Traditional Italian food served as tapas

May 24, 2013
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Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 2.39.47 PMSan Sebastian’s Bar Malandrino blends two culinary concepts by serving traditional Italian dishes as Spanish-style tapas.

Inspired by their Italian roots, Marco Marradi and partner Paolo Ghezzi opened Malandrino in July 2012. Knowing the Basque people are traditional, the concept of the bar was to introduce Italian cuisine and customs in ways the Spanish would embrace.

“In general, we tried to introduce Italian food and drinks without excluding the typical Spanish ones,” Marradi said.

The restaurant has a modern décor with a casual café atmosphere. As diners eat, songs by Ray Charles and B.B. King play in the background. Photographs of San Sebastian taken by native photographer Yoana Salvador cover the walls, adding a local feel to the Italian bar.

“It was very strange because whenever you go to the big cities in Spain like Madrid or Barcelona or these kinds of places, usually you can find something that is authentic Italian,” Marradi said. “Here it was not like that.”

Marradi believes the key to Malandrino’s success is passion for their food. The main ingredients they use are all imported from Italy and the menu features only a few dishes and wines.

“’Poco, ma buono’ my grandma always said, ‘Few, but good,’” Marradi said.