Fred Bollaci with owner, Johnny Micalusi
Via Giulia, 14, 00186 Roma, Italy
+39 06 6880 6972
Also in London-Mayfair district
8-10 Blenheim Street – London
+44 (0)20 32 30 30 32
Located on the historic Via Giulia in Rome, Assunta Madre is all the rage among local Romans in the know for excellent and innovative, fresh seafood– and many exciting “crudo” or “raw” preparations- Italian-style sashimi.
Assunta Madre is perhaps best known for sublime raw fish. Classic Italian Seafood cuisine is characterized by the quality and freshness of the catch. Fish served at Assunta Madre and quality Italian seafood establishments was literally caught hours ago. Oysters, shrimp and prawns, carpaccio, tuna tartare are favorite appetizers. Pastas include red shrimp, cherry tomatoes and pecorino cheese, straying somewhat from the typical Italian tradition of “no cheese with seafood pasta,” but this works. Other specialties include Paccheri with squid and Mediterranean Sea Bass with olive leaf and lemon. Assunta Madre features fantastic risotto with calamari and zucchini. Other choices include Fritto Misto of seafood, simply grilled fish, baked turbot with potatoes, shrimp, and steamed lobsters. Assunta Madre’s seafood arrives daily within minutes of opening for dinner at both locations–Rome and London from Terracina, located on the sea, between Rome and Naples.
“Excess and tradition, charm and competition” the Terracina seafood market auction, in owner Johnny Micalusi’s words, the creator of the seafood restaurant, the reference point to eat fish in Rome.
The “Market is searching for quality. Quality to taste, enjoy and remember. For this reason, fish and shellfish served in my restaurant come exclusively from Terracina, one of the last few prestigious names in Italy for high range fish. And the appreciation shown by the public supports this argument.”
“Focusing on quality pays! And you don’t need culinary or rhetorical tricks and decorations. My cooking is simple, rich in nuances and Mediterranean elements, which doesn’t conceal or distort the flavor of this fish.”
Johnny wants his customers to understand and appreciate the difference: his attention to quality, by starting with the freshest, best ingredients money can buy. For one, approximately 66% of fish products consumed in Italy goes to restaurants, for this reason it is necessary to educate customers as to the strong link between fish supply and quality. In this way, the supply is the first important step and there’s a lot to learn from Terracina, says Micalusi, born a fisherman in this area.
“Terracina means tradition and quality. The fishermen have a strong culture, know how to deal with the product with expertise, while keeping intact the valuable natural features.”
In this area the fishing activities have always had an important role. Only since 1980 the auction system has been set up, with the unification and coordination of efforts of individual commercial fishermen.
“The result sought and obtained – adds to the story of Dario Venerelli, president of the cooperative that runs the auction in Terracina, there has been a marked improvement in the negotiations and a more rational exploitation of local resources. Eight hundred tons of fish and shellfish come out every year from the Terracina auction, confirming its reputation for consistently high quality: the colors of the fish product of Terracina are vivid and bright, the flavors delicious and intense. The natural habitat for marine life is excellent, thanks to the rocky sea floor.”
The product range is wide: mullet, octopus, cuttlefish, squid, turbot, cod, shrimp and more. Assunta Madre is a unique and special experience– you can taste the freshness and dedication.