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Ristorante zi Nicola & The Man that Doesn’t Like Fish

by Sam Dunham
Fishing boats by the last trabocco on Abruzzo's trabocchi coastline

A run by a man who doesn’t like in Abruzzo? Perhaps that he still manages to put the knowledge of three generations of restaurateurs to excellent use is an insight into how loyalty to family still holds strong in Italy.

Beyond the family tradition that keeps Andrea in situ, I’d imagine it is also the location of this fish restaurant, with its sweeping vistas out to the remains of the last trabocco stage post and ’s expansive crescent bay.

Fishing boats by the last trabocco on Abruzzo's trabocchi coastline

Although the wide interior is a little dated and reminiscent of the ’90s, and its airiness may not be what I would choose for a winter’s evening, I could see the appeal in the height of summer, after having experienced numerous ’intimate’ fish restaurant lunches wafted by a feeble inadequate fan, especially as Ristorante zi Nicola served some of the most interesting affordable wines we’ve ever been served with fish.

A 2008 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo by Azienda Agricola Valentini, a hint of spicy minerals combined with high Abruzzo meadows, and a 2010 Marramiero Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Anima, a dry and crisp wine but with wonderful citrus meets peach notes.

Squid Purgatory We loved their Purgatory so much so that we asked the Chef for the recipe to share with everyone.  We’d recommend a summer al fresco visit taking advantage of  the covered deck  for this dish alone mopped up with some bread, especially in these times of austerity when you don’t really need 3 courses.

Squid in Purgatory by Ristorante zi Nicola


1 kg of small squid
300 g very ripe sweet tomatoes
1 glass of white wine
2 cloves of
2 bay leaves
Fresh chili according to taste
Chopped flat leafed parsley,
Extra virgin olive oil


Clean the squid, cut into pieces and rinse several times in cold running water. Allow to drain.

In a thick-bottomed saucepan or a in a shallow terracotta dish, fry the chopped garlic and chili in the olive oil, add the squid and bay leaves and a pinch of salt.

Cover with a lid and cook until the squid shrink in size, pour over the white wine and add the chopped tomatoes and allow the sauce to thicken.

Add the chopped parsley and serve with toasted bread rubbed with garlic.

Address: SS 16 Adriatica – North, 30, 66054 Vasto Province of Chieti, Italy
Phone: +39 0873 367648
Facebook | No website

Opening Hours

  • From 1st October to 14th March, open daily for lunch 12.30 -15.30. On Fridays and Saturdays only from 12.30 -15,30 for lunch AND for dinner 19-23.00
  • From 15th March to 30th September lunch 12.30-15.30, dinner 19.00-24.00

 View the wines on cellar TRACKER

2008 Azienda Agricola Valentini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

2010 Marramiero Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Anima

This was part of a fish lovers weekend in Vasto including  learning how to cook traditional fish recipes aboard a trabocco organised by Italia Sweet Italia

All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog
All about Abruzzo in a slow travel & food blog