Moera, a restaurant with a (real) vegetable garden

In Irpinia, meeting Francesco Fusco's real zero km. He's a farmer and breeder by day, a chef by night

08-08-2017

Francesco, in the vegetable garden supplying his restaurant, Moera in Avella (Avellino) tel. +39.081.8252924 (photo obiettivonotizie.it)

Avella, a village in the province of Avellino with little under 8000 inhabitants is not the kind of place you'd visit by chance. And you won't pass in front of Moera by chance either: though it is well signaled and right on the main road.

You must first know Moera, named after the mythical Greek king who founded Avella. Yet if you did happen to sit at one of its table on an ordinary Saturday night, you'd notice how many faithful clients come from afar. From Naples, for example, which is around one hour's drive.

This is probably because it's one of those places where you feel easily at home, thanks to the warm and kind welcome of Francesco Fusco and his wife Diana. Moera is a restaurant with kitchen garden, for real, one might point out, not like those following the zero km trend.

Indeed Francesco is a farmer and breeder by day, and a cook by night, and his cuisine can only follow the natural cycle of his land, which he loves and tends to like he does with his dishes.

If it's aubergine season, be sure you'll find aubergines in the menu, and in any case you will never find something that he, or his father, didn't sow, water and harvest in person. Francesco is self-trained, he didn't attend big cooking schools nor does his curriculum include experiences in famous restaurants. Perhaps this is his very strength: his cooking has no frills, it's clean, genuine and very linear.

You'll be surprised to enjoy the tasty simplicity of a nicely fried courgette with a very fresh raw red prawn placed on top, of a piece of salted codfish cooked in oil on top of fresh spinach or an egg lovingly laid by his Livornese hens, with a fondue of Parmigiano and flakes of truffle.

The dining room (photo from Viadeigourmet.it)

The dining room (photo from Viadeigourmet.it)

The menu, of course, changes based on what's available. Try his classics, almost always in the menu: Zolfini beans cooked in the pignatiello, or Risotto with hazelnuts from his trees and a pesto made with wild garlic leaves, which he picks in the woods of Monti del Partenio: Francesco uses it in many dishes and has started to produce it and sell it too.

This is all seasoned with very convenient prices: the “Orto e cortile” tasting menu, with five courses plus dessert and a glass of wine paired with it is 35 euros.

Il Moera
Via delle Centurie
Avella (Avellino)
+39.081.8252924

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso