Dry aging of fish is the new frontier. Which can also be tasted at Trattoria Da Lucio, in Rimini. Where they do everything from fish, including offal, they dry it and cook it on the grill
The future of seafood is not fresh fish. Too delicate and difficult to keep, it requires daily work and raises costs. Better to hang it, keep it and make sure that its duration is prolonged; achieving flavors and textures never experienced before. Other than a lively eye, tenacious scales and the scent of the sea. Large fish, properly gutted and stored at the right humidity, last for tens of days, lose the typical "fishy" smell and have a firmer, tender and tasty flesh. «It is normal for us that meat should hang. That it can hang for a long time, even 60, 90 days, is now established. That it can be done with fish still sounds like a heresy ". To say it is Jacopo Ticchi, chef and partner of the Trattoria Da Lucio restaurant in Rimini who, after years of seasons in Romagna, flew to Australia and then spent years at Joia, the starred vegetarian restaurant in Milan. That of the dry aged fish it is now a global movement, with exponents experimenting from Los Angeles to New Zealand, sushi bars that serve it as a delicacy and techniques that have now come down to us. It was thanks to a book called The Whole Fish (translated into Italian by Giunti, The big fish book), written by the Australian Josh Niland, soul of Fish Butchery, the first "fish butcher". You can find it on the shelf of the Trattoria Da Lucio, next to the Noma book.
Trattoria Da Lucio, Rimini
Sea Rimini ask where to eat, the answer is quite unique: Trattoria Da Lucio. But when you hear about them you think of a classic place, of those with checkered tablecloths or, at most, set up with American paper straw. A good thing, in short. Instead, they just changed location (due to Covid) and occupied a hotel restaurant, one of those modern waterfront hotels with glass balconies and arguably contemporary design. In front: a games room, alongside: the bridge illuminated by day with blue and white neon. It is Rimini Rimini, but not what it once was. They are young and look like fish out of water in a room obviously not theirs, elegantina, in which, however, they offer contemporary, genuine and tasty cuisine. And in the end, you also forget the spotlights on the ceiling and the double access to the outside and to the three-star lobby. The black and white photos on the walls and the books are the only decoration that betrays their true nature, together with the menu, evidently taken from the old restaurant: tasting for € 65 and a short but incisive menu to choose from: raw, embers, first courses, side dishes. It is evident that this is not the usual place for spaghetti with clams and mixed fried food, strictly frozen, of the copy & paste menus that are repeated for the Riviera.
Raw, tripe and first courses
Raw, like a plateau classic, and then the dry aged cuts, such as sea bream fillets, croaker, sea bass caught and served with a salt of oil, vinegar and shallot. Grilled seabed mussels, oil, lemon and parsley. Grilled octopus salad comes with mushrooms and trevisana, freshly seared cuttlefish with lard and squacquerone and traditional brodetto, cooked in cast iron next to the fire. Menu item dedicated to fish offal such as brioche with monkfish liver, peaches and onion, Heart of tuna, sweet garlic and tomato, the Tuna tripe, delicious, with brown base and tomato sauce, in which to make scarpetta. Among the first courses, Risotto au gratin with raw mussels and bottarga, very fine Cappelletti stuffed with sea urchins and bottarga, lightly smoked and seasoned with cream, and then the "gross spoja”In different versions, that is a dirty sheet, the remainder of the scraps of dough and filling left over when making cappelletti, cooked in broth and seasoned. Delicious. Local wines with excellent quality / price ratio, a well-selected international menu and cocktails are drunk. Right, because Trattoria da Lucio is the latest addition to a group of Rimini restaurants that is making headlines and includes the cocktail bar with small kitchen, Necessaire Bistrot and the Fermenta wine shop.
Da Lucio is not the host, but Jacopo's child (who is like 26 years old and is a very young father). And the bill turned out to be € 49, including wine.