Bottega Sarra since 1932. Tradition and creativity between old Terracina and the sea.

Luigi, Oreste and Mimma Sarra are the kind of people that once you have met them, you do not want to be separated for too long. There are many reasons. First of all they manage Bottega Sarra dal 1932, an elegant and at the same time family restaurant. It’s located in Via San Francesco Nuovo, in the old part of Terracina Vecchia, in a two-storey building, which looks out on a panoramic viewpoint from where one can see the sea.
Luigi Sarra is a great Chef. He loves re-elaborating traditional dishes with brilliant fantasy and intuition. He uses first choice raw ingredients, always fresh and of excellent quality. Oreste Sarra is a young chef, who is venturing with commitment and passion along the tortuous path that his father and grandfather followed before him.
Mimma Sarra is a delightful host: kind and helpful, when necessary she becomes pastry chef and baker.
Their Bottega Sarra dal 1932 was created when grandmother Pasqua started running a food store. From Abruzzo to Rome and then to Terracina, where Luigi Sarra’s father took over a restaurant and run it for years. Until 1995, when Luigi and Mimma Sarra inaugurated their venue.
It was the first time I had been in winter. Having run the doorbell, like you would when visiting a friend’s house, Mimma Sarra appeared on the door to greet me and the family atmosphere was completed when I saw the warm and golden lighting of the Christmas tree.
A table by a window with a sea view was awaiting me on the first floor. Coloured armchairs, wrought iron angels as centrepieces, bright branches decorated with red and white diamonds: it was a visual triumph before becoming one for the taste buds.
I didn’t want a starter, and preferred moving straight on to spaghetti with clams. Perfect. Large and tasty clams, in the right quantity, mixed well with the oil and superb durum-wheat pasta. A compelling consistency left the sensation of all-round flavour fullness in the mouth.
I moved on to fish croquettes on a countryside sea, which translated means a bed of ricotta with vegetable reductions. The presentation was striking, almost worthy of inspiration for an impressionist painter. Good flavour combinations. A joyful and coloured dish.
The gold medal however, and without a doubt, went to the polenta crust with a fish cannolo, toasted hazelnuts and ink black reduction. This is one of those dishes that explode in your mouth with such a richness of flavours to leaves you entranced. Exhilarating!
The Chef then recommended fried calamari and baby octopus. Light and tasty. And washed down with a glass of prosecco.
To end on a high note, one cannot miss out on having a dessert, or even two. First the mille-feuille with a Marsala custard and 70% cocoa chocolate and then pears cooked in red wine with crème anglaise.
Mimma Sarra brought me my coffee and gave me a little bag of wine biscuits, which she had made for the upcoming festivities.
The price/quality ration is good: you just need to look at the New Year’s Eve menu or the 25 euro mid week menu.
The Chef came to say goodbye to me and I was very tempted to stay seated at the table: after all when you feel at home, there is no better place one could want to go.


Tags: mimma sarra / luigi sarra / 1932 / creativity / tradition / sea / old terracina / chiara gargioli / bottega sarra / oreste sarra / /

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