Striving to introduce diners to unique seafood that is often uncommon, Pascucci al Porticciolo Restaurant creates fish dishes that are some of the freshest in Fiumicino, enjoyed shortly after being caught.
“The sea is my biggest supplier, where I had to get everything.” Chef Gianfranco Pascucci has a vast source of ingredients right in front of him, where fish of different kinds are taken to the dock by the local fishermen of Fiumicino as soon as they come in from fishing. He doesn’t limit his ingredients to the usual sea bass or turbot, because he feels compelled to take out the immense supply that the sea can provide us, more the unknown than the ones we are used to. There is the desire to generate awareness and through his kitchen, his dishes can create stories from the sea, the fishermen then to us.
He strives to give seafood an identity and the importance they can play for our health and appreciation with our palates. Thus, Gianfranco, with his creativity, was able to construct a gastronomic world in his kitchen with a Michelin star shining inside it. Pascucci al Porticciolo is a destination in the fishing town of Fiumicino, a short hop from the Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and a forty-five minute ride from the center of Rome.
Having lived in Fiumicino for almost a couple of decades, I witnessed the steady stream of Romans passing through and crowding the town for their weekend fill of seafood lunches. This town is a treasure chest of seafood restaurants and there is a diamond that shines in a small corner of the town that overlooks the canal that connects the Tiber River to the Tyrrhenean Sea and the small port of the town. Known to both the locals and visitors as the best seafood restaurant in town, Pascucci al Porticciolo is a place where you are assured of good seafood kitchen using the fresh harvests from the Tyrrhenean Sea.
A restaurant only becomes completely excellent when both the dining area and kitchen are able to work smoothly together. There is a synchronization of the quality of what the kitchen produces and how the dining area staff maintains a pleasurable experience for the diner. With that said, I sometimes dine with my kids and a situation like that changes everything. Kids eat simpler food and they have different needs compared to us adults. The professionalism of the dining staff counts in magnitude and with my experience at the restaurant, I had to applaud such professionalism that Gianfranco’s wife, Vanessa Melis, and her staff executed. At the end of the night, my young daughter ate her simply-concocted dinner happily.
With a unique learning experience that I had at ALMA Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana and the opinion I shared through ALMA’s #100vociperlasala (100 voices for the dining area) about the importance of the service imparted by the dining area, Pascucci al Porticciolo is one of the few restaurants that is able to render a kind of service that merits to be called professional.
From the menu, there are a couple of choices for the degustazione (tasting). There is the menu degustazione classico (classic tasting menu) that consists of six dishes and the bigger one which is the menu degustazione (tasting menu). If the tastings don’t appeal to you, there are always the interesting entries in the menu to choose from. Don’t forget to ask the sommelier for advice on which wine you can best pair your food with for a fully enjoyable meal.
Without the need for profound elaboration, as expected, all the dishes at the classic tasting menu were extremely good, using fresh and high-quality ingredients and finished with delicate flavors that linger wonderfully in the mouth. Indeed, it was a stellar dinner from beginning to end.
“For me, the material comes first at the center of the plate then the technique comes after. I want to take an experience inside the plate.”
-Translated to English (Gianfranco Pascucci)
PASCUCCI AL PORTICCIOLO RESTAURANT
Viale Traiano, 85
00054 Fiumicino (Rome), Italy
Tel: +39 0665029204
Fax: +39 066521659
Opening hours: Open for lunch and dinner daily except Mondays and Sunday dinner.
Rowena Dumlao - Giardina is the author and photographer of Apron and Sneakers and The Chosen Table. Besides her blog, she's also a recipe developer and a travel writer for other food and travel sites.