74, Viale Baracca
48121 Ravenna, Italy
Tel. +39 0544 212713
BY ANTONIO GALLONI | SEPTEMBER 29, 2017
Grilled octopus: chickpea hummus, sundried tomato-infused
Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and Cantabrian Sea anchovies
Pastaficio dei Campi spaghetti; scallops, mussels, shrimp
Turbot; thyme, field herbs, cream, olive oil with anchovies
2014 Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico
Located on the outskirts of Ravenna’s central historic
district, Osteria L’Acciuga specializes in fish and seafood served in an
informal setting. This recent lunch was fabulous.
Italy’s cultural riches have few equals in the world. While
it is always fun to visit the big cities, the real joy of exploring all that
Italy has to offer lies in the provincial towns, far away from the hordes of tourists
that flock to the better-known destinations. It is here, in Italy’s small and
medium sized cities, where visitors can get a more authentic view of day-to-day
life and also discover many of the Italian traditions ranging from food and
wine to music and the performing arts, to an assortment of crafts such as shoemaking that have nearly been made
obsolete by globalization.
The Basilica of San
Vitale is one of Ravenna’s most famous sites
Ravenna lies in Emilia-Romagna, arguably Italy’s most famous
region for gustatory delights. Many of Emilia-Romagna’s cities are know for
their rich culinary traditions, including Bologna, Modena and Parma. On the wine front, Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna's still sparkling red wine, is going through an especially brilliant phase as an increasing number of producers focus on quality. Beachgoers
and lovers of the nightlife flock to Rimini, Riccione and Milano Marittima,
especially during the summer, when getting around is next to impossible. Busseto,
Faenza, Imola and Ferrara are all steeped in tradition. And then there are the car
and motorcycle titans – Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Ducati – all of
which are based in Emilia-Romagna. A UNESCO world heritage site, the small town of
Ravenna is known mostly for its stunning, well-preserved Roman and Byzantine
mosaics. There is a good bit of tourism in Ravenna, but nothing like visitors
will see in the big art cities. Much of the town center is a pedestrian only
zone that is a joy to explore.
Grilled octopus; chickpea hummus, sundried tomato-infused olive oil
Osteria L’Acciuga is a short walk from the city center.
Chef/owner Matteo Salbaroli’s menu features a range of delicious, simply
prepared dishes that represent the best of the Italian kitchen in their
simplicity and ingredient-driven focus. We opted for the day’s tasting menu (€42.00),
which was terrific.
Pastaficio dei Campi
spaghetti; scallops, mussels, shrimp and clams
The amberjack carpaccio
was light, flavorful and the perfect appetizer for a warm, muggy summer day.
Salbaroli’s grilled octopus was tender and very nicely matched by chick pea
hummus. Zucchini flowers are one of my very favorite Italian summer foods. The
season is short, so I never miss an opportunity to order them. L’Acciuga’s
version was light, airy and delicious. I also enjoyed the spaghetti with scallops,
mussels, shrimp and clams, a coastal Italian class. The turbot main course was
good, but not as exceptional as the other dishes.
L’Acciuga’s wine list is simple, with just enough choices to
be interesting. To be honest, with food like this, all I want is a refreshing,
quaffable Italian white. The 2014 Verdicchio dei
Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Podium from Garofoli was bright and lively but also had a good bit of texture gained
from the decision to pick on the later side and age the wine on its lees. We happily
went through several bottles over a leisurely lunch that turned out to be a
fabulous celebration of several birthdays in the family.