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20-08-2022

At Arca in Alba Adriatica there’s room for the most curious food lovers

Opened by Massimiliano Capretta in 1998, in the early days it was a macrobiotic restaurant that few people understood, because too ahead of its times. The success is arriving now thanks to his sister Dalila, to chef Edoardo Massari and to more and more co

Omega 3, sapid and intense Spaghetti with black ga

Omega 3, sapid and intense Spaghetti with black garlic, oil, and chilli pepper, chlorophyll of parsley and anchovies, from chef Massimiliano Capretta at Arca in Alba Adriatica, Teramo

Alba Adriatica is the second town by the sea in Abruzzo when you come from the Marche. It doesn’t have a special touristic vocation, like the towns to the north of river Tronto, but it surely has a restaurant with a very unique story, which has nothing to do with that of many other restaurants. And this is why it deserves our and your attention.

At number 109 in Via Mazzini, Arca [the Italian word for ark] of the Caprettas, volcanic Massimiliano and his sister and pastry-chef Dalila, and of chef Edoardo Massari, her partner, represents the present and the future. It all started with Massimiliano by himself, back in 1998. Same place but very different times, when nobody would use the word location now so widespread in Italy. If I ever catch the people behind this rampant banality I would strike them. The same goes for the use of words like sentiment and mission [in Italian].

The front line at Arca in Alba Adriatica, Teramo, left to right: Edoardo Massari, Massimiliano Capretta and his sister and pastry chef Dalila Capretta

The front line at Arca in Alba Adriatica, Teramo, left to right: Edoardo MassariMassimiliano Capretta and his sister and pastry chef Dalila Capretta

When you open Arca’s website, under About us you are immediately greeted by a sentence “Our Restaurant, the Location”. After the annoyance goes away, you can notice lots of personality in the design that chef Capretta has given to the place, to the outdoor area on the street and to the dining rooms, especially the left one with the large rectangular window overlooking the kitchen. As a client, you are unsettled, like those who at the stadium watch the match from behind the goal. I’m always hypnotised, such is the admiration for those moving and cooking, like clockwork.

The kitchen at Arca, of siblings Massimiliano and Dalila Capretta, as seen from the dining room

The kitchen at Arca, of siblings Massimiliano and Dalila Capretta, as seen from the dining room

The story of Massimiliano is full of bright moments and changes of direction, even too many because after a quarter of a century he must still fully stand out. When people speak of the many worthy figures in Abruzzo, Arca is not often mentioned, and this is a mistake. He likes to call himself a student, in the sense that you never stop learning. However, some steps sometimes may seem contradictory. In the first years, it was a macrobiotic restaurant, hard to understand in the province of Teramo, so much so that some people joked and asked him if he would make arancine with millet. In 2001, closer to the sea, he started offering sushi, and five years later, in the restaurant, in front of a window overlooking ovens and stoves, he put a counter with cheese and charcuterie, the perfect choice but what did it mean if the recipes were macrobiotic and recalled a completely different world?

Brivido d’estate, cold spaghettini with courgettes, pine nuts, fresh tomato and basil

Brivido d’estate, cold spaghettini with courgettes, pine nuts, fresh tomato and basil

Capretta jokes about his different looks and themes: «People used to think I was mad, now they consider me a pioneer». And he says this referring to the way he toasted rice, with no fat at all, just on the heat. These days this is no revolution, but those were different times. Too soon, and nobody understands you. Too late, and you risk being banal. What you say and what you do is not enough. When and where count too.

Baccalà, Potatoes and peppers, that is to say a crunchy potato cannolo filled with baccalà and sorbet of roasted peppers

Baccalà, Potatoes and peppers, that is to say a crunchy potato cannolo filled with baccalà and sorbet of roasted peppers

And in mid-July at Arca everything was really intriguing and concrete, starting from a triumphant mixed salad, and then Meditazione, oysters with peach, shallot and date tomatoes; Tartare of zanchetta with fried skin; Baccalà, potatoes and peppers, that is to say a crunchy potato cannolo filled with baccalà and a sorbet of roasted peppers; and then Brivido d’estate, cold spaghettini with courgettes, pine nuts, fresh tomato and basil, which had its opposite in Omega 3, sapid and intense spaghetti with black garlic, oil and chilli pepper, chlorophyll of parsley and anchovies, up to the final cheers for the dessert: Ricordo d'infanzia, a Mousse of milk, apple and Plasmon chocolate pudding on a coffee biscuit, with Banana and caramel ice cream.

After dining there, everything at Arca, the restaurant of the Caprettas, appears logic, thought over, and well executed.

 ARCA

Via Giuseppe Mazzini 109
64011 Alba Adriatica (Teramo)
Tel.: +39.0861.714647
E-mail: info@arcaristorante.it
Closed on Tuesdays
Average prices: starters 16 euros; first courses 17; main courses 24 and desserts 10.
Tasting menus: four, respectively for 85, 60, 50 and 45 euros.


Cibi Divini

Restaurants from all the world told in Il Giornale by Paolo Marchi from February 1994 to the winter of 2011. And since the spring, for the readers identitagolose.it

by

Paolo Marchi

born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.
blog www.paolomarchi.it
instagram instagram.com/oloapmarchi

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