Italian food is one of the most popular casual dining formats, and it’s little wonder that it is so popular when you consider the breath and quality of food available.
The true home of Italian cuisine in the United States is New York, home of one of the largest Italian communities anywhere in the world outside Italy. Italians in NYC came mostly from the south of the country, and it is this influence that you will see in the Italian dishes that are served up in New York styled casual dining chains.
One of the most curious things about Italian food in the US is how much it has diverged from its source country over the years. There are now a huge number of ‘Italian’ foods sold in US restaurants that would be unrecognisable to a diner from Italy, showing just how much things have diverged over the years. While this is a very obvious example of the phenomenon, it’s actually more common than you might expect. The vast majority of international cuisines undergo at least a little bit of adjustment when they come to a new country.