A 19th-Century Villa in Val Vibrata opens a poolside bistro by a historic Abruzzese restaurant

Jul 6 2024, 13:32
After warming up with events and ceremonies, Daniele Zunica of Zunica 1880 in Civitella del Tronto officially launches a new adventure at Villa Corallo, Sant'Omero, with a charming outdoor summer bistro. Here’s what he told us

"Quinto Di Serafino is a powerhouse," says Daniele Zunica, owner of Zunica 1880, a solid and dynamic establishment in Civitella del Tronto, Teramo, referring to the patriarch of the family who bought Villa Corallo from the Cerulli family about twenty years ago. "He’s 88 years old and still takes care of everything: the garden, livestock, production. He has more energy than a teenager." At the beginning of the year, Daniele signed a joint venture with the Di Serafino family, which includes co-ownership of the property. This marked the beginning of a new venture for the Civitella team, who now run a second location here, effectively a branch of their main establishment.

The villa features 11 suites, a spa, an organic farm with Marchigiana cattle and Cinta Senese pigs, as well as poultry and a garden maintained by Quinto. There are two indoor dining rooms, banquet spaces, and an outdoor pool area with three basins where the bistro is now fully operational. "Since Easter, we’ve hosted events and opened to the public only on holidays like Easter, Easter Monday, and May 1st with our 'virtues.' We’ve also hosted ceremonies, weddings, and communions. Now, with the outdoor bistro (around 40 seats), we are fully operational for both lunch and dinner. When winter comes, we’ll move indoors."

The young team of Zunica 1880

The chef responsible for the gastronomic offerings is Frederik Lasso, born in 1991. After part of his training in Castel di Sangro with Niko Romito, he joined Civitella two years ago and continues to advance an exciting, worldly approach (he is of Slovak origin) following the direction set by Daniele, a passionate promoter of small local producers from the region spanning from the sea to the Monti Gemelli. Resident chef Alberto Braca, another talented young man who honed his skills at La Bandiera in Civitella Casanova (Pescara), and the entire Civitella team are fully involved in managing this significant new venture.

What to eat and drink at Villa Corallo

In addition to supplies from local producers—such as salt cod, mushrooms, and truffles—Villa Corallo’s kitchen also relies heavily on its own production, especially meat, vegetables, oil, and stone-ground flours. The menu is concise, with a tasting menu available, highlighting minimally processed raw materials: Marchigiana tartare, “summer garden,” corn tagliolini with lamb ragout alla genovese, salt cod with leeks, olives, and basil, lamb and peppers. Lunchtime offers simpler options aimed at a business clientele: "Val Vibrata is an industrial area, many come for business lunches. Currently, most of our clientele is international and high-spending." Options include seafood salad, Verrigni tagliolini with tomato, and grilled cuttlefish with mixed greens. The wine list follows the same philosophy, featuring just over a hundred labels: "We have names from our DOCG alongside Italian and French references, always unique. We’ll also offer appetizers with our aperitifs, as the location is perfect for it. We’ll have cocktails and beers, of course, made in Abruzzo."

Villa Corallo - Sant'Omero (TE) - via Metella Nuova, 37 - 0861 887002 - villacorallo.it

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