La Tagliata, Positano Italy: Let Mama do the cooking, and she actually does at this Fattoria (farm to table) eatery perched above the cliffs of Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. It is unlimited food, wine and beautiful scenery. Everything is served family style and there are probably 12-18 courses of delicious home-cooked dishes. We've had a slection of cheeses, ravioli, salad, eggplant parmigiana, gnocchi, fusilli with pumpkin, canneloni, all sorts of pastas. Lay off the bread - it will just fill you up. The wine and food just keeps coming and coming.
Il Latini, Florence Italy: Last time I was here I counted 27, that's right, 27 different courses. It all started with the wonderful and fatty local prosciutto. Then came the ravioli, sausages, beans, pastas, chicken, Florentine beef, and choices of at least 4 different desserts. All the while, the wine kept flowing. There was lots of frivolity with our food and a completely enjoyable experience made better with our 18 guests.
Chi-Cha, Cusco Peru: Some of the best food to be found is in Peru and one of the best restaurants in Peru is Chi-Cha. Although not really a family-style restaurant, it is better with a group of 14 rather than a group of 4. We like to order appetizer for the table. Some of our favorites are grilled king prawns with anticucho juice , chimichurri with tarwi, potato salad
and sweet potatoes or even the alpaca carpaccio. Everyone seems to grab for the olive dishes when placed on the table. Dinners are easily shared. I always look forward to the trout served with anticuchera sauce, sweet potatoes, potatoes, fresh salad and tarwi chimichurri. Of course there is always a chicken dish and the traditional lomo saltado - it's like a pepper steak.
Konoba, Trstenik, Croatia: Simply, a konoba is a family-owned tavern serving cheeses, olives, bread, grilled meats and fishes. Usually it's an all you-can-eat-and-drink affair that goes on best with as many people as possible. Someone is usually playing the guitar or singing in this rustic and authentic atmosphere. Your hosts certainly make you feel like family. Of particular note is the "kruh ispod peke". It is masterfully baked on top of coals and covered with a lid while it bakes for about 45 minutes. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else.