Ristorante Agli Amici: Spreading the Starred Cuisine From Italy to Croatia

Hic manebimus optime in Latin. Qui staremo benissimo in Italian. We’ll be fine here in English. Universally speaking, the front sign of Ristorante Agli Amici creates a touch of warmth upon entering their door. Ristorante Agli Amici is owned by the Scarello siblings, Chef Emanuele who runs the kitchen and Sommelier Michela who takes care of the dining room and the wine cellar. They are from the fifth generation of the family who have continued the activity that was handed down to them after more than 130 years. At present, they have accumulated a lot of accolades that any restaurant would dream of. Two Michelin stars (2000 for the first star and 2013 for the second star) in their original restaurant in Godia, Italy and another star after just three months of opening their new restaurant in Rovinj, Croatia; three hats on Guide de L’Espresso, a part of Le Soste, Relais & Chateaux and Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe (JRE) where Emanuele held the position of president from 2009 to 2012.

In 1887, the Scarello family started the activity in Godia as the town’s bazaar, then it headed towards the road to gastronomy in the 1960s and from there, the generations of the family pursued the idea of cooking Friulan cuisine. It was in the hands of Ivonne Bodigoi and husband Tino Scarello, parents of Michela and Emanuele, when Ristorante Agli Amici became a destination of gastronomic inspiration.

Behind every magnificent dish is Emanuele whose heart has always belonged to the kitchen even as a child. He found inspiration in his mother who was a great cook and who taught him particular techniques, methods and secrets. His passion took him to a hotel and catering school, internships in Italy and abroad, and collaborations with chefs both in Italy and Europe. It was from the year 2000 when Emanuele’s career started to pick up splendidly when the restaurant began receiving recognition and awards. In the dining room and wine cellar is Michela whose dedication is focused on hospitality and wine. She and her dining staff work impeccably in creating a pleasant ambience for all their guests. The wines that she puts in the menu come from big and small producers that produce labels of excellence.

From their historic restaurant in Godia, Emanuele and Michela opened another restaurant last June 2021 in neighboring country, Croatia, in the seaside town of Rovinj located along the Istrian Coast. Here, the ambience is modern, spacious and elegant in the beautiful strip between the luxurious and majestic Grand Park Hotel Rovinj and the marina, where its picturesque terrace offers a direct panorama of the sea and the town’s marina. With the new project, they are introducing their individualistic style to Rovinj using domestic raw materials from small producers, vegetables and fruits cultivated in the Croatian territory and and seafood caught by the local fishermen. In the kitchen, there is Lorenzo Lai working along with Emanuele Scarello.

The cuisine of the Rovinj restaurant speaks the languages of Istria and Friuli, which can be experienced through three tasting menus: Godia (HRk 1050, about €140) which is composed of five courses that are dedicated to the classics of their restaurant in Godia; Istria (HRK 1000, about €133), composed of five courses that takes you on a journey in the coast of Istria highlighting small farms and producers; and Rovinj (HRK 830, about €110), 4 courses that focuses on the tastes and smell of the local fish. The three culinary journeys convey the restaurant’s gastronomic concept of exploration, discovery and sustainability. Among the dishes of the Rovinj menu, the Spaghetti with Sea Herbs (with anchovies, butter, egg yolk and Mediterranean herbs) stands out with its excellent flavors of unique local herbs wherein you can taste the singular flavor components of the dish.

Ristorante Agli Amici

Grand Park Hotel Rovinj
Šetalište Vijeća Europe 1-2
52210 Rovinj, Croatia
Tel: +385 52642084
Website (Rovinj): https://www.maistra.com/grand-park-hotel-rovinj/sub/agli-amici-rovinj
Website (Godia): https://www.agliamici.it/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AgliAmici1887