You don’t have to book a flight to get that warm feeling of Italian hospitality, be surrounded by olive trees and that sweet feeling of la dolce vita? Nope! Just wander a short way off the Graben where you’ll find Pizzeria Regina Margherita. Hear that? That’s your tummy moaning delizioso.
Sitting on the beautiful outside terrace, hidden from the busy shopping street, but smack bang in the city center, you can escape life and slow down for a little while at Pizzeria Regina Margherita. It’s remarkable that every second guest is welcomed personally with handshakes and kisses by the busy waiters.
All the waiters are speaking Italian. “It’s one of the requirements. We want a proper Italian atmosphere here and language belongs to it,” Luigi, the youngest son of the restaurant’s Barbaro family, explains.
Luigi goes onto emphasise how much of a family restaurant Regina Margherita is where people should feel familiar. “We are a family company. Trust is one of the most important things. Trust, authenticity and down-to-earthness.”
Luigi is responsible for the marketing, his mum is taking care of the finances, while his older brother Antonio is the manager of Regina Margherita, who welcomed us with a big smile and, of course, handshakes.
Luigi’s dad came from Naples to Vienna with nothing but a dream: opening his own restaurant and bringing that sun-kissed feisty Italian passion to Austria. That was over thirty years ago. By now, he owns two – Regina Margherita and the award-winning, Martinelli.
Now, while most think a pizza is just a pizza, they are seriously mistaken. The secret is in the ingredients, and you can taste this family’s high appreciation for high quality ingredients in their pizza. Most of the ingredients are imported right from the South of Italy or hand-made in-house – including all the pasta.
Once I’m licking my fingers to pay homage to my finished pizza, Luigi gets all excited and tells me I have to try the Impressioni!” The Impressioni del pasticciere is a heavenly spread of Italian desserts on one single plate.
I’m considering which of the Don-Giovanni-looking guys I’ll marry, while Antonio, the manager, and another guy in a blue suit, constantly joke around with us. This gives us the warm feeling of being at a good friend’s house.
After finishing our Limoncello, a typical Italian lemon liqueur shot back after dinner in Naples, we say Ciao Bella and leave, with the feeling like Regina and us won’t just be a summer affair.