Mattia e Alessio Spadone

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

La Bandiera

contrada Pastini, 4
65010 - Civitella Casanova (Pescara)
+39 085 845219

One studied at science school, the other at art school, the same as Andrea Pazienza, Misticoni in Pescara. The former is calm and rational, a mathematical talent. The latter is creative and irregular, a fan of Paz for his irreverence. Still, when you see them, they look exactly the same. Alessio and Mattia Spadone, inseparable twins are hardly similar. They have complimentary characters divided between dining room and kitchen at La Bandiera, a starred restaurant in Civitella Casanova, 1817 inhabitants breathing the oxygen distilled between the Gran Sasso national park and Monti della Laga.

Together they revolutionised the family restaurant. Taking over from their parents Bruna and Marcello, who in turn had followed the heritage of grandma Anna. A housewife with a passion for cooking, the author of the legendary Pappardelle allo stracotto di papera [with stewed duck] which are still in the menu at La Bandiera, but with an evolution. In the hands of Marcello the pasta became more elegant. In those of Mattia the seasoning became lighter, in line with contemporary needs.

The same happened with the Lamb leg, another evergreen at La Bandiera. Marcello, a barbecue virtuoso, used to marinate it with tarragon, wild thyme, bay leaves, savory. In the hands of Mattia the leg is pre-marinated with fermented juniper and divided into two cooking steps. It is then served with an emulsion of herbs, a potato soufflé and seasonal vegetables. What remains is the concept and quality of the raw materials, and, most of all, the blood pact with small producers from Abruzzo.

Respect for ingredients is the pillar in Mattia Spadone’s cuisine, something he learnt at home and perfected with the Roca brothers. «I own a lot to the 12 months in the kitchen team at El Celler. When I returned, I understood I had to use the techniques I had learnt to enhance local products, not to change their nature». Alessio learnt the art of service from another three-starred restaurant, Enoteca Pinchiorri. He also spent a year there. «French style service, strong attention to detail and to the client», is what he learnt in summary. Which translates into memorising the ten different types of water ordered by as many guests at the same table. The mnemonic marathon is only a part of the whole picture. The real secret of a good service, according to Alessio Spadone, is an acrobatic skill: «Looking after the guests without suffocating them».

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Sonia Gioia

A journalist by profession, curious by vocation, she applies her attitude to investigative reports and food features. She's author for Repubblica, Gambero Rosso, Dispensa​