Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bistro Romano's Limoncello Tiramisu

If you like the Limoncello Liquor, you'll love this Tiramasu which is simultaneously tart and creamy
This year marks the 25th Anniversary for local neighborhood restaurant Bistro Romano.  The restaurant, which is situated in a gorgeous converted 18th century granary at 120 Lombard Street, features exposed brick walls, timber beams and an impressive wine cellar (The restaurant recently won an award for excellence from Wine Spectator magazine -- so we know that their wine collection is first-rate!).  
Last month, Keri and I sat down to chat with proprietor Michael Granato and sample his regional Italian-inspired cuisine.  We also asked Michael to share one of his family recipes in time for the holiday season.
Twenty five years ago Michael was a CPA working for Price Waterhouse, but he knew this wasn’t the life for him. “I thought to myself, I have to find something I enjoy more.  I love food, good wine and entertaining.  

"In a conversation with a bartender one evening, I learned about a dormant building which was up to sale.  I bought that building and Bistro Romano was born.”  

As Michael explains, the restaurant draws inspiration from all regions of Italy:  “All four grandparents were Italian.  One was from Sicily, the three others came from Naples and every year I travel back to Italy to stay fresh and research new ideas for our menu.   
"This year I traveled with my wife Joette (who is also my business partner and chairs the Board of the South Street Headhouse District) to Villa d’Este, Lago di Como. I worked alongside a chef who was supervising 25-30 other chefs in a major restaurant.  From that trip, I came back with new recipe ideas for stuffed pastas and also a Limoncello Tiramasu, which is now on our menu.”
Table-side Caesar Salad was a treat
The night we visited Bistro Romano, fellow food lover Keri and I dined on veal saltimbocca and a table-side tossed Caesar Salad – remember those?  - and of course we just had to try the home made, stuffed pastas, which were g-o-o-d.

(We chowed down on a trio of ravioli comprising sausage, parmesan and broccoli rabe; mushroom and pancetta in a butter and sage sauce;  and then a lobster and ricotta ravioli in a sherry cream sauce.  The sausage pasta was our favorite – but only by a slight margin!)

Our Trio of Stuffed Pasta
All produce is sourced locally wherever possible from PA and from Jersey and this shows through in the menu.  

The restaurant is extremely popular with regulars many of whom travel in from New Jersey to attend the Wine Tastings, Mystery Murder Dinners or the piano nights put on by Bistro Romano.  

For a full listing of events, see

Bistro Romano Limoncello Tiramisu
(Serves 12)


12 Lemons
3 table poons Powdered Sugar
2 lbs. Mascarpone Cheese
2 cups Heavy Cream
1 cup Limoncello Liquor
2 bags Savoiardi (Ladyfingers)


  1. Prepare Mascarpone
  2. In a large bowl combine Mascarpone cheese and heavy cream.
  3. Add in half of the Lemoncello, 1 tablespoon sugar and the juice of five lemons. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  4. Prepare Limoncello Syrup
  5. Under low heat mix the juice of 7 lemons, powdered sugar and the remainder of the lemon cello.
  6. After sugar dissolves and mixture is warm remove from heat
  7. Assemble Tiramisu
  8. Dip ladyfingers into limoncello syrup
  9. Layer soaked ladyfingers into the bottom of pan. Approx 10”x 12”.
  10. Spread the Mascarpone cheese mixture over the ladyfingers.
  11. Repeat with a second layer of soaked ladyfingers and cheese mixture.
  12. Repeat with a third layer of soaked ladyfingers and the cheese mixture.

Refrigerate for 4 hours and it's ready to serve!

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