Ristorante Paradiso is a josei manga by Natsume Ono (Not Simple, House of Five Leaves) that ran from 2005 to 2006. The continuation, Gente ~The People of Ristorante Paradiso~, started shortly after and ran from 2006 to 2009. It also spawned a 11-episode anime series that combined plots from both the first series and Gente.
The story is about Nicoletta, a 21-year-old woman who comes to Rome to confront her mother, Olga, about her parental abandonment. Olga doesn't want her husband, Lorenzo, to know that she has a daughter and was divorced, so she keeps Nicoletta quiet by supplying her with an apartment and a job at Lorenzo's restaurant, Casetta dell'Orso.
During her time at the restaurant, Nicoletta meets and falls in love with Claudio, the head waiter. While she isn't sure about her feelings at first, she eventually decides to go for it. Claudio, on the other hand, is divorced and doesn't know when to let go. The other complication is that Claudio is twice Nicoletta's age.
This series provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion
- The Apprentice: Nicoletta to Furio and Teo. Originally, Teo was Vanna's apprentice until she left.
- Beta Couple: Olga and Lorenzo.
- Big Eater: Gigi.
- Fetish: Olga has a fetish for older man with reading glasses so all the restaurant's employees match with this description.
- Food Porn: It does take place in a restaurant after all.
- Glasses Are Sexy: Olga has a thing for guys in glasses and only hires waiters who wear them, though she doesn't mind if they are Purely Aesthetic Glasses.
- Gratuitous Italian: There is an attempt to include Italian expressions and Italian text in the anime but if you really speak Italian, you will be surprised, specially with the written text.
- Grumpy Old Man: Luciano, mostly towards Nicoletta.
- Happily Married: Olga and Lorenzo, Vito and Marina.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: Gigi's father.
- Love at First Sight: Nicoletta for Claudio and Vito for Marina.
- May–December Romance: Vito and Marina; Teo and Vanna; and Nicoletta and Claudio.
- Motorcycle on the Coast Road
- Mr. Fanservice: In canon, the male staff is a good part of the reason why so many women in Rome love the restaurant.
- Parental Abandonment: Olga left Nicoletta with her grandmother when she was five, since Lorenzo didn't want to marry a woman who was divorced or had children.
- Secret-Keeper: Claudio is the first to learn that Olga is really Nicoletta’s mother. Gigi finds out himself, but only because he makes a guess based off the way the two smile. They both keep this knowledge a secret from everyone else.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Every. Male. Character.
- Shipper on Deck: By the end, EVERYONE ships Nicoletta/Claudio.
- Silver Fox: Most of the men in the main cast are middle-aged or older and they still retain their good looks.
- Supreme Chef: Teo