A great Chef and one of Italy's best pizza makers open a restaurant in Ischia

Jul 9 2024, 13:45
In Ischia, Ivano Veccia and Nino Di Costanzo are opening Lisola, together with the inventor of the Poldina

"We are facing one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean: a magical panorama," says Nino Di Costanzo, describing Lisola, a new project opening in Ischia. The project is shared with another native of the island, the pizza maker Ivano Veccia (Three Spicchi in the Pizzerie d'Italia guide with his Allegrío in Rome), and Venetian entrepreneur Federico de Majo, known as the patron of Zafferano and creator of the Poldina, the lamp that revolutionized restaurant table lighting. "Federico de Majo is a visionary in lighting who represents the elegance and innovation of Murano's master glassmakers," comments Nino Di Costanzo, speaking about the entrepreneur, a devoted Ischia enthusiast.

Bound by a long friendship, the three have embarked on an ambitious project that has kept them busy for over a year and a half during the renovation of the space: a 1927 structure facing the sea in the Forio area, with breathtaking views and a lush garden reminiscent of the wonderful garden of Di Costanzo's first restaurant, Daní Maison (Tre Forchette by Gambero Rosso).

Lisola within the Island

The restaurant spans around 700 square meters, featuring typical local green tuff stone, a terrace around an olive tree with a Sorrentine pergola made of chestnut poles, a large veranda with wide windows, six private areas with exclusive sea views framed by plants, pots, and green spaces, ensuring an informal, welcoming, and relaxed environment even with large numbers: Lisola has 150 seats, most on the terrace from which you can see the Church of Soccorso to the right and Ventotene island in the distance. Behind, Monte Epomeo, Ischia's highest volcanic peak, rises.

Nature is a central theme: in the warm earth tones of the furnishings and the sea tones of the counter, one of the areas along with the delicatessen, kitchen, pizzeria, grill, and spit-roast. The details reflect the origins of the three: glass for Venetian de Majo, used for plates, glasses, accessories, and hanging lamps—a tribute to the "bilia" glass; handmade Ischian baskets for the lampshades; all set in a simple, warm atmosphere with soft lighting designed by de Majo, which becomes more intense in the pizzeria, grill, and kitchen areas.

What to eat at Lisola

Ischia is the absolute protagonist of this project, decisively present in the spaces and the kitchen, which interprets local tradition in a dedicated menu, starting with rabbit prepared Ischia-style and also used as ravioli filling. The cuisine follows a Mediterranean, seasonal approach, starting with Mediterranean ingredients: southern Italy supplies the pantry of this modern restaurant where kitchen, pizza, and grill harmoniously share the space, creating a format focused on sharing. The menu includes a pizza tasting with six options featuring five different doughs and cooking methods (€50), the Lisola menu mixing pizza and cooked dishes (€60), plus a special menu for the private areas (€120).

There are also iconic dishes from the chef and the pizza maker: spaghettoni with five types of tomatoes, cacio e pepe with red prawns, and lobster gnocchi—classic dishes by Nino Di Costanzo—and the Lasagna Povera and Pizzaiuolo (Provola and Pepper) pizzas by Ivano Veccia. Additionally, there are items specifically created for the restaurant, like Neapolitan paella, grilled fish and meat, and homemade Pan Bauletto with butter and anchovies. On the pizza front, there's also the Roman pala and fried pizza. There are three ovens: two electric and one wood-fired, to offer the most suitable cooking method for each type of pizza, as well as for bread and focaccia. Ivano Veccia works with a total of seven doughs. There’s plenty of fruit in the desserts, and soon there will be traditional sweets reinterpreted in a modern key. The underground cellar in Ischian tuff houses about 300 labels, many from Campania and Ischia, but also from elsewhere.

Lisola Restaurant – Ischia (NA) - Forio - via Giovanni Mazzella, 116 – 081 18182524 - www.lisola.restaurant

Photo by Pietro La Macchia, Megapix

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