Quite by accident we’ve discovered a great place to eat on the beachfront. Disappointed by the meager but expensive breakfast offered at our hotel we headed out one morning in search of cappuccino and cornetti. For some reason we choose H2NO an unprepossessing cafe located on the ground floor of a boarded up hotel. The young lady was pleasant and mentioned that they also served a very good lunch and cheerful said arrivederci and “we expecting your for lunch!”
How could we refuse such an invitation? So back we went for pranzo that day and every day since. Not only is the food well prepared but it is beautifully presented. The atmosphere is clubby – friends gather, conversations flow from table to table and even across the room. Children and babies are fawned and cooed over by all and sundry. From what I can see we are the only non-Italians there and often the only people who don’t seem to know everyone else in the place. But we are seeing pretty much the same people every day and cheery “salves” are exchanged with staff and other tables.
Here’s a sampling of a few things on their lunch board:
Sweet, tender shrimp on a bed of rugalo covered in Parmesan slivers and dressed with olive oil and pepper.
A salad of potato, octopus, red onion and parsley dressed with a slightly spicy olive oil.
Scampi a la catalania – sweet scampi blanketed in thin slices of red onion and plum tomato sprinkled with dried basil and a light coating of olive oil.
The cold seafood antipasto includes samples of all of the above plus a calamari and carrot salad.
The old standby ricotta and spinach stuffed ravioli but sauced with clams, mussels, soft shell crab sauteed.
Pappadelle with sausage and mushroom is another standby in most restaurants – but there must have been five or six different types of mushroom including some very meaty porcini in the version served at H2NO.
Downed with a slightly fizzy white and finished off with fresh pineapple and coffee it all makes for a very satisfying lunch. And all this at a beach front cafe!!!!!
14 agosto – San Massimiliano Maria Kolbe