With just about 30 kilometers of distance from the capital, everyone heads to Fiumicino when seafood cravings arrive. It’s the nearest coastal town along the Tyrrhenian Sea and it has hundreds of seafood restaurants to choose from. At the town’s long road along the beach, Lungomare della Salute, a dense row of restaurants open their doors to seafood lovers. We are in one of the coast’s most prominent fishing towns, what else can be in their kitchens?
Our destination is number 187 where Officina del Mare has been residing for almost a year.
The restaurant welcomes you with a spacious outdoor seating of about 50 and as you step inside, the area yields to a much expansive space that can accommodate around 60. The motif of the restaurant is the sea in a backdrop of almost pure white, wood and touches of blue. It has an air of casual refinement wherein the food and service parallel the ambience. Outdoors, the sea reminds you of its proximity across the road with its robust briny scent and its glistening water.
Officina del Mare holds a lot of surprises in the kitchen.
The restaurant was conceptualized by co-proprietors and siblings Raffaele and Rosanna Forgione. Its Executive Chef, Ettore Cuzzone, is just in his early twenties and runs a kitchen brigade of six men. Albeit the extreme young age, he manages the arduous task of keeping a united team in executing his creative ideas. A graduate of Campus Etoile Academy, one of Italy’s most important culinary school, he has also gained experiences in the kitchens well-known restaurants in Italy like Ristorante Mammà in Capri, Ristorante Quadri Alajmo in Venice and Palace Hotel in Milano Marittima.
Passionate with his work, curious and yielding to his incessant creativity, Ettore’s kitchen philosophy leans towards an innovative approach with the usage of kilometer zero and seasonal ingredients. The majority of the seafood are sourced from the daily catch of the fishermen in Fiumicino while some are obtained from where they are best known to have the highest quality like the oysters that arrive from Brittany, France.
Once seated at Officina del Mare, expect inventive entries in the seasonal menu.
Take out the curious side of your palate that can readily explore diversity in flavors.
Take a step away from the traditional seafood plates and involve yourself in the engaging kitchen of Ettore. Accompany your dishes with some good wines from their selection while the dining staff headed by Maitre’ D Alessandro Calvanese takes care of your needs. Then conclude your meal with the desserts of Pastry Chef Martina Fabozzi.The menu amplifies the seasonality of the ingredients, most especially the availability of the catch of the moment so some of the entries might vary constantly on top of the mainstays in the menu.Some interesting entries in the appetizer section are the Gran Crudo dell’Officina (€25) which is a platter of raw crustaceans and fish carpaccio with a selection of condiments. Tuna Shabu-Shabu (€12) has a name derived from the popular Japanese hotpot dish with tuna that’s lightly marinated in soy sauce with bread crumble and lime mayonnaise. The Burrata & Shrimp (€12) is an appetizing combination of stracciatella di bufala cheese and raw crustaceans.For the pasta dishes, Ettore’s interesting version of the Ajo e Oio (€14), or better known as Aglio e Olio (Garlic and Oil) in its traditional name, is a commendable dish of linguine with garlic, oil, chili, carpaccio of the catch of the day and almonds from Avola in Sicily. The Classico di Mare (€14) is a tasty dish of a small variety of clams called lupini mixed with spaghetti.Among the main courses, there is La Galinella (€18) or tub gurnard fish served with fish broth, bell pepper cream and green beans. There is also the more classic and popular Italian seafood dish, the Frittura di Paranza (€16) which is a mixture of fried small fish. And finally the desserts. The Tartlet with Lemon Curd (€7) has the right tanginess of the lemons combined with the sweetness of the Italian meringue on top of it. There are also the revisited versions of Tiramisù (€6) and Babbà (€7).
Lungomare della Salute, 187
00054 Fiumicino (RM), Italy
Tel: +39 06 45447160 / +39 348 1641822
Open daily for lunch and dinner except Mondays
Check with them for August schedule