LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The final product of Abbas Jamshid’s and Mahboba Rasoli’s hard work in the kitchen is comforting at Bellissimo Italian Restaurant.
And no, this is not Italian food; this is Afghan cuisine. Mantu, a few kabobs and Bolani, a crispy flat bread filled with potatoes, to be exact.
“Very popular in Afghanistan, but here, nobody knows this food,” co-owner Rasoli said.
The couple is on a mission to change that.
They met after immigrating to the U.S. from Iran and Afghanistan. Together, they are giving Kentuckians a taste of their culture.
The family owned and operated restaurant, which opened only a few weeks ago, is unique.
They do offer Italian food, though; craft Jamshid picked up when he was working at an Italian restaurant.
Typically, their method is to normally serve Italian food during the week and Afghan food on the weekends. But right now, during Ramadan, they are selling Afghan food every day they are open.
They are sharing, through food and service, that the government conflicts in Afghanistan are not a reflection on the broader population.
“They are the human being, that’s it. There’s nothing wrong with those countries. If there is something wrong, it’s the government,” co-owner Jamshid said.
Jamshid said the way they make the food here is identical to how they would make it in their native countries.
“The way we cook here is 100% the way they cook it in Afghanistan and Iran. We don’t try to Americanize it,” Jamshid said.
And at the restaurant, you can learn more than just what Afghan food tastes like.
“You’ll understand the food, the culture, people from Afghanistan are famous for being hospital,” Jamshid said.
In addition to their restaurant in Louisville, Bellissimo also has a food truck where they sell their Italian meals.