Olive oil, pasta, piping hot pizza, tiramisu, ricotta—go ahead and indulge. Because today is a mouthwatering culinary celebration: it’s officially National Eat Italian Food Day. At sbe, we have the pleasure of honoring this regional cuisine every day, at the newly opened Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at SLS Brickell. To walk us through all the indulgent ways to enjoy the day, and to give further insight into Schwartz’s award-winning restaurant concept, we tapped our favorite food blogger, Samantha Schnur of The Naughty Fork to answer a few questions below.
How excited are you for National Eat Italian Food Day?
Well, I’ve been celebrating National Eat Italian Food Day every day for 23 years now so…
Can you tell us about your latest dining experience at Fi’lia?
Last time I went to Fi’lia I was with my family. I wanted to bring them because I had such an amazing meal the first time I went. They were not disappointed! The chicken parmesan was delicious, and the pizzas were also very good (my dad is a tough chicken parmesan critic).
The goal of your blog is to feature the “best of each restaurant.” What would you say is the best of Fi’lia?
Fi’lia has the best variety in Italian. You can get a little bit of everything, so everyone is happy.
You’re a biology major, learning about what things are healthy for the body. What Italian dishes can you recommend to fulfill this?
When people think of Italian, they immediately think carbs. In reality, you don’t always have to go for the cheesiest pizza or pasta on the menu. In fact, the more upscale Italian restaurants focus on the flavors of fresh dishes like carpaccio, burrata, seafood, and poultry. If I had to recommend a “healthy” meal at Fi’lia it would be the snapper, carpaccio, and brussels sprouts. Then you won’t feel bad about getting dessert!
How do you create an “Instagrammable” moment from mouthwatering Italian food?
Italian food in itself is almost always photographable. Pastas, pizzas, meats, etc. are all beautiful on camera and don’t require much work. For pastas, everyone does the “pasta pull” or the “fork twirl” for their pictures. For pizzas, most people stick with the ever-so-popular aerial shots. Some go for the “slice pull up” if the pizza is cheesy enough. It’s all in the action!