Northern Enterprise Awards 2021

65 | Northern Enterprise Awards 2021 A small restaurant boasting big flavours, Grazie is situated in the bustling centre of Sheffield and is determined to introduce its traditional, authentic taste of home to the locals. We speak to Owner, Vito Vernia, about the cuisine and how the business innovated during the pandemic. Family-run restaurant, Grazie in Sheffield, invites you to experience the flavours of Puglia with its extensive menu of authentic, mouth-watering dishes, proving that there’s a lot more to Italian food than just bolognese and carbonara! Specialising in cuisine from southern Italy, Grazie is renowned for its fresh, homemade pasta - the inspiration for which comes from the owner Vito Vernia’s hometown Polignano a Mare, Puglia, where his Nonna Maria used to make fresh orecchiette (Apulian ear shaped pasta) and cavatelli (shell shaped small pasta) daily. “Our menu items are very unique for Sheffield but very traditional for Puglia!” enthuses Vito. “Italy has many regions with their own traditions and delicacies, and we’re on a mission to bring a little piece of Puglia to the heart of Sheffield. We also offer large variety of Apulian wines that pair perfectly with our dishes.” On the menu, you can find delights that are typical to the region, including fried bread balls (Polpette Della Nonna), potato croquettes (Crocchetta Di Melanzane), orecchiette with swordfish (Mare e Monti) and homemade cavatelli with pork cheek (Terra Mia). Inside, the restaurant is light, airy, and contemporary. Reminiscent of a southern Italian trattoria, the space has been well designed to ensure that diners feel comfortable and can enjoy their meals with a genuine sense of true Apulian ambiance. Additionally, the team often – mostly on weekends – makes their pasta in front of customers in the main seating area, offering a performative element to the overall dining experience alongside a glimpse into their masterful expertise. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic bringing challenges to Vito and the team, Grazie was able Best Italian Restaurant 2021 - Sheffield to diversify and adapt it’s offering to enable it to remain in business. While the restaurant itself was forced to close, the dedicated employees began producing Apulian Feast Boxes to be collected for diners to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes. As well as a Travellers’ Choice Award 2021, and a Restaurant Guru Recommendation 2021, Grazie has also been bestowed with the prestigious title of Best Italian Restaurant 2021 – Sheffield in the eminent SME News Northern Enterprise Awards. This accolade is testament to the hard work and dedication that Vito and all of the team have put into Grazie over the last 18 months. “We are passionate about bringing fresh homemade Italian food in relaxed ambiance and for very affordable prices to Sheffield city centre,” says Vito. And it seems that he is right on track with his goal, as he has an abundance of positive feedback and five-star reviews for his cuisine. These reviews are as such: M Pope was impressed with the “friendly staff… and grappa to finish,” whilst M Bingham believes that “the tiramisu is to die for!” And L Gurney hit the nail on the head when she exclaimed, “We had an amazing family lunch here today. Food was incredible, homemade pasta was amazing. The staff were fabulous, attentive without being intrusive. Will definitely be going back - who needs a holiday, book yourselves in here for a taste of authentic Italy!” Vito is looking to continue perfecting its recipes, atmosphere, and customer service but it has already exceeded all expectations. Contact: Vito Vernia Company: Grazie Web Address: Oct21204