Calle Porta Piccola, 6
34073 Grado, Italy
Tel. +39 0431 80950/+39 0431 81256
Borgo del Tiglio Chardonnay 91
2010 Borgo del Tiglio Sauvignon Selezione 94
with shellfish, out of the shell, Busara-style
is one of the prettiest and most quaint towns in northern Italy. This small
fishing village on Friuli’s Adriatic coast brings together elements of Venetian
architecture in its narrow, winding streets with an active beach life that
naturally hits its peak during the summer months. The town center is a
pedestrian-only zone, making Grado a great place for families with small
children. Located just off the main church, Tavernetta all’Androna remains the
best place to enjoy the numerous bounties of the Adriatic. The outdoor terrace
is also one of the most beautiful spots in Italy.
misto is a staple, and few do it better than all’Adrona. Cubes of fried white
polenta complement the fried calamari, shellfish, bianchetti and scampi. What a dish. Androna’s flagship padellata, a sautée of clams, mussels,
scallops, razor clams and scallops, is simply one of the very finest dishes
readers will enjoy anywhere in Italy. Enough for a meal on its own, the padellata is generous and bursting with
flavor. I never miss a chance to order it. My other appetizer, the octopus
salad, served slightly warm, is bursting with flavor. Fresh tomato and basil
add brightness and a sense of summer luminosity that is impossible not to love.
pasta course, spaghetti with shellfish Busara-style
is also fabulous. The combination of perfectly cooked, briny,
melt-in-your-mouth shellfish and al dente spaghetti is heavenly. Another
beautifully executed dish, the spaghetti could be a meal on its own. A roasted
whole orata tastes like the sea. It is fabulous. Serving whole fish tableside
requires a certain amount of experience that is missing on this night, but the
fish itself is delicious despite the sloppy presentation.
good as the food is – and it is usually great – wine is turns out to be a
disappointment at Androna. The wine list is encyclopedic in size and scope.
Sadly, many of the selections are outdated. I watch as the table next to us
carefully plans their food and wine pairings, only to be told that the wines
they want aren’t available. The waiter basically tells the guests what they are
going to drink. Are you kidding? What a mess. This level of service is
unacceptable at any level, but in a high-end restaurant it is beyond the pale.
Why not just have a smaller, focused list with 10-20 wines that are always available?
we are lucky, if that is the right word, to find the last bottles of two wines
from Borgo del Tiglio. The 2010
Chardonnay is drop-dead gorgeous. An intensely mineral, saline wine, the
2010 bursts from the glass with a compelling array of Collio-inflected aromas
and flavors. It is a great match for the food. Even better, the 2010 Sauvignon Selezione, is flat-out
stunning. Expressive varietal aromatics, meld into rich white and yellow stone
fruits in another wine loaded with energy and mouth-watering, salivating
visiting Grado should definitely stop by all’Androna. The food is fabulous and
the outdoor seating during the summer months is a pure delight. When it comes
to wine, the best approach is to not expect much. Who knows, you might be