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Vincenzo D'Antonio tells us about
SIRIO, a charming restaurant in Formia

Let's go away for a day, from our beloved Costiera Amalfitana, and let's go towards Rome, not by the main autostrada, but along the road very close to the sea - our Tirrenian Sea. After Naples, with the sea on our left side, driving north for about an hour, we arrive at Formia.

Formia, a very nice seaside town, is midway between Naples and Rome. It's a harbour for the ferry boats that cross between two small, wonderful islands, named Ponza and Ventotene. May and September are the best months to visit these two jewels of Archipelago Ponziano, so don't forget!

It's lunch time and there's only one place to go: SIRIO. Sirio is the name of a star, (Sirius) and really, this restaurant is a focal point to enjoy good sea food and good wine. Several years ago it was larger than now and it was a good place for marriages and banqueting. Now SIRIO has survived a downsizing process and the actual restaurant has only twelve tables for 50 guests: to reserve is mandatory.

We began with insalata of calamaretti and sconcigli. Calamaretti is the small size for calamari and sconcigli are a rare kind of sea fruits, they look a bit like a round hat. Even with this appetizer, you can understand the care for every part of the dish: oil is excellent, a Tuscan oil (although we prefer our Sannio oil!)

The first course is ravioli with sauce of vongole. The inner part of ravioli is pezzogna ( a very good fish ) and borrage (a rare herb, not sweet ). We award an Oscar for this first course.

The Chef and patron are brothers. And the chef, very nice, brings dishes to the tables and he likes very much, coming again after you've eaten, to listen your opinion. The second course was ricciola with sauce of carciofi. Ricciola is a big fish, very good to eat and carciofi are our vegetables, always here by the Easter holidays.

We had one kind of white wine, good to marry with every dish: Castel del Monte Bianco by Torrevento, coming from Puglia, our South region along Adriatic Sea.

Sirio has a high awareness for cheese: there is Stilton, too! But we choose an old Pecorino di Fossa from Sogliano, a Tuscan cheese made only from sheeps' milk.

And cakes ? What about cakes ? OK: warm torroncino swimming in chocolate cream. Very difficult to choose dessert wine; anyway we decide on Muffato della Sala but only one small glass; OK two; really three, enough, stop!

Our bill comes to 70,000 italian lire per person; not cheap, but not very expensive either - and we had a lunch to remember.

Vincenzo D'Antonio - May 2000

Via Unità d'Italia
Phone 0039 0771 790047
Closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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