At Dalla Gioconda's, Davide Di Fabio pursues a dream

The Bizzarris, father and son, have taken over the old disco club in Gabicce Monte, thus allowing the sous-chef from Osteria Francescana to have a kitchen of his own. Debuting on the 21st of June

21-06-2021
The team at Gioconda in Gabicce Monte, opening on

The team at Gioconda in Gabicce Monte, opening on Monday 21st of June. Left to right: Allegra Tirotti, Davide Di Fabio, Alessandro Fabbrucci, Stefano Bizzarri and Alessio di Iorio

In a week's time, on Monday the 21st of July, Davide Di Fabio will launch his future. Born in 1985 in Rho near Milano, and raised in Bellante (Teramo), his life developed along the Via Emilia (he spent sixteen years in Modena at Osteria Francescana) and the Strada Adriatic – his catering school was in San Benedetto del Tronto (in the province of Ascoli Piceno) and his kitchen is now in Gabicce Monte, also in the Marche but on the opposite side, in the north, in the province of Pesaro Urbino.

It's weird to see the word "monte" paired with the smallest town in Pesaro, since it's in fact by the sea and its "mount" is little over 100 metres high. However, Monte is also the only scenic mountain between Ancona (and Monte Conero), and Trieste, whose mountains are 478 km apart. Last trivia fact before talking food: Gabicce would be the smallest town even if it were in the province of Rimini, to which it is nonetheless linked. For those who were born and raised here, this is still Romagna, if not for documents and the local administration.

The restaurant already had a name, and like with boats, it's best to keep it. It was called Dalla Gioconda and it will always be called Dalla Gioconda. This was the name of the lady who opened a disco club with pizzeria in the Fifties in a village that later saw the birth of two memorable establishments: Eden Rock and Baia degli Angeli. The disco's sign is still there, and the same goes for the jukebox. And for the view that embraces the entire coast of Romagna – and on clear days you can even spot Ravenna, some 80 km to the north.

Dalla Gioconda – like Osteria del Viandante in Rubiera (Reggio Emilia), scheduled to open in September, with chef Jacopo Malpeli, – is an investment of Marco and Stefano Bizzarri. The father is president and CEO at Gucci's, the son is a restaurateur. All this with the support of Massimo Bottura. Davide said on a windy Friday, under a clear sky: «I have always had two dreams in my life, working at Osteria Francescana and having a restaurant. The first came true, now the second is about to. I arrived in Modena after falling in love with Francescana simply by reading an interview with Massimo in a magazine I found under a table at school. To me, it was a sign of destiny.

«Then, the destiny made me meet my partner in Pesaro and now here I am in the same province, ready for a new adventure. I understand that after sixteen years this is not an easy choice, but I thought this was the best moment to take a new road, and this seems to be the place I've always dreamt about. Plus, it's also closer to my parents and my beloved Abruzzo, a return to the origins. After all, I started to train as a cook in the Marche».

And in the Marche another dream will come true. He will have Alessandro Fabbrucci as his sous chef, Alessio di Iorio as maître and sommelier, Allegra Tirotti design and hospitality, Stefano Bizzarri as manager and sommelier. To contact Dalla Gioconda, while works are still ongoing, you can call 0541.962295; or write to ristorante@dallagioconda.it, and visit dallagioconda.it.

In what was once the private house of Mrs Gioconda, we had the pleasure of a preview starting with a tribute to the years spent at catering school in San Benedetto: Olive simil-ascolane they are fake in that they're stuffed with stockfish cooked in the tradition of Ancona.

Then Saraghina Fac-simile because the saraghine, are placed in a basket in a way that reminds one of roof tiles, and of anchovies preserved in salt; Broth of mussels alla marinara, pepper and lemonSalad of scarola, herbs and salted codfish mantecatoSaluti da Rimini, a risotto he presented at the latest edition of Al MèniLa zuppiera: mixed pasta and fish broth made with raw fish from the Adriatic sea, a superb dish he presented as a contemporary take on [a recipe called] Virtù teramane on the 1st of May; Monkfish au gratin with herbs in the style of snails à  la bourguignonneLamb in the style of Milan, as a tribute to the city where he was born. Sweet end with Meringata with raspberries, strawberries and vanilla.

The music in the background was ballroom dancing from Romagna. Vinyl records, a bridge between past and future.

 


Sections

Affari di Gola di Paolo Marchi

A mouth watering page, published every Sunday in Il Giornale from November 1999 to the autumn of 2010. Stories and personalities that continue to live in this website