Last night I was treated to one of the best fish dinners I’ve ever had by Giampaolo Paglia (you may remember him from a recent post here). The restaurant was the Oasi in Follonica, a seaside venue where you can rent beach chairs and tents by day and lunch and dine on the freshest of fish. I was completely floored by the quality of the materia prima and chef/owner Mirko Martinelli’s deft hand. Follonica may not exactly be on the conventional tourist’s radar: should you be willing to make the detour, I can assure you that you will be rewarded by Mirko’s magic.
Raw sea bream with tomato, fried basil, and salmon roe.
Sargo with mushrooms and black truffles over creamy polenta. THIS DISH WAS INSANELY GOOD!
The combination of the lightly fried shrimp and the moray eel (see the photo at the top) was truly SUBLIME. The texture and flavor of the moray was ineffably delicious.
Gianpaolo’s skin-contact Ansonica Bucce (bucce = skins) was my favorite pairing of the night. (When I have time down the road, I’ll recount our conversation about Gianpaolo decision to abandon his barriques.)
Tracie P will tell you that I rarely eat dessert but how could I resist?
Chef Mirko, left, with Gianpaolo… simply amazing dinner… I can’t wait to bring Tracie P here…
ah, che bella vita Jeremy in Italy…
Ah, those fish dinners with Giampaolo. Always a treat. Like you, I think the Bucce is terrific. I’m also delighted that he ditched the barriques. The wines are so much more THERE now.
That looks like multiple michelin stars. Exquisite. This is the LIFE!
Dear Strappo, the wines are now much more “there”, they are just more like it. If I only had started to think “out of the barrels” earlier in my life :)
Thank to Jeremy for the excellent company, the guy speaks italian better than I do, everybody impressed!