restaurants in the world
Reale Restaurant is the focus and the driving force of my creative universe. It is a true research and testing laboratory for ingredients and flavours, where all my projects are brought to life. All starts in there, what we create for Reale is developed and later adjusted to various formats. Innovation is made possible thanks to unrelenting study and constant research, I want my dishes to be not only good, they have to be food for thought and able to carve out new paths.
The culinary credo of Reale Restaurant is based on research which is constantly evolving. Niko Romito starts studying the matter to catch its deepest essence and then develops complex food processing techniques to enhance the flavour in its purest and most vivid form. Cristiana Romito’s hospitality guides guests through the journey, making them have the best experience possible.
The journey for Reale started in 2000, in Rivisondoli, when Cristiana and Niko took over the trattoria his father Antonio had opened in the small village center, which was previously the family-run pastry shop. Niko and Cristiana quickly developed their own idea of cuisine and hospitality rooted in the territory and tradition but innovative in its nature. The beginning was difficult, because customers, did not catch right away the value of the new path Reale was carving out. Regardless the difficulties, Cristiana and Niko never gave up and after a few years they were awarded by food critics. In 2007, Reale Restaurant clinched its first Michelin star, and in 2009, the second one, both awards for the relentless research and innovation work carried out. In 2001, Cristiana and Niko moved Reale Restaurant to Casadonna which became a boutique hotel first and then home for Niko Romito Academy, the Advanced Vocational Culinary Academy. In 2014, they clinched the third Michelin star.
Cristiana Romito is the General Manager of Casadonna and Maître d’Hôtel of Reale Restaurant. After a degree in translation and interpreting for German and French language, she started taking care of the dining room of Reale Restaurant in 2000, when she decided together with Niko to take over her father’s restaurant, who had prematurely passed away. After a vocational training course with Gambero Rosso on hospitality and the diploma as Certified Sommelier with the Italian Association for Sommeliers, Cristiana developed her own vision about hospitality and dining service through the years. Her hospitality is authentic but incredibly accurate, caring but delicate. It is the result of a work based on deep understanding and constant communication between the kitchen and the team that Cristiana wanted to build following a flat structure rather than a strict organizational structure.
Along the years, Cristiana has been honored with many awards: in 2012 she clinched the award Le Marchesine “Best Maître” by Identità Golose Guide; in 2018 the award Cantine Ferrari as best ‘Dining Room Hospitality’ by the culinary association ‘’Le Soste’’ and in October 2019, the award Mauviel 1830 “Best Dining Room Director”. The most and the greatest award of all, is the ‘Best Dining Room Manager’ by Les Grandes Tables Du Monde.
“Hospitality is connected to authenticity. Guests need to feel at ease once they walk in Casadonna, whether they are used to fine-dining restaurant or they first experience a Michelin-starred restaurant. There is no point in being contrived, be authentic and our true selves, is what guests are looking for. Hospitality for me is something natural, nothing to do with a protocol to abide by.”
“Hospitality has clear rules but as far as I am concerned none of them can be overwhelming or strict. We do not follow the pyramidal hierarchy of the brigade system and hospitality. Each of us has his/her own role following my model based on flexibility, cooperation and mutual understanding. You can feel it all around and it helps guests to be well.”
“Studying is at the core of our professionalism, it means having a perfect understanding of the dishes, ingredients, techniques and the ideas behind them. Each of us always tries to get to the bottom of the dish and catch the deep meaning it embodies. Similarly, having a deep knowledge of the place we are working in, is crucial, knowing why we chose a specific piece of furniture or a particular work of arts, means being able to communicate that universe to guests through one’s own way …”
“I do want a warm and personable service but with no frills. We always explain dishes without being overwhelming. I want my guests to decide the interaction they prefer to have. There are people who don’t like talking too much, others instead who want to know more, we need to be flexible and capable to adjust our communication to their needs and make them have the best experience possible.”
Ristorante Reale, is today the beating heart of Niko Romito’s universe, it is the laboratory where research is an ongoing process and all new dishes for Reale are brought to light. But it is also where his creative drive stems from, laying the foundations for all his projects.
Reale Restaurant culinary offer is constantly changing and evolving with the seasons. Its menu reveals Niko Romito’s research and insight imbedded in a tasting and a-la carte menu, where diners can choose between iconic dishes and new creations.
The wine cellar of Reale Restaurant is located where the old stables used to be. Among the ancient drinking troughs, going back to 16th century, 10.000 bottles of wines with more than 500 vintners to choose from, are stored in the cellar, mainly from Italy and Europe.
Regardless of the season, the temperature is kept at a more or less constant 14 to 17 C°, with a humidity level between 70-90%.
Our wine list is constantly evolving.
In addition to the wine list, Reale Restaurant offers a selection of spirits, Vermouth and a cocktails list. Lunches and dinners are enriched by the pairings from the extensive selection of wines or by more creative and unique cocktails and infusions pairings.
The wines and the wine list are curated by Gianni Sinesi, the Sommelier who has been working with Cristiana and Niko since 2004.
The logic of wine selection follows the philosophy of Reale’s cuisine, with an emphasis on clean and savoury aromas and an eye on strong palatable peculiarities even among the youngest labels. A network of relationships with small top-quality vintners, allows Gianni to offer renowned wines alongside lesser known but nonetheless noteworthy ones. Particular focus is dedicated to Italy and above all to Abruzzo, about whose new wine producers Gianni delights in helping customers discover.
An experimental vineyard surrounds Casadonna, it is mainly growing Pecorino grapes – a local variety- with a few rows of Riesling and black Pinot grapes. It is undoubtedly a heroic vineyard grown at 860 metres above sea level. It produces a sharp mountain Pecorino wine, the Casadonna wine. Riesling and black Pinot grapes are still being experimented to study their ability to adapt to local territory.
A high-altitude Pecorino, born between the Alto Sangro and the Cinque Miglia plateau from the encounter with the three-starred chef Niko Romito. Limited edition for a collector’s wine.