Bellissimo Restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia is where my Italian Collection is hanging for display. This name ‘Bellissimo’ has particular significance for me. In our first few months of living in Italy, I heard the word “bellissimo” repeatedly. Italians are all about beauty. Perhaps more than any other people I’ve been around, Italians seem to have an innate sense of what is beautiful. When you are in Italy, you are indeed surrounded by beautiful scenery, landscapes, buildings, vistas and art. Italians dress well because it is important to give others something beautiful to look at!
I returned to Italy several years ago with my Italian class from Fairfax. We spent a week in the home town of my Italian teacher taking in the sights of Umbria province and the village of Torgiano. Many of the images in my Italian Collection are based on photographs I took on that trip. Several of those paintings can be seen in Bellissimo.
Chef Omar Lavayen is an artist in his own right, creating masterpieces of art with every entree, every dessert, and every detail of Italian dining. Chef Omar and his wife Mary have recreated the atmosphere and cuisine of northern Italy with spectacular accuracy.
I got to spent part of the afternoon today with Omar and Mary when I delivered two more pieces for display, and took down a piece that had sold. They generously provide wall space to hang this collection, and regaled us with an indescribably delicious lunch.