The New Italian Southern Cuisine. Frank Rizzuti, or the southern way to the Michelin's star.


 

In this part of the world we believe in NSC (New Southern Cuisine), in the real possibility that this area can become protagonist thanks to pans, cookers, products and artisans.

The south is a hotbed of talents, a mixture of perfumes, knowledge, personalities, recollection and modernity. A thread connecting sublime with vulgarity: when someone manages to follow it, it opens the heart and brain.

Frank is undoubtedly a pacemaker in this championship, a small master from the south who from the far away Potenza talks to the world and to the many youths who follow his footsteps. If possible try going: run to Potenza, descend that featureless staircase in that building, which looks like so many in the country. Having entered the door everything will change.

 

 

On a late summer evening that already smelt of autumn, we knocked at the door and entered the clean and smart rooms. We liked this restaurant with its tidy and bright décor, spotless and neat. We liked this small man, thin and ascetic, but with a flickering and nervous smile. We especially liked the food, contemporary and effervescent, provincial but fearless and without affectation. Here from the Lucania area they look out to the world, but with the flavours and perfumes of this magic piece of land as a starting point.

We kicked-off with a burrino di podolica cheese and cruschi peppers, just to assert immediately where we were and where we were going. They disappeared very quickly, greed commanding us and our stomachs obeying: I had not realized I was as hungry as this, but we know all too well that hunger arrives with good things and these really were very good.

We then asked Frank to pick for us: I had been waiting for this evening some time and it would have been a shame not to honour it properly. Rizzuti’s cuisine confirmed what I had understood from conferences, organized dinners, pictures on facebook and from the thousands of contacts made over the years. Intelligent, precise, clean, present, tied to its territory, contemporary and gluttonous: these are the first concepts that spring to mind while I think about the dishes.

 

 

Gut and brains, heart and thought: they travel together; some small imperfections here and there didn’t ruin the experience, but instead made it more real. The service is as smooth as silk, the wine list by Beppe Palmieri is fun and easy to drink, but it’s the food that gives the greatest satisfactions; a lot of local dishes, but with a contemporary twist without too many trinkets and frills; a balanced and almost surgical hand seeking cleanliness and substance.

 

 

From this point of view we are in the true south, with minimum stardust and a lot of solidity. Dishes such as the lamb burgher will cling to my mind for a long time: local products enriched by playful intuitions such as the sautéed vegetable ice cream, pure pleasure. The roast octopus is the minimal dish I have always been seeking, clean and neat, with a vertical spicy-hot punch that has the scent of Sunday lunches, and the toasted dashi, which works all too well and gives everything a fashionable appeal, which is no bad thing.

 

 

Zero mannerisms and concessions, the only glitch a piglet that seems to have been thrown in on purpose to make Frank more human and likeable.

What a place!!

 

Average price 45€

 

 


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