Our Ties to Sirolo
We first headed to Sirolo, Marches region seaside gem, in the early 1980’s with our sons, toddlers then (Giulia not yet born). And we’ve been back uncountable times since then. For us, no Sirolo stay is complete with a seafood lunch at Ristorante Da Giustina. Just outside Sirolo, this pleasant family-run restaurant in the midst of greenery (all the garden cared for by Enrcio – “Richetto” – father-in-law of the chef) is often the restaurant of choice for local families celebrating a milestone: a baptism, First Communion, engagement, eighteenth birthday, a wedding anniversary – or a 60th birthday .
Our family all headed to the seaside from Assisi to celebrate Pino’s 60th a few years ago. His brother, sister and their families had flown up from Palermo to celebrate Pino and our clan headed together to the Adriatic for Sunday lunch at Ristorante Da Giustina with Roman friends, Silvana and Mauro joining in. And farm friend, Peppa, too. Mariola and daughter Antonella welcomed us warmly and then started serving us our feast. Mariola paused between courses to hold her new infant grandson, Antonella’s little Tommaso. Antonella’s mother-in-law, Giustina, started the restaurant and her husband Daniele, Giustina’s son, now reigns at the burners – and Antontella’s grandmother, Yolanda, is often at the restaurant too, sitting at a table near the kitchen, elegant in a black dress, her gold necklace and earrings.
I wasn’t sure how our Sicilian relatives would take to Marches region seafood cooking – after all, who can match i siciliani when it comes to seafood? – but Pino’s birthday seafood feast (and Mariolia and Antonella) won everyone over. Our farm woman friend, Peppa, came along with us, too – she’s part of the family, after all.
Probably Peppa relished the meal more than any of us: no one can top Peppa at cooking Umbrian rural goodness but seafood isn’t on Peppa’s culinary resume’. This turned into a celebratory day not just for Pino but for Peppa: a banquet of fish dishes – and a trip to the seaside ! And not only, a chance to talk about how best to cook fish with Nonna Yolanda and Mariola.
Antonella’s son, Tommaso, is now five – and we missed seeing him during our recent visit to Sirolo and Ristorante Da Giustina. (On a visit with friends a few years ago, he had been on a tricycle wheeling around the tables).
But good to see Antonella and Mariola again – and taste the seafood goodness of pasta with seafood, roasted fish, as only Ristorante Da Giustina can offer.
And ah, that lemon sorbet. The perfect ending to a Giustina seafood banquet.