From serial Shanghai restauranteur Eduardo Vargas comes Azul Italiano, an Italian-inspired addition to the second of his Colca locations on the North Bund. Vargas is eager to put the emphasis on the word ‘inspired’. It largely looks Italian, smells Italian and tastes Italian, but he and Chef Willmer Colmenares have tweaked it here and there to make it more approachable for local tastes. Is it totally “authentic”? No. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good. There is plenty that is worth trying. The meatballs are delicious. As is the polenta with a porcini ragout. They do a cioppino, which is an Italian-American seafood stew of clams, mussels, prawns, scallops and halibut simmered with crush tomatoes and fennel — tasty as well.
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