We use the absolute best ingredients to cook, and the food is very fresh and simple," says Piero Cenni, owner of Ristorante Da Piero (401 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-8585), a family-run restaurant specializing in food from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
Food from the region is characterized by the lack of heavy sauces, a variety of spices and a rustic, down-to-earth approach. Everything at Ristorante Da Piero is made from scratch, including bread, pasta and desserts. On Friday and Saturday nights, opera music fills the restaurant, adding to its ambience.
Chef Paolo Cenni, the owner's son, blends Louisiana cuisine with traditional Romagna recipes and utilizes ingredients from local farms as much as possible. Mussels, antipasti, pastas, veal and seafood are available every day. One menu highlight is roasted rabbit with wilted kale and rosemary-scented focaccia with Madeira-scented glaze. Specials rotate weekly, but favorites often make repeat appearances. A recent appetizer special of sea bass poached in duck fat, Gorgonzola foam, yellow foot mushrooms and port wine syrup promises to make diners return to find it on the menu.
The chef's passion for cooking is evident in the surprising menu options. "My creativity is really expressed with the food," Paolo says. "I love making art, and I love to create beautiful food."