Last night, Sean and I had our first date night while being in Italy and we went to a place about 3 and half kilometers away in the nearby town of Castilenti. We had been there before during Christmas time with my mom so it was familiar experience but the food was still just as good I remembered, plus a big ole glass of Rose only cost 2.50!
It wasn’t slammed on a Friday night but had a good mix of people from families (including some Brits who would not stop complaining about money) and a few old and young couples getting wine and pizza. Service was slow but attentive, they don’t rush you in any aspect which is nice, especially coming from the UK where it’s bam, bam, pay and leave. We didn’t get a bottle of wine as I had to drive home and lately my tolerance has been really low but we each got a drink and started out with a local Abruzzo classic, Arrosticini. Sean and I still talk about the first time we ate them back in December, dreaming of the day we would get to eat them again and we were not disappointed.
History of Arrosticini
Arrosticini is a local dish that is made from chunks of mutton and pierced by a skewer. It’s cooked on a brazier which is a grill that sort of looks like a gutter with coals in it. Arrosticini originates from the food consumed by shepherds and other inhabitants of the mountainous areas in Abruzzo within the villages of Civitella Casanova, Carpineto, and Villa Celiera, who were accustomed to eating even less refined food than hard sheep meat. Arrosticini are often accompanied by slices of traditionally home-made bread soaked in extra-virgin olive oil with large amounts of peperoncino in olio. The traditional beverage accompaniment is you’d guess it… wine!
For my main course, I got an unlikely dish but a fairly traditional one in the mountain areas of potatoes, onion and sausage plus a side of homemade chilli oil as I like a little spice. Normally, when one thinks of Italy do they rarely think of lamb and potatoes as a typical Italian dish but in this region both are very common and lucky for me those are two of my favourite things to eat. For his main, Sean got a pizza with picante salami, olives and buffalo mozzarella. The dough recipe has been used for 40 years and only a few know the full ingredients.
We were both happy with our meal and the price of our big meal out which cost us 41 euros. A little expensive for local standards but for date night and coming from London we were more then happy with the price! If you do happen to come here for a meal, I suggest skipping dessert and going straight for a coffee or getting an extra starter (the fried olives are INCREDIBLE).
Sean has already decided that our new food mission is to find the best Arrosticini within 20 minutes of the house. Will make sure to update this article with our final conclusion after multiple taste-tests I’m sure.
I know, my life is very hard.
Contrada Ruote Fino 3, 64035 Castilenti, Italy
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 19:00-1 AM