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KYOTO, JAPAN, May 6, 2017: The city of Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over 1,200 years and home to the kitchen of the Imperial Court.  Japan’s nobles were accustomed to refined cuisine, including culinary specialties unique to Kyoto such as elegant Kyo-kaiseki-ryori, vegetarian-friendly Shojin-ryori, and Obanzai for everyday dining.

Kyoto was also the very first place in Japan to introduce traditional Italian cuisine to the Japanese people.  Reflecting this unique culinary heritage, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto offers guests and visitors not only classic Kyoto style Japanese cuisine, but also a true taste of Italy in the heart of Kyoto.  Our Italian restaurant La Locanda brings innovative, contemporary Italian cuisine to Japan and marries it with the very finest local Japanese ingredients, allowing guests to enjoy classic Italian cooking with a thrilling twist.  La Locanda’s passionate master chef Valentino Palmisano has worked at a host of Michelin-starred restaurants in locations as diverse as Paris, Milan, St Moritz, Naples, Amalfi, Shanghai, and now, here in Kyoto.  His pride for his hometown of Naples is evident throughout the dishes served at La Locanda, most notably in his jaw-dropping recreation of Spaghetti di Gragnano con pomodori San Marzano e basilico, which uses colorless tomato essence extracted from the finest Italian tomatoes to create a rich, creamy yet clear tomato sauce that creates a stunning visual illusion and a special delight for diners.

La Locanda’s world-class Italian cuisine is served in an atmospheric dining space designed by distinguished interior design company Design Studio Spin.  The space boasts several private dining rooms that cater to guests’ every need – perfect for private events and unforgettable special occasions.

Ebisugawa-tei Goten-no-ma:
Constructed in 1908, this elegant room has been painstakingly restored and repurposed as a unique dining space, where private groups can enjoy Italian cuisine in a traditional Japanese setting.  The astonishing view of the Japanese karesansui garden complete with lanterns is a unique feature of this private dining room.

Ebisugawa-tei Chidori-no-ma: 
Dine in the impeccably-designed Ebisugawa-tei Chidori-no-ma, a classic modernist take on a traditional tatami mat dining space, with low wooden chairs, sliding paper screens and bold glass lighting.  Savor a world-class Italian meal while enjoying a unique ambiance that will make you feel as if you have traveled back in time to ancient Imperial Kyoto.

La Locanda also offers classes on seasonal cheeses from Italy, which is the birthplace of European cheese.  In our Italian cheese classes, guests will learn to compare the flavors and charms of three different types of cheese from the northern, central and southern regions of Italy, as well as learn about three other types of European cheese.  As this will be a hands-on lesson, guests have a chance to touch the cheese and experience arranging and serving it themselves.

Winter Italian Cheese Lesson at La Locanda: 
Next class date:  January 28th, 2017.
The theme for winter is soft and blue cheeses from Piedmont and Lombardia. Piedmont is well known for its fine agricultural produce thanks to its cool climate.  The region boasts ten certified original products, of which nine are cheeses. Piedmont’s sophisticated cheese-making culture is reflected in the importance of the food in its local, regional cuisine.

As for Lombarida, locals in the northern region of Italy tend to a culinary style rich in butter and cheese to keep them warm during the cold winter months, and as a result, the region is home to sophisticated agricultural techniques and world-class dairy products. Famous local cheeses include washed-rind Taleggio and blue Gorgonzola.