Fabio and I just spent a week in Italy with his parents. There wasn’t any traveling around this trip, just quality time spent with family. Still there were some exceptional moments that deserve to be documented.
We’ve nicknamed a friend of Fabio’s Anthony Bourdain. Whenever we go to Italy, he & his wife take us to the most amazing restaurants. This time we went to a small seafood restaurant at the water’s edge in a small town at the end of a dark road that wound through the woods. Obviously a place you need to know about. Yet on a cold Tuesday night in February the restaurant was still busy. The food is honestly out of this world. The flavors are something you just can’t find in the U.S. In fact it’s recently been found that there is more carotinoids in the Mediterranean Sea, thereby explaining the exceptional color of the water and rich flavors of the seafood.
The appetizer was a sampling of local seafood prepared sushi style. It was arranged on the plate from most delicate to the most flavorful and meant to be eaten in that order. We started at the top with three different types of shrimp, then moved clockwise to the sea urchin, calamari, three different types of local fish and finally a ceviche blended with capers. Delish!!
The plate de resistance was an oven roasted Galinella, a beautiful local fish that is meaty and full of flavor. Galina, the word from which Galinella comes, means hen in Italian. The fish got it’s name because it makes a sound very similar to that of a hen clucking. Just a little trivia for you. 🙂
What a meal!
A couple of days later we took a drive to Livorno, the hometown of Fabio’s mom. Livorno was a sea port developed by the Medici family with which they populated with freed prisoners. Consequently the people of Livorno look quite different from the rest of the Italian population.
In my opinion the best thing about Livorno is the Cinque Cinque, a sandwich made of sciaciatta bread wrapped around a flat fried chick pea omelet type thing and slice of marinated eggplant that is just spicy enough to make it interesting. It’s a whole lot of deliciousness!
The drive to Livorno from San Vincenzo, where we stayed, is super beautiful. We stopped along the way to take a couple of shots.
The rest of the time was spent in San Vincenzo with Fabio’s parents where his mom also made some exceptional meals and we enjoyed a few amazing sunsets.