I was told by my business partner about Niko Romito a well-known Italian chef, and while I felt ignorant not knowing his kitchen, but I was excited to travel to a place I hadn’t tried. Arriving in Pescara I hadn’t been there for almost thirty years. This region referred to as Abruzzo and the Marche is strategic in some ways yet out of the way for many foreigners traveling in the north. The airport is sleepy and the town seems quiet at this time of the year, and renting a car is easy, we drove 2 hours to the south towards Napoli racing through we paved highways to the plateau of the mountain surrounded by natural parks.
Abruzzo is known as the greenest region in Europe with one-third of its territory is national parks and protected nature reserves. These parks have tremendous natural resources and are a refuge to some of the rarest species of birds and other wildlife.
Abruzzo is also home to Calderone, Europe’s southernmost glacier. The area is beautiful picturesque but like so many regions in Italy, it is populated with elderly people while the young head to the cities and move abroad seeking opportunity.
The location seemed odd at first but after arriving you discover the old monastery restored has enough charm to welcome you to a remote area. The most serious demographic imbalance is between the mountainous areas of the interior and the coastal strip, and the largest province L’Aquila is situated entirely in the interior and has the lowest population density. That’s where you’ll find Niko Romito.
The service is perfect, and the staff very friendly, young and professional enough for a three-star restaurant. The tablecloths were immaculately pressed and the room is surprisingly cozy and quaint. The mood was quiet and this night the restaurant was full without one empty table. The food was superb, and I tried multiple dishes so at one point the sister of Niko asked “can you taste food with only a single bite” and I said, “sure, that how I can eat my way through a menu.”
The mood was quiet and this night the restaurant was full without one empty table. The food was simply superb, and after I tried multiple dishes the sister of Niko asked “can you taste food with only a single bite” and I said, “sure, that how I can eat my way through the menu.”
Niko is no doubt brilliant and his cuisine is innovative, delicious, cleverly constructed and worth the trip. /Bravo/
Piana Santa Liberata – 67031, Castel di Sangro (AQ)
T +39 0864 69382