At the Povero Diavolo (Poor Devil). Piergiorgio Parini's cuisine , the territory through a contemporary still.

Here I am once again climbing this section of the Apennines that looks down towards the Adriatic Sea. It's obvious that one is unlikely to end-up in Torriana by accident, you must want to come, decide to come, Rimini and its Adriatic coast with its noisy and chaotic resorts are right there, one has the impression of being able to grasp them from the belvedere of this red working-class house, which is home to one of the most interesting high-end tables of recent years.
Mobile telephones don't get very good reception and this gives a sense of suspension that is a trait of the Povero Diavolo. Fausto and Stefania Fratti's house is modernity in an ancient heart, understated and yet very modern, like this telephone that has no signal and keeps tapping into the network of the neighbouring Republic of San Marino.
We enjoy talking about the territory, with regards to food and wine. The landscape is one of the most beautiful codes to understand food in Italy. Piergiorgio Parini's cuisine is exactly this, distilled territory, but with a contemporary sauce. Nothing traditional and none of his grandmother's cuisine and yet we immediately understand where we are: the Adriatic is near, the woods, the snow and the Apennine. A cuisine that smells of villages, but without naivety and with a very strong sense of what's contemporary.
The dining hall is warm and welcoming, like the crackling fireplace that dominates the room. The white linen tablecloths are clean and look warm and tidy, almost dazzling. I sit as usual at the only wooden table, in front of the door that leads to the very modern kitchen that has just been renovated, where it's a pleasure to admire Giorgio at work. No division by courses, the technique is there but it's never flaunted or smug, serving the project for tidy and well-thought cuisine, with the right mixture between stomach, heart and brain. At the Povero Diavolo they are still cooking, delicious and crystal-clear dishes. I have no doubts and hand myself over to Giorgio and to his inspiration.
It's a long dinner, but never tiring, served directly by his hands, without affectation and without showing-off, but with a familiar routine that reminds one of home and feels welcoming.
I start with baby squid and radishes, rhythmic and effective, with a tone that is persuasive and of old coal that reminds of the Romagna area and summer parties, the acidity of the fermented does the rest.
Mantis shrimp squaccherone, a bite of Adriatic between sand and sundecks, the mantis shrimp fondant is rich and velvety, the small snails taste of land and beaches, the burnt lemon closes the accounts and gives rhythm.
Eel of the woods, the Adriatic climbs towards Torriana and meets the Apennine, first the embrace of the mushrooms and earth in a cream that smells ancestral and primordial, then the intense flavour of eel and in the end the green touch of black cabbage, halfway between chlorophyll and smoked. 
Marinara rice, the double and the labyrinth, Borges' Aleph, all is not what it seems: squid, tarragon, bottarga, squid liver and herbs chase each other without ceasing, counterpoints that together play a lopsided and oblique harmony, the rice becomes pieces of squid and the pan-fried whiteness smells of sea breeze, tradition becomes the maximum innovation.
Chard, bay leaf and tree of heaven, a vegetable dish that is rich in contrasts, between sweet, acid and chlorophyll.
Tortelli of cheek and turnip tops, a rough and southern dish for the stomach and greed, delicious.
Diaphragm butter and sage, home-made and comforting, a carnivorous bite with an old-fashioned consistency.
Leek and hazelnut, ladies and gentlemen here is elegance, how to make a dish out of what might seem like nothing but in great style, chapeau! First the sweet, then the acid is green.
Lamb carrots and cypress, solid and materic, starting with the thick lamb cutlets, the perfectly timed cooking, the warm and welcoming flavour, great school and tradition, lunches of the past and knives that do what they should be doing.
Spinach salad, almost a dessert that catches you unprepared, with a vertical alcoholic touch given by the out of tune raisins that support the entire dish.
Chicory, fern and cocoa mass, a great pudding that plays with vegetables and greedy bitterness, an exotic idea worthy of Salgari, for someone who has never left his desk.

Tags: village / Piergiorgio Parini / Stefania Fratti / Fausto Fratti / Costa Adriatica / Rimini / Torriana / Romagna / Alessandro Bocchetti / Povero Diavolo / contemporary / territory /

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