to Bermuda.

The pizza is one you would find on a trip to Naples, Italy. With the thin crust, fresh mozzarella cheese and homegrown basil, you will find yourself quickly wanting to come back for more! Angelo has created various pizzas that are both creative and unique to La Trattoria. From the Salsiccia pizza to the Arugula pizza, you will find pizza combinations that will be enjoyed by all!

Desserts are always a must! One of the favorites at La Trattoria is the canoli. There are two different styles in which a cannoli can be made: the Napolitan and the Sicilian. La Trattoria makes the Napolitan style, which is commonly referred to as a ‘cream horn’ in the North East. With a puff pastry shaped like a cone, delectable ricotta filling and confectionary sugar delicately sprinkled over the canoli; it is simply irresistible!

The History of the Chicken Pitcher

The origin of the chicken pitchers dates back to the early Renaissance period in the Republic of Florence. The wealthiest and most family in the republic at the time was the Medici family. Its patriarch was the famous Lorenzo the Magnificent who had one brother, Giuliano. Their only serious rival was the Pazzi family.

The Medicis’ wealth was primarily based upon their large land holdings, which were worked by peasants in the nearby villages. Occasionally, the Medicis would throw large festivals in these villages for the peasants. Giuliano, in particular, enjoyed throwing a party at the slightest suggestion.

Knowing this, the Pazzis had someone suggest to Giuliano that he host a festival on the small village of Gallina, where none had been held before. Giuliano agreed and the Pazzis plotted to kill Giuliano and his guards at night after the festival when they would be most vulnerable (due to the vast amounts of wine drunk).

In the fall of 1478, Giuliano and his entourage including guards, cooks and craftsmen went into Gallina (which no longer exists) to throw a party. The Pazzis hired assassins to sneak into town and carry out their plot. They would have succeeded except that when they crossed the yard to kill Giuliano, they woke the chickens. The frenzied cackling woke Giuliano and his guards. The assassins were caught, of course, and executed.

Giuliano was so thrilled that the chickens had warned him that he threw another festival the following night. He ordered his artisans to create ceramic copies of chickens to be used as wine pitchers. These he gave to the peasants and their friends for good luck in warding off evil.

It is now an Italian tradition to give a chicken pitcher to friends and family as a symbol of good luck.

Timeline

  • 1979: Trattoria opened. Transformed from an ice cream parlor to a small Italian restaurant with just 18 tables and benches, we welcomed our guests to dine with us for the first time!
  • 1982: La Trattoria experienced a major expansion. We expanded to include the back of the restaurant, which is the size we are now. This allowed us to seat more hungry customers, eagerly waiting to try a taste of Italy.
  • 1983: This was the year the La Trattoria Shop was introduced. We could now provide our clientele an option to grab traditional Italian food on the go.
  • 1989: The school hot lunch program was introduced to various schools around the island. It has been a success ever since, and nowadays we find ourselves feeding the children of the children that were in school back then!
  • 1990: La Trattoria, for a period of time, transformed into a ‘disco’. This was the first time you could dine and be entertained in one place. We tried to create an inviting ambiance for people who were 18 years of age, as most nightclubs on the island at the time required you to be 21 years of age or older.
  • 1991: Angelo D’Amato joined La Trattoria from the Little Venice and became the Executive Chef. Together with Nicola Russo, they brought their Napolitan influence to La Trattoria.
  • 1992: La Trattoria imported a top of the line ice cream maker in order to make ‘Homemade Gelato’. The smooth, rich flavor still makes it an irresistible dessert!
  • 1993/1994: We installed Hamilton’s first 100% wood-burning pizza oven. We have been able to provide authentic Napolitan pizzas to locals and visitors alike. We have won many Best of Bermuda Awards over the years for having the Island’s best pizza.
  • 2004: This was the year we decided to renovate the interior of the restaurant. We added brick walls for a more authentic feel and soft lights to help create a memorable Italian experience.

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