Emilia Ristorante is hands down the best Italian restaurant in Querétaro. With its history, ambiance, and cuisine coming straight from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, an area considered by many to be the heart of Northern Italian food.
Walking into Emilia Ristorante is like taking a trip to Italy. The architecture of brick columns and arches is an exact replica of a property from the region. Once seated you will be greeted by your waiter and an inflated balloon shaped bread, baked with olive oil and herbs. Parts of the bread are soft and other parts are very thin and crispy. The bread is accompanied with a small bowl of olives, olive oil and vinegar, and a somewhat spicy red sauce, yes we´re still in Mexico. I like preparing a mix of olive oil, red sauce, and a dash of salt to dip the bread into.
We usually start with a fresh salad, something like the salad with three textures of pears and blue cheese (pictured above) or something hot such as the grilled asparagus with an adornment of sliced red onion and lime, or the oven roasted beets with the Dijon mustard sauce. For a main plate, the gnocchi is to die for, so delicate and soft they can be ordered with the sauce of your choice, red, cream, or pesto.
Emilia is famous for their cuts of meat, beef, pork, and lamb. Though my meat eating days have long since past, I have to admit the plates of meat smell delicious. Friends of ours routinely order the herb crusted baked salmon or the fettuccine with shrimp, clams, mussels, and squid in a cream sauce. They tell me that the fettuccine with shrimp plate is loaded with seafood and is priced well below what competing restaurants charge.
To finish our meal we will usually share the strawberries jubilee or I will have my favorite, the tiramisu.
For us Emilia is the best, for the atmosphere, the service and accommodating staff, and the extensive menu with many vegetarian options. I also know several Italians one of whom is a chef, and when I asked him who ¨serves the best Italian food¨, first he said ¨my mother¨, I laughed and then asked again, ¨no, the best Italian food in Querétaro¨and he said ¨Emilia Ristorante¨.