Today’s post is about my visit to Moreno Cedroni’s restaurant “Madonina del Pescatore”, in Senigallia, near Ancona, Italy. I was there on my way to Tuscany, and decided to have lunch at the restaurant before proceeding with my trip.
Senigallia is on the Adriatic coast, south of Rimini, the birth town of Fellini. I was there back in the summer of 2009, when I visited the “Uliassi” restaurant, on my way to Ravenna.
It was late December. The long road by the beach was empty in the middle of the day, in sharp contrast with the pandemonium of the summer. The air was not cold, but humid, and the atmosphere hazy. The big lady dressed in dark greeted me and suggested to have a good lunch, as you never know when life will end. She then turned back to her endless gazing at the sea.
The restaurant has been awarded two Michelin Red Guide stars many years ago, and has managed to keep them, a good indication that time is acting to the chef’s benefit so far. The theme of the chef’s creations is “la immortalità del cibo”, i.e. “the immortality of the food”. It sounded very good to me, especially after my encounter a few moments before. I entered the restaurant and ordered the menu of the chef, eager to taste what the chef had in store, eager to immortalize my humble existence for even a split second. .
The beginning was hygienic, as I was asked to brush my teeth and then wash them with the greenish liquid.
Mojito alla Lavanda e Nocciolina.
Then came the aperitivo, a tasty white foam on a bed a martini cubes, accompanied by a fake pistachio in his crust. So far so good.
There was no amuse bouche, the action started straight away.
Raw amberjack, leeks and lemongrass sauce, pancy, basil and fried amarant. The amberjack was sweet and tender but with texture. The sauce was discrete, supporting the fish taste.
Oyster with sour cream, green onion, raspberry caramel and pearls with black tea. Oysters require subtlety and superior balance. They can get very watery and soft, or dry and tough. In this dish, the chef has achieved perfection. The pearls of black tea complemented the flavors superbly, by adding a slightly bitter note to the harmony.
Swordfish bites “shabu shabu” style with celeriac, pineapple and green peppers. Shabu-shabu directly translates to “swish-swish” and is a cooking technique whereby you submerge bits of the meat or fish in hot water and swish it around. The taste of the flesh was mildly aromatic and firm. Good balance of subtle sweet and sour in the accompanying vegetables and fruit.
Tribute to Giacomelli (see below): the black figure awaits the white – black bean sauce with seared scallops. I am a scallop lover. I fell in love with this dish. The scallops were seared to perfection, the seasoning ever so subtle and discrete to simply accentuate the natural flavors. The black bean sauce supporting the scallops extremely smooth and fine.
Mario Giacomelli (1925 – 2000) was a photographer born and raised in Senigallia.
Cardoon soup, camomile and cuttlefish. Soothing, smooth, flavorful, the soup supports the tender cuttlefish. A nice interlude.
Risotto with clams, red shrimps and squid, “aio oio”, parsley and wasabi sauce. This dish is the powerhouse of the menu. The combination of “aio oio” that is “aglio e olio” that is “garlic and olive oil” with the wasabi sauce was a big success, and elevated the risotto to the sky!
Turbot with braised wild mushrooms, jerusalem artichokes sauce and white truffles acqualagna. The turbot was tender, seared to perfection, the accompanying mushrooms and the sauce as always subtle and supporting. Deliciou,s uplifting dish!
The dishes were accompanied by moderate quantities of the excellent white wine “VERDICCHIO DEI CASTELLI DI JESI VIGNA DELLA OCHE 2008”.
Sorbet of Toma Cheese with strawberry jam. Wonderful combination of flavors!
Chocolate mousse, Clementine oil and sea urchin eggs. The absolute star of the deserts, a hard core dynamite combination that blows up in your mouth. Extremely long aftertaste.
Purple ice cream, raspberry mousse and streusel spice. The best sequel to the dynamite mousse, playful in colors and subtle flavors.
Ice cold zabaione (-196 degrees). The illusion of taste. This puffy blob disappears in the mouth so quickly and so suddenly that it is like the descend to nothingness. This is the end.
On my way out I looked at the long sandy beach. Did I become immortal? Even for a split second?
Yes! In the deserted, winterly beach by the Adriatic I entered the world of split second immortality. This now occurs to me as the continuation of the path that originated in Vienna, when I visited the Vestibuel Restaurant, and I declared:
“If mortality is so beautiful, I am happy to be mortal!”
I now realize that this statement anticipated the experience of split second immortality, therefore it is the prologue to the immortality path that now took me to Senigallia.