Less than 10 kilometers from the walled city of Rieti is Ristorante La Trota. It is reachable by just taking the main country road, Via S. Susanna that takes from the city straight to the restaurant. From Rome, there is around 100 kilometers of distance but can be easily reached by car or train and bus to Rieti. Definitely worth the trip, it is a well-known restaurant both in the area and the whole country for its innumerable accolades most especially its 2 Michelin stars conquered in 2004 and 2013. In the kitchen are brothers Sandro and Maurizio Serva with their team while the dining room is directed by their sons Michele and Amedeo. The restaurant has an elegant fine dining interior while outside, the turquoise chalk stream of Santa Susanna runs through the property under a small wooden bridge which leads to an intimate Italian-style garden that they use for outdoor events. The bridge also holds a few tables during the summer season for their outdoor service giving an delightful setting.
La Trota started in the early 1960s when Emilio Serva and his wife Rolanda opened a simple trattoria in Rivodutri. Their sons, Sandro and Maurizio, who grew up in the kitchen, inherited the same passion for cooking that their parents started. But the brothers were one step ahead of their parents because they had the dynamism to make a giant leap forward, a change that no one has ventured into, perhaps even of dubious nature at that time that was often misunderstood. They built their menu around an underestimated ingredient that were abundant in their property, freshwater fish. Trout, pike, tench, zander, eel, carp, are the prime ingredients of Sandro and Maurizio’s kitchen as opposed to the usual seafood catches that restaurants were putting on their menus. With immense passion and knowledge, their curious exploration received great attention and became a grand success.
The menu of La Trota is created to magnify the local territory. The main focus is the freshwater fish found in the surrounding lakes and stream but there are also local meat accentuated by some vegetables from the area. It’s the modern technique and extremely creative approach to the traditional recipes that make the Serva brothers’ kitchen highly regarded in the gastronomic world. They provide an enthralling depiction of classic flavors in distinct works of aesthetically superior dishes. Every dish presented is a masterpiece of exalted aromas and flavors. Together with the food, they have more than 800 Italian and French selected wine labels to choose from.
Appetizers are around €30 to €35, first dishes of pasta and risotto are €25, and main dishes at €45. To get to know their kitchen more profoundly, there are two tasting menus, Attraversando Il Lago (Crossing the Lake) which is based on lake fish and the other one Arrivando al Territorio (Arriving at the Territory) which is based on meat, both at €130. Do try the flavorful Bisque of Crayfish with Curry Plant Leaves and the Catfish with Almonds and Apple.
Ristorante La Trota
Address: Via S. Susanna, 33
02010 Rivodutri (RI), Italy
Tel: +39 0746 685078
Open for lunch and dinner from Thursdays to Mondays, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Sunday dinner