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Restaurant review: Impasto, Nicosia


Nestled on Nicosia’s unassuming Armenia street, Impasto is quickly gaining traction. Despite not fitting the traditional definition of a restaurant, the new spot has garnered widespread attention, all thanks to its singular focus on crafting the perfect schiacciata – a culinary gem hailing from the heart of Italy.

Schiacciata, a delightful cousin to focaccia, has roots entwined with the regions of Tuscany and Umbria. What sets it apart is its simplicity and ease of creation, without compromising on flavour.

Unlike the famous Genoan focaccia, its Tuscan cousin does not require a very lengthy process and can be even made at home as the dough, which needs more water than the focaccia for extra moisture, is somehow easier to produce.

rest2The term ‘schiacciata’ translates to ‘pressed’, alluding to the process of hand-pressing the dough into tins. The outcome? A delicate yet satisfyingly crisp bread, a canvas perfectly complementing a myriad of flavours, from cheeses to meats, from sauces to vegetables.

At Impasto, the maestro behind the scenes is Maurizio Cellai, a Florentine master dedicated to crafting each schiacciata to perfection. Speaking with Maurizio, his surprise at the place’s swift popularity was evident. On my inaugural visit, a 20-minute wait – as far as I’m concerned, a testament to the establishment’s burgeoning reputation – piqued my anticipation. But it was a wait well-rewarded.

Opting for the enticing La Bolognese, a medley of mortadella, a beloved cold cut from Bologna, blended with burrata and homemade pistachio pesto, left a lasting impression.

Subsequent visits unveiled a tapestry of flavours. La Favolosa boasted porchetta, creamy potato, and grana padano, parmesan’s humbler relative, while La Fiorentina charmed with Finocchiona salami, a Tuscan staple, pecorino cheese cream, and arugula. Each offering held its unique charm, promising a journey through Italian flavours.

Yet, what struck me most transcended the flavours – it was the rarity of certain ingredients in Cyprus. The elusive Finocchiona salami and Alpine-region speck, used in La Saporita with a delightful mushroom sauce, were treasures that had evaded my grasp since my move to the island.

Maurizio emphasised an unwavering commitment to quality, evident not just in their exceptional schiacciata but also in their pizzas, fashioned from the same dough. From the classic Margherita to the tantalizing Norma, boasting aubergines and ricotta cheese, each dish committed to the quality of its ingredients.

One might question the essence of Impasto as a restaurant, but therein lies its allure – focusing on one thing and doing it impeccably well. It’s a testament to the belief that perfection resides in simplicity. Impasto effortlessly transports you to Tuscany, painting a vivid gastronomic portrait with each schiacciata.




WHERE: Armenias 9A, Nicosia

WHEN: Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, Saturday from 9am to 3pm, Sunday closed

CONTACT: 22 316425

HOW MUCH: €7.50-9 for all entries, sharing boxes available


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