Where to eat "spaghetti alla chitarra" in L'Aquila: the 7 best restaurants chosen by Gambero Rosso

Feb 23 2024, 13:45
The "chitarra," a symbol of traditional Aquilan cuisine, is a square-sectioned egg pasta made using the "chitarra," a stringed culinary tool. The condiments vary, ranging from the classic ragù to more imaginative sauces

At the foothills of Gran Sasso, just over an hour and a half drive from Rome, L'Aquila, despite the deep wounds of the 2009 earthquake, boasts surprising historical and architectural beauties, starting from the churches, with the Basilica of Collemaggio and the Cathedral of Saints Massimo and Giorgio in prominence. Splendid ancient noble palaces, such as Palazzo Ardinghelli, home to MAXXI, and then the fountains, walls, the Castle... The city is also part of the 44 municipalities within the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, a 150,000-hectare area ideal for nature lovers with numerous walking or cycling itineraries, also serving as a vast source of excellent products.

Where to eat "spaghetti alla chitarra" in L'Aquila

Antica Trattoria Dei Gemelli since 1970

Trattoria. Located in the historic center, a sign that, thanks to the current management of just over 4 years, maintains a well-deserved reputation. Brick vaults, simple and well-kept furnishings, a culinary proposal influenced by tradition that also ventures into more creative horizons with convincing results. Typical cold cuts at the beginning, followed by egg "chitarra" with seasonally inspired condiments (Parmesan cream and local truffle, or Prà pesto with purple shrimp tartare as examples), fried lamb cutlets, saffron semifreddo. In the right season, dishes with truffle are also featured. The wine list highlights the region.

Antica Trattoria Dei Gemelli dal 1970 – via Rosso Guelfaglione, 27 – 0862 1910976 – www.facebook.com/anticatrattoriadeigemelli/

Osteria Corridore since 1964

Trattoria. A few minutes from the center, a place that guarantees a pleasant stop at very reasonable prices. The menu varies frequently based on the season, always aiming to enhance local raw materials and traditions. Here, the "chitarra," or rather the "chitarrina," is offered in various variations depending on the period: with trout and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, three-meat ragù (lamb, pork, and veal), white lamb ragù with lemon and wild mint, or with zucchini, Gregorian cheese, and wild herbs... Also worth trying are "amatriciana" and carbonara, also available in maxi portions. Special mention for the homemade desserts, each more indulgent than the last.

Osteria Corridore dal 1964 – località Pianola via Colleverde, 15 – 0862 24561 – osteriacorridore.business.site

Osteria da Giorgione at Hotel Aquila

Trattoria. A few meters from Piazza Duomo, attached to Hotel Aquila but with its own identity, it is the right place to take a break in a convivial and relaxing atmosphere, with the certainty of feeling good and eating well. After the inevitable start with cold cuts, cheeses, bruschettas, and tripe, it's time for "mezzemaniche" with amatriciana or carbonara, "chitarra" with truffle (in season) or with zucchini, bacon, saffron, and pecorino. Then, excellent meats, grilled lamb, roasted castrated lamb, sheep skewers. Alternatively, pizzas perfectly cooked and topped with quality ingredients. In the cellar, a focus on Abruzzo labels, but there are also interesting references from other regions.

Osteria da Giorgione all’Hotel Aquila – via del Guastatore, 2/B – 0862 581235 – www.osteriadagiorgione.com

L'Osteria La Fenice at 99 Cannelle

Trattoria. Near the famous fountain of the 99 Cannelle (from which it takes its name) and the MUNDA (National Museum of Abruzzo), it is an ideal destination for those who, at the table, want something more than just tradition. The journey begins with high-quality cold cuts and cheeses, followed by lamb offal, "chitarra" with meatballs, lamb skewers, chicory and potatoes, sweet "pizz'ontine" with ricotta and jam. Also, a happy note on the wine front, thanks to a rich and non-trivial selection of regional, national, and international wines, with options available by the glass. Possibility to purchase selected gastronomic products.

L’Osteria La Fenice alle 99 Cannelle – via Borgo Rivera, 25 – 351 9027913 – www.osterialafenice.it

La Grotta di Aligi

Trattoria. A solid outpost of genuine and well-executed traditional cuisine, to be enjoyed in an informal and pleasant environment. The menu offers many enticing proposals that satisfy every palate. It starts with local cold cuts and cheeses, then the typical "chitarra" with meatballs (but there's also a version with fava bean cream, bacon, and pecorino), "maltagliati" with cod, spinach, raisins, and cherry tomatoes, white wild boar meatballs with Parmesan cream, braised veal with Montepulciano, sautéed chicory. Desserts, such as wine donuts with Passito delle Colline pescaresi, are also delightful. Wines are well chosen.

La Grotta di Aligi – viale L. Rendina, 2 – 388 1088518 – www.lagrottadialigi.com

Da Lincosta

Trattoria. Romina Muzi continues the family tradition with passion and constancy, using products from her parents' urban garden and the local market to give full authenticity to Abruzzese dishes, also enjoyed on a charming terrace. The menu changes frequently, so we mention examples like broken spelt soup with mixed vegetables; "chitarra" with mushroom cream, parsley sauce, and precious black truffle; pork fillet in a potato crust with celeriac and red onion. Bread, pasta, and desserts are the work of Romina's talented son, Federico. The wine list pays attention to excellent regional production.

Da Lincosta – via Antonelli, 6 – 0862 204358 – www.dalincosta.it

Rêver at Palazzo Notar Nanni

Ristorante. In the precious setting of a historic palace, in elegant rooms, it offers mostly seafood cuisine, carefully crafted, clear, immediate, and devoid of excessive elaborations. Excellent warm and fragrant focaccia with Andria oil tasting, or raw options depending on the market. Following this, seared squid with tarragon, guanciale, and cherry tomatoes; "chitarrine" with mantis shrimp, bottarga, and turnip tops; spiny turbot, celeriac puree, ground-ivy, and pomegranate; lamb leg, smoked eggplant, and almonds. The wine list includes numerous bottles from beyond the Alps, as well as a valid selection of Italian and regional wines. Cocktails are also available.

Rêver a Palazzo Notar Nanni – via Bominaco, 24 – 0862 1911400 – www.ristoranterever.it

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