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You never know who you're going to meet at Venda Ravioli. In recent years, many famous Italian chefs and cookbook authors have stopped by to dine, to shop, to chat with the Costantino family and the customers of Venda Ravioli. Here is just a sampling of those celebrities and their comments:
Mary Ann Esposito:
"Shopping at Venda Ravioli is the next best thing to shopping in Italy. Foods from all the regions of Italy are represented as well as an expert sales staff to answer any questions. My mouth waters for their excellent cheeses, cured meats, exquisite olive oils, splashy displays of prepared foods, and even cool, creamy gelato. Mamma Mia, it's the best!" says Mary Ann Esposito, host of the popular PBS television cooking show, "Ciao Italia" and the most-watched Italian TV cook in America with more than 1.3 million viewers tuning in every week to see her PBS show, which has been on the air since 1989. Mary Ann is also the author of seven best-selling cookbooks on Italian cooking.
Mario Batali was quite impressed on his visit to Venda Ravioli. The famous Food Channel personality, restaurant chef and cookbook author spent time in the kitchen with Chef Salvatore, learning how to make one of Venda's famous pasta dishes. In an interview with Newsweek magazine, Mario said that the Federal Hill section of Providence is one of the best "Little Italy" neighborhoods in the nation, second only to Philadelphia.
National restaurant expert John Mariani describes Venda Ravioli as "the real deal." The author of "The Italian-American Cookbook" enjoyed his visit to Venda Ravioli, chatting with customers and dining on Chef Salvatore's authentic Italian food in the outdoor caf on the flower-filled DePasquale Square.
Nancy Verde Barr:
"Venda is more than just everything you need to 'make it Italian' - it is everything you need to know about Italian life and tradition," says Nancy Verde Barr, an Italian cooking teacher who has served as executive chef to Julia Child. Nancy is the author of two excellent Italian cookbooks, "We Called It Macaroni" and "Make It Italian."
The Phantom Gourmet:
"Venda Ravioli is one of the great eight places on Federal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island, and the best Italian food emporium in New England." The Phantom Gourmet anonymously visits restaurants and gourmet shops throughout New England and then offers totally honest reviews on a weekly television program that airs on Boston's UPN channel.