Menu Filter

Forno Cipollini In the heart of this cosy Italian restaurant is the burning red oven of the Tuscan guy Angelo

Forno Cipollini

36A Oborishte, Sofia
+359 88 777 8464
12:00 - 22:00 (Mon - Sun)
  • Kind: Restaurant
  • Cards Accepted

Tags: forno cipollini, italian restaurant

Angelo Cipollini has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant business, his first passion is the oven. “In Tuscany the oven is the heart of our life, our lifestyle and cuisine.” Hence the name of the restaurant – “Oven Cipollini” because besides the fact that it occupies a large central part of the interior, the oven plays the most fundamental role in the menu and the kitchen of the restaurant.

He came to Bulgaria in 2012 when a Bulgarian acquaintance of his invited him to start a joint venture. In the beginning Angelo was famous for his pizzas in seaside resort Lozenets, and later on he and his partner found suitable premises for a restaurant on Oborishte Str. and after a whole winter of serious renovation works, on 1 March 2013, Forno Cipollini was opened officially.

When not at work he doesn’t have much time to travel around Bulgaria as much as he would like to, but his favourite places are Sofia, as well as old seaside towns, such as Sozopol, Tsarevo, Ahtopol. He also likes the people, “mostly well-educated people who respect the others around them”.

He says he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to try Bulgarian cuisine, because, similarly to Spain, France and, to a large extent, Italy, most authentic flavours are kept in the family and are hard to find at restaurants. “It’s a pity that most places try to adapt and mix different cuisines, instead of looking for and keeping the authentic recipes, which are passed from generation to generation. It rarely happens that my colleague Iliyana has the time to show me how they prepare banitsa, moussaka, beans and pork ribs in her family and I understand how great these traditions are and how sad it is that you can’t find them in restaurants.

(scroll down and read more)


What he misses the most from his home country is his family, especially his mother. “Because my mother is my foundation, my pillar, my source and history. What she passed on to me were not simply the recipes but the love and attention to food.”

His favorite childhood dish is lasagna cooked by his grandmother. “Lasagna comes from Tuscany, it originally comes from Emilia Romagna. Tuscans stole it and changed it in their own way – they prepare it with pure meat, more liquid Béchamel sauce and without parmesan because, for economic reasons, Tuscans, have come to the principle of “less is more”. The British discovered it much later,” Angelo jokes.

People come here because of the “Fiorentina” specialty, pizzas and salads, as well as the good service, nice Italian wine and cosy atmosphere. It’s important to know that, due to technical reasons, the oven doesn’t work between 15.00h and 19.00h. Angelo kneads the dough twice a day – in the morning and in the afternoon, because he insists that it should always be fresh. For the pizzas he uses cow cheese fiordilatte, imported from Italy, instead of buffalo mozzarella, because that’s the original Neapolitan recipe. “The first pizza ever was “Marinara” and was created in Naples, on the street and not in a restaurant. It’s the simplest but perfect pizza. It consists of tomatoes, garlic, spices and nothing else. They used to use the same ingredients to marinate the fish and later on they decided to spread the mix on the kneaded dough. Then they folded it twice and ate it on the street. Nowadays authentic pizza can only be found in several local restaurants in Naples. I drew inspiration from the original Naples pizza, but I have my own version and I don’t claim that it is the original. What I insist on, is that it should be cooked with care, with quality fresh products, without compromise.” Angelo imports products directly from Italy, mainly from the Tuscan region – from tomatoes to cheese, wine and olive oil to the flour, which is mixed in one particular mill in Tuscany, so that he can prepare his delicious pizzas and pastas.

When asked if the adapts the food to Bulgarian taste, Angelo smiles and says: “I am Tuscan first of all, and that means a lot. Tuscan are proud people and they insist on the true taste of their region. All Tuscans have clear and explicit attitude towards food and we are all born gourmet. Take for example, this typical Tuscan specialty, the “Fiorentina” steak – the core of the meat should remain red, but without blood. I refuse to roast it more, even at the risk of losing a customer because I would like to present it as it was served for generations in my family.”

The most frequent visitors to the place are “wonderful people” as he puts it with a smile. Most of them are Bulgarians, but because of its central location, the restaurant is visited by many foreigners. Among them, of course, are many Italians and Spaniards.

Interview and photos: An Fam
Translation from Bulgarian: Boyan Boychev
Illustration: Ivan Bogdanov for Compote Collective
November 30, 2013