Best Expensive Italian Restaurant - 2008
Josef's - CLOSED
Italian restaurants specializing in Roman, Sicilian, Corsican, and Milanese fare are a dime a dozen, but we have yet to run across another trattoria whose passionate love affair with the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region of Italy is so intense. Perhaps that's because owners Beth and Josef Shibanetz, an American woman and her Austrian chef husband, came to that area as strangers and fell in love with its fusion of East and West. In Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, world cultures collide: French, Hungarians, Slavs, Celts, Austrians, and Italians — Catholics, Jews, and Muslims — have settled peaceably in the northeastern tip of Italy, and the evidence of cross-cultural conversation is part of the allure of this odd cuisine. Dishes such as ravioli filled with wild mushrooms and truffles in a light veal sauce or halibut cooked with mushrooms, spinach, and Riesling embody contradictory culinary impulses with delicious results. Dining at Josef's is like learning a delightful secret about one you love. The Shibanetzes also have chosen wines from the area, and the space is charming and intimate.