Ten restaurants you should keep an eye on in Abruzzo

Young chefs back after travelling. Seafood and mountain cuisine. A significant time for the Adriatic region

10-01-2018

A glimpse of MastroPescara, run by 25-year-old Roberto Mastrocola, an old pupil of Niko Romito

Dieci insegne tra Pescara, Teramo, Chieti e L'Aquila suggerite da Massimo Di Cintio, curatore del congresso Meet In Cucina Abruzzo, prossima edizione lunedì 29 gennaio. Nessuna di queste ha fatto (ancora?) ingresso nella Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità Golose

There’s something important happening in Abruzzo. It’s not about the earth, shaking from time to time, to remind us of its importance. We’re speaking of chefs and restaurants, new or renewed in style or management. We’ve been keeping an eye on them for some time and during the last visits they charmed us. The list could be longer: this is only an initial report, in alphabetical order.

Antico Torchio, hotel Castello Chiola
(Via degli Aquino 12, Loreto Aprutino, Pescara +39 085 829 0690)
A fabulous setting. For some time now it’s been directed by Dodo Chiavaroli, a young and resourceful man from Abruzzo now back from his travels. Until one year ago Emanuele Saracino was supervising the kitchen. He’s an important and experienced pastry-chef. Vito Pastore, 34, part from Abruzzo, part from Apulia, trained with him. We paid a couple of visits in the past six months: freed of any limit, they’re now working very well.

Arca
(Via Giuseppe Mazzini 109, Alba Adriatica, Teramo, +39 0861 714647)
It looks like Massimiliano Capretta’s team has finally left the shade hiding it for a decade or so. After turning 40, he looks more serene and his cuisine is well defined. A couple of years ago his sister Dalila joined him in the kitchen. She’s more discreet and focused on pastry making. One should also remember that the nice Capretta was the first to speak of 0 km, organic food and healthy cuisine (back in the early Zero years!).

Barcaccia
(Piazza I Maggio 33, Pescara, +39 085 4217426)
Many years ago, together with their family, Mirko and Massimiliano Di Cesare took over what was perhaps the most popular seafood restaurant in Pescara. Mirko has gradually renewed the style of cuisine to which clients were used. His offer is now sound and free of frills, a nice mix of creativity and flavour. The standards have grown significantly in the past couple of years.

Chichibio
(Via Guglielmo Marconi 1, Roccaraso, L'Aquila, +39 328 9054831)
Patron chef Raffaele Trilli is a sound guy, part of a historic family of restaurateurs. He trained with Niko Romito, worked with Valeria Piccini at St. Regis, then back to Reale and Spazio in Rome. Then two seasons with Mauro Uliassi and a year or so ago he opened his restaurant with his partner Cinzia who takes care of pastry making. A sound and promising place.

Daniele D'Alberto, chef at Borgo Fonte Scura in Silvi, Teramo and recently at Dorsia in Pescara too

Daniele D'Alberto, chef at Borgo Fonte Scura in Silvi, Teramo and recently at Dorsia in Pescara too

Dorsia
(Via Battisti 184, Pescara, +39.085.9048197
A month or so ago Daniele D'Alberto – previously at Br1 in Montesilvano and now at Borgo Fonte Scura in Silvi, Teramo – opened a restaurant in Pescara with two business partners, Giorgia Brandimarte and Giuseppe Zolfo. Different dishes but in the same style as Borgo while the dining room is already working smoothly. His business partner owns one of the most popular locations in the centre, Zolfo, a posh place for aperitifs. The success was immediate. Let’s see if he manages to work in two places. 

Emme dell'hotel Salus
(Lungomare G. Matteotti 13/1, Pescara, +39 085 374196)
For many years the extensively tattooed chef Mauro Del Pizzo has livened up the movida in Pescara, running different places in which food was always at the service of music. Having reached his forties, he has now abandoned nightlife in favour of his passion. Two years ago he arrived at Salus together with the patron of the hotel on the seafront and passionate gourmet Cristian Di Martino who handed him the renovated kitchen on the ground floor. They seat some twenty people, offering only hardly banal seafood cuisine.

Insight Eatary
(Contrada Vallevò 266, Rocca San Giovanni, Chieti, +39 329 3820346)
The restaurant seats 25 people overlooking the sea of Costa dei Trabocchi. The owners are two chefs, no longer that young, but very good: Simone Parisotto, 38, from Milan, and Vincenzo Caporale, 40, from Abruzzo. They met at Just Cavalli in Milan then left together for New York. They spent a few years in the kitchens of the different locations of the Sant Ambroeus and then returned to Italy and Abruzzo. They opened on the 14th July. Charming place, intriguing food.

Mastro
(Via delle Caserme 61, Pescara,  +39 071 1160220)
Roberto Mastrocola, 25, left Niko Romito and Spazio to take over and renovate a historic restaurant in Pescara Vecchia, the old Cantina di Jozz. Together with his accountant-sister Serena he launched it in August. The offer was initially swaying and mostly based on his previous experience. Having a difficult character, he started off by himself, without a set team, but you can already tell he has skills: if he manages to steady himself and find courage, he could quickly stand out.

Mackerel and miso, red cabbage and spelt at restaurant Tamo in Spoltore (Pescara)

Mackerel and miso, red cabbage and spelt at restaurant Tamo in Spoltore (Pescara)

Tamo
(Via del Mulino 6, Spoltore, Pescara, +39 085 4962430)
The restaurant opened a few weeks ago. Chef Antonio (Tonino) Blasi is 27, originally from a family of fishermen in Apulia. Maria Chiara Guastadisegni, 28, from Chieti, is a pastry chef now working in the dining room. Previous experience at Cafè Les Paillotes, one year in France and one in Portugal as well as a few trips to Japan. The restaurant is in the historic centre. It’s small and lovely: only one rectangular dining room and only one table shared by some 20 guests. The menu changes often and is based on their experience and personal inspiration.

Zi' Albina
(Via Luigi Marchesani 15, Vasto, Chieti, +39 0873 367429)
Matteo Crisanti, 28, chef. Ilaria Villani 27, sommelier. Talented and humble, four years ago, once back from Australia, they took over a historic restaurant in Vasto. Zì Albina was extraordinarily famous in the Eighties and Nineties thanks to its traditional brodetto. The restaurant was on sale and with courage and a little recklessness they kept the name though their approach is more contemporary. They mostly offer seafood. They were successful in winning the diffidence of clients expecting the old style and they managed to conquer them.