Enzo Di Pasquale charmed me once again in his new restaurant

The chef opened Aprudia in Giulianova, challenging those who said he was a crazy entrepreneur. But there's lots of goodness in his dishes

30-10-2020

Enzo Di Pasquale is always in Giulianova, since last year he moved from a place on Statale 16 (I wrote about it here back in January 2019) to a place called Aprudia, in Giulianova Alta which is the historic, much more fascinating part. Covid-19 slowed his growth, of course. Starting again in a new location was not easy, and he wrote this himself on this website in mid-May: «I don't believe I'm crazy, even though some think otherwise. The reason is very simple: they think I shouldn't do it. They think I shouldn't open my new restaurant. Works had just begun when I had to stop, early in March, because of the emergency. I had already announced the opening of the restaurant, scheduled in April. It was all postponed».

Enzo Di Pasquale, chef-patron at Aprudia in Giulianova (Teramo)

Enzo Di Pasquale, chef-patron at Aprudia in Giulianova (Teramo)

But then he did open, at 16, Largo del Forno. From outside, through a window to the left, you see the kitchen. Then you enter through a glass door to the right. During the warm months, now a memory almost everywhere, you could dine outside too. For that we'll have to wait for next summer when we all hope the worst will be behind us, and we will live without sighing all the time.

Locust lobster and tapioca

Locust lobster and tapioca

You can tell there's the chef's signature right from the menu. Contrary to many who only after the lockdown opted for a list of dishes among which to choose, or even for one or two tasting menus, Di Pasquale already in his previous restaurant made no difference between starters, first and main courses. If anything, there was a difference between sweet and savoury dishes. The same continues now.

Cappelletti with duck and buffalo milk mozzarella

Cappelletti with duck and buffalo milk mozzarella

There's a list of 15 dishes, including three desserts (which you pay on the side). The client can choose between a 5-course savoury menu and a 7-course one. Nothing is set if not for something that is not easy to grasp, for those who come for the first time: the order of service is that on the menu. For instance: if you order (I recommend it) the Spaghetti with beetroot, curry sauce and coconut, it will be served at the end, before any sweet option.

Beef, dashi broth, Swiss chards 

Beef, dashi broth, Swiss chards 

There's a logic of flavours in the menu, nothing is there by chance, and I think it's very nice that, whatever the delicacies you choose, the trait d'union shows there's a logic. The first two seafood options: Grooved razor shells, passion fruit and cucumber; Locust lobster, vanilla salt from Madagascar, tapioca and mandarin from Ciaculli. Then some meaty Cappelletti with duck and buffalo milk mozzarella, with a broth of scallops, lamb and watermelon. The fourth was the only dish I did not get, Smoked cardoncelli with amberjack and whisky. Nothing elementary. Di Pasquale's creations are always careful, precise. The richness only emerges after a couple of bites. The sense of satisfaction, even for your brain, is guaranteed. In this case, instead, I didn't find the immediate pleasure as I did with Beef, dashi broth, Swiss chards even if I would present the vegetables cooked differently and at a different temperature.

Pork ribs, oysters, coriander

Pork ribs, oysters, coriander

Then the only moment when my wife Luisa and I took different roads. She chose Pasta [tubetti] with fermented black garlic in tomato water, buttermilk and bottarga, while I could not resist the Pork ribs, oysters and coriander, all presented in the same texture. At that point we were ready for the Spaghetto with beetroot, curry sauce and coconut, an extraordinary play of curry and coconut, of which I invite to see the recipe, also on this website, here. The dessert was in perfect line with the pasta: Pure peach, liquorice gelato, hazelnut praline and double cream with curry.

Spaghetto with beetroot, curry sauce and coconut

Spaghetto with beetroot, curry sauce and coconut

What about the wine? Not to be forgotten:  Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2019 from Agricola Cirelli, an organic farm in Contrada Colle San Giovanni 1 in Atri (Teramo), tel. +39.085.8700106. Francesco Cirelli makes wines in amphorae.

And where does the name Aprudia come from? «It's a crasis between aprùtium, the Medieval Latin word used at the time for Abruzzo, and the Greek word δίαιτα (diaita), that is to say habit, way of life, from which the Latin word diaeta and our diet». Which here reveals to be deliciously rich.

RISTORANTE APRUDIA
Largo del Forno 16
64021 Giulianova (Teramo)
Tel.: +39.085.2011844.
Prices: five courses 42 euros, seven 56, dessert 9.
Oil and bread: 2.50 euros.


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