Now although there is plenty of coastline in Abruzzo, in most of the towns’ restaurants if you want to sit to eat your fish on the sea it’s a little difficult, it’s either back on the beach boardwalk or the other side of the road, there are notable exceptions of course and here’s an affordable one down in Fossacesia Marina on the Trabocchi Coast in Chieti.
We re-visited the area on the invite of some friends and realised a dingy old hamburger joint some 4 years earlier that we’d walked into for a Coke had been transformed into a swan; a fish & pizza trattoria with, best of all, a terrace out overlooking the sea, protruding out onto the pebbled beach with a wonderful view of the those warm green waters and sheltered by large canary yellow parasols! I’m not sure what it would be like in the winter on there but May through to October I think it would work a treat.
We started with one of the very best seafood antipasti salads I’ve had, chunky but succulently tender with plenty of octopus which I adore and some juicy salmon carpacchio. Hot antipasti included the standard Abruzzo bowl of sweet mussels, very good, local ones I imagine (no big green lipped ones here); some fantastic octopus again, ‘polpi in umido’ – stewed tendrils in a rich tomato and olive sauce and swordfish with peas all unfaultable and enough time between hot and cold to let you enjoy both. Portion control here was fantastic enough to allow you to bask in flavours but not enough to put overwhelm and be off-putting of the main course.
For our main course we’d ordered the roasted fish with potatoes and green fresh olives. You can’t turn up and expect this dish sadly, so either call in a couple of days before or make a call (don’t email to be on the safe side, a fairly standard rule throughout Abruzzo). This was the first time that I’d had Ombrina, which is becoming more frequently substituted for Sea Bass. They eat anchovies & sardines whilst playing in the nether regions of the sea and I have to say I found it slightly more delicate in taste than Bass, completely bowling me over so to speak. So if you are looking for an alternative to Bass or see Ombrino on the menu – a remarkable white meaty fish that is fantastic roasted, do try it! I hope to see more of it with the EU’s new fishing policy. Have to mention some divine roast potatoes, whose texture I’d never be able to recreate I am sure, making this the best fish main course I’ve eaten in Abruzzo in 6 years!
Price – €40 per person including 2 courses, 3 litres of house white wine between 4 shared and 3 bottles of water
Value for money – 10/10
Quality of food – 10/10
Ristorante La Sirenella
Address: Via Lungomare, 91 | Fossacesia Marina (CH)
No website or email
Tel: +39 0872 607146