Against the clichés: soon the time comes when you can taste the best fish products of the year. And it's even more enjoyable to do it in restaurants along the coasts that remain open. In front of a unique sea, silent and for few
Even if the mixed grids and the monumental fried foods evoke the summer tables or the combined oysters-champagne (moreover, wrong on a Chablis or a very Italian Lugana) it reminds of the moonlit dinner, in reality – beyond the biological stops, which vary from region to region – it is in the coldest months of the year that most fish, crustaceans and molluscs reach the top of their form. Especially in our seas and therefore it is the advisable time to taste many species, with the certainty that they are not imported or of inferior quality. The advice to eat is derived from this and not from other reasons seafood and oysters first of all in the months with the «R, then from September to February. Even though the French have created channeling systems to keep the temperature where mussels are born low, natural cold makes the difference anyway.
The best species
The intelligent 'Eataly wheel' – the seasonality calendar, developed by Oscar Farinetti's structure – lists a large group of varieties that give the best from mid-December to March. Here they are: tuna alletato (the one on the maximum 15 kg), soace (the solids), mackerel, whiting (similar to hake), dormouse, bream, sardine, distaff, squid, anchovy, zanchetta, picarel is argentine. The last two best represent the concept of "poor fish" which, when fresh and well treated, offers tasty dishes with a low "food cost". This is why it makes absolutely sense to book a lunch in the best local fish restaurants open in the winter months (such as those in the our selection). Moreover, the seaside resorts in the winter months can be as suggestive as and more than in the holiday season. But there are many – like us, if we are allowed – who love to eat a large plate of fish, in front of a beautiful stained glass window, looking at the view.
Tavern at the Androna – Grado
In summer as in winter, the Tavernetta in the center of the lagoon town enhances the best of the Adriatic fish product. Beyond the great classics like the Padellata, it makes sense to ask for the proposals of the day, where the raw always occupy a prominent place. Large cellar of Friulian wines.
Guido – Miramare of Rimini
A few days of closure between December and the Befana, but then the seemingly simple cuisine of the Raschi family will return to this seaside resort. Fellinian atmosphere, high impact fish dishes such as grilled and marinated Spigola. But even desserts are worth the trip.
La Buca – Cesenatico
The Bartolini – father and son – are one of the great Italian fish families. Among their premises, the best known is this refined starry which is located on the canal port of Cesenatico. It is not a detail: the raw material actually travels a few meters and reaches the brigade. It is the encyclopedia of Adriatic fish cuisine.
Uliassi – Senigallia
From a three-star Michelin pizzeria: finding a table in the den of Mauro and Katia Uliassi is not easy even in the middle of winter. But try it from here to Christmas, preferably for lunch, given the terrific sea view. The kitchen? Spatial, ingenious with dishes like Gambero rosso and mandarino
Al Mare – Fano
Splendid location – it is in front of the Saxon beach – for the modern restaurant where Antonio Scarantino expresses his talent in revisiting the local cuisine, starting from the Fano brodetto. However, the classic style with the sequence of raw meats, grilled fish and Spaghettone with grilled sardines are not missing.
Vecchia Marina – Roseto degli Abruzzi
For guides (and not only) it is the best tavern in Abruzzo on the fish front. The cult are the abundant, very fresh appetizer, with many small masterpieces of taste; "Vecchia Marina" Tagliolini handmade with ancient wheat flour and dressed in white with cuttlefish, clams and scampi; the fried fish of the day. Tel. 085.8931170.
Lampare al Fortino – Trani
Incredible location for this place, overlooking the ancient heart of Trani, open up to the Befana and then from February onwards. For the record, the interior rooms in the former fort are also beautiful. Kitchen of great raw material, with an offer of crudités at the top. But there is no lack of creative dishes of good quality.
Torre del Saracino – Vico Equense
Gennaro Esposito is one of the masters of New Italian Cuisine. Always looking at the Mediterranean with great attention (and personal passion) for fish and shellfish. In the 1300 tower, "open" to the sea, you can taste – up to the Epiphany and from 12 February – masterpieces such as the fried mullet, not fried.
George – Naples
The splendid view of the gulf is likely to distract the senses from the dishes of Domenico Candela, chef of the gourmet restaurant inside the historic Grand Hotel Parker’s. Cuisine, with lots of fish in paper, where the recipes from Campania are revisited with technique and imagination. The local, newly-awarded Michelin star, closes only in January.
Pascucci at the Porticciolo – Fiumicino
Beloved by the Romans, a stone's throw from the international airport, it is the safe and refined landing place of Gianfranco Pascucci, self-taught cook with an immense passion for the sea. And you can see: the kitchen, based solely on "caught" products and recipes that aim to exalt them, either natural or with unusual combinations.
Osteria del Mare – Castiglione della Pescaia
Five years ago it was a 'serious' restaurant and was called Votapentole. Now it is a very lively tavern, managed by the same team and with the same quality of the raw material. But the cuisine is more direct, tasty and often served directly in the pan: raw red prawn parmigiana, mullet gnocchi, sardine caprese and zucchini …
La Pineta – Marina di Bibbona
From the outside it looks like a shack by the sea. Instead it is one of the most renowned fish restaurants, created by the late Luciano Zazzeri on the sand of Marina di Bibbona. Today it is Andrea and Daniele who continue the work of their father, proposing above all the classics: Tuscan, Italian, of the real sea.
Bistrot – Forte dei Marmi
Certainty of Versilia, never so perfect thanks to the touch of the new chef Andrea Mattei. Fish cuisine in all its forms, from raw to steamed, to charcoal, among historical dishes and new proposals that look to the world and to vegetables. Precious cellar with the best champagne.
Polpo Mario – Sestri Levante
An institution of the capital of the Levant, in the alley closed between the "two seas". The octopus is just one of the protagonists, interpreted in several recipes, but the kitchen offers a good Ligurian repertoire and the seafood classics, starting from an excellent mixed fry. Vermentino and Pigato reign in the valid cellar.
Il Vescovado – Noli
The sign is not accidental: it is located inside the former Episcopal Palace of the western town. A ‘bomboniera’ with a view of the sea where chef Giuseppe Ricchebuono proposes a journey through Liguria of food, proposing fish recipes at their best. From December, the place is always open.
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