Giulianova is better known for its Blue Flag beach than its seaside restaurants but Bistrot 900 is a new game-changer in the perception of modern cuisine in Abruzzo, particularly up in its northern Teramo province.
A visit to Bistrot 900 is the chance to meander Abruzzo, Italy and the world of modern cuisine where delectable ingredients are served to provide massive flavours that will pretty much blow you away as you sit within its light, natural beach themed dining room.
I recently had a gorgeous long lunch here with American, British and Italian friends, most of who possessed a background in the hotel, catering and event industry so expectations were super high! The restaurant is open all year round for dinner to experience super talented Chef Enzo di Pasquale’s creations, but at a weekend lunch is only possible if you have a group of 5 or more and pre-book.
The restaurant is housed in a stunning Art Nouveau villa that has been recently restored a 5-minute walk from the town’s sandy beach. Even though it is not a beachfront property and its neighbours are in all honesty architecturally ugly, once inside you will be so entranced by the food that thoughts of both will be quickly forgotten.
As much as we all love to gorge on a bowlful of superb pasta (and it is possible to choose a bowl of great pasta here too for €10), this is the seaside restaurant in Abruzzo to visit when you are aching for something a little bit different or are in need of some extensive wooing at an affordable price. The highly-recommended weekly changing tasting platter starts at just €36 for 4 dishes and it was the first time that I had been offered sweetbreads in Abruzzo so I was curious!
Dishes are seasonal and many of the vegetables are grown by the Chef in his own orto (vegetable garden). I adore that Enzo takes the time to grow his own vegetables to ensure the flavours and quality are up to his standards whilst getting a little tlc outside a busy kitchen to think ahead, relax a little and seek inspiration from the land.
With our aperitivo came home-made breadsticks and salmon, prosciutto that make you remember the precious simplicity of Italian food that is at its best is undisguised and allows you to call out a particularly flavoursome ingredient.
Noted favourites amongst the group were the piglet cheek and chard and venison sirloin that didn’t just sing because of the tenderness of the meat but from such an infusion of classy new flavours which they were served with. Not to be missed desserts here are not just scrumptious but textural delights that get you to engage imaginatively with your plate rather than a quick creamy scoop and forget about it style pudding.
Ristorante Bistrot 900 dinner is a sensory experience that provokes animated food based discussion as you taste and savour accompanied by some finely picked local and regional wines that are surprisingly reasonably priced. The restaurant’s staff are incredibly kind and attentive and explain each dish carefully without waffle that helps to foster a feeling of ambience rather than pretentious dining. Many have predicted that this restaurant will be the next Abruzzo Michelin Star restaurant and I am inclined to agree!
Q&A With Chef Enzo di Pasquale
Where were you born and grow up?
I was born in Giulianova, leaving the town to work when I was 18 and returning 3 years ago.
Who and what inspired you to become a chef?
This was my sister, she used to work in a pre-school (asilio) and I would occasionally accompany her to work with her in the kitchen.
Do you have a favourite regional Italian cuisine? No, I think that each region possesses wonderful skills in making the very best from local ingredients.
You have your own orticello (kitchen garden) what should all good cooks never be without on their orto?
Make sure you pick the best seeds and sow and carefully nurture them in a high-quality seedbed and you’ll find they continue to give throughout the season.
What are the rarer dishes that visitors to Abruzzo should search out and taste whilst in Abruzzo?
Le Mazzarelle, La Pecora alla Callera, Sise delle Monache, Timballo di Crespelle
How has your cooking ethos changed over the years?
It’s now even more about achieving a fine balance of ingredients when you have denaturalised what is expected.
Why did you choose Giulianova to open a restaurant?
Giulianova is my hometown, I left it when I was 18 to gain experience in the best kitchens overseas and I returned from the USA 3 years ago. I had never imagined opening my own restaurant but the opportunity arose and we haven’t looked back.
What 3 things would you advise a visitor to Giulianova to do?
Start your visit to the city up at Giulianova Alta and preferably by bicycle (it’s easy to hire one) cycle down to the port for the sunset where you will be able to look up at the breathtaking Gran Sasso mountains.
What is your ultimate comfort food when feeling down?
Pasta al pomodoro, a slice of pizza, or my Mum’s gnocchi!
Where to Find & How to Book
Tel: +390858007494 | Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Via Galileo Galilei 226, 64021 Giulianova (TE)