My favourite kind of eating is family-style.
All sat around a big table, laden with food and wine; shouting over each other and grabbing food before someone else does. When you have friends that you will happily fight over the last bruschetta for, then you know that you've found good-uns.
Mediterranean food compliments this style of eating perfectly- meze, tapas and Italian are the best!
My favourite Italian in Shanghai is called Salute on Fuxing Xi Lu. It feels so homely, authentic and sitting in their beautiful outside space feels more Tuscan village than Chinese mega-city.
The waiters are lovely people; they come along with a giant chalkboard full of the food that's available that day and wait as you drool over everything and inevitably order too much. They also have a wonderful wine selection that starts at very reasonable prices.
After 10 or so minutes the food starts to arrive...
The potato salad here is to die for, it always keeps me coming back! The tomato and cucumber salad was also delicious, as was the gloriously salty focaccia.
However, what we were really waiting for was this...
A beautiful prosciutto and rocket pizza. It went very quickly.
Also worth trying is the tomato and basil bruschetta, which was smothered in garlicy olive oil. There's a method to eating these little toasty pieces, which take a bit of mastering for some...you know who you are...but getting oily hands and lips is very worth it!
There was a lot of talking, a lot of grabbing for the last piece and a lot of mmm-ing over the food and wine.
It was a wonderful meal and a lovely night. The Salute family and even a cat are always around, making the place feel friendly and comfortable. It's very easy to sit there for a long time, even after all the food and wine has gone! Next time I'm saving room for dessert! Thank you Salute for making my Italian dreams come true!