Porto Mirabello takes particular care to the real experiences offered to those who choose to moor along our piers. Services to captains, guests and ship owners are already well known. The food offer of Porto Mirabello is always well appreciated. Read here below the interview with Oscar, chef of the restaurant Akua in Porto Mirabello.
What does having a restaurant in Porto Mirabello mean?
It is a matter of pride, it is one of the most beautiful corners of the city, the bow of a boat in the middle of the sea. It’s beautiful, that’s it.
Let us assume that Porto Mirabello has non-Italian customers: what kind of dishes would you recommend to win them over?
Italian dishes. I am very proud of a dish created many years ago: imperial Penne. It was a strange combination made with scampi, tomato and cream. He imitated the Parisian Penne, where to use scampi instead of a basil leaf. It was a great success and the recipe was also published by a couple of newspapers. Now the Penne with scampi are very well kwon in Italy and Europe.
The Risotto Fantasia, something out of the normal rules in the kitchen because everything is cooked raw, is a very successful risotto. Our sea is a very lucky one because it is deep, does not reach high temperature, it is very salty. Our fish is solid, very colorful, so beautiful to seems sometimes fake.
I am 71 years old and, as a child I was used to spend some time on a boat with my aunts. The first thing they did when they fished a octopus or cuttlefish, was eating mustaches. They ate them raw because they were very tasty. A sort of ante litteram sushi. Now the raw fish is fashionable but we have always eaten it. It is part of the hint of Mediterranean cuisine. We still eat raw mazzancolla, raw scampi, raw purple shrimp, sea bass carpaccio.
Do you think that food can still be a strong topic to attract travelers and tourists?
Food is a pleasure. Often better deals can be concluded in front of good spaghetti with seafood, prepared properly, than being locked up for hours in a meeting room. The table is a meeting point where many problems are solved many times. When a person enjoys, eats well and drinks well, he or she is more ready for everything.
Porto Mirabello is giving a lot to a city like La Spezia: do you agree?
I think La Spezia doesn’t know it, I think the city is not able to give the right value to this place. Everybody makes the race to spend less but, as we say in Italy, it’s not possibile to pay a wedding with dry figs. This place should be a gem of Italy, not only of La Spezia.
Those who give judgments to the restaurants, should do reviews not for what they spend but for what they taste. It would be appropriate for them to learn to eat the right products, to focus on the beauty of the city and not on ugliness, on dirt, on living badly, on the ordinary. And this is a pity because La Spezia has great potential.