Saturday, July 9, 2016

Seventy in Senigallia

Another reason I haven't posted recently is I have been having a birthday celebration that has lasted a month, and I'm not even kidding. I was one of the Baby Boomers born in 1946. That means this year, I turned 70. Holy Cow! Most unexpected. Turning 70 has been a very sobering event, in spite of the celebrations.. A friend of mine said, "Well, we're now playing on the back 9 of life." It you're a golfer you know what that means. I said, "No, we're teeing off on the 17th hole and it's a long one."

At 70 it's no longer possible to deny that you're a senior. Well, I suppose some people could, but really what's the point? No matter how much exercise, surgery, good lighting, you have, you will NEVER be 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 ever again. Being 70 means you don't have to pretend to be the "new" 50 or 60. It means you have a lot less time in front of you than what you've lived. When I think back on 60 it seems like this decade has gone by in an instant. If the 70's go that fast, my next post will be celebrating my 80th birthday. Good grief. Let's not rush that!

In some ways, it's easier to face aging in Italy. It is certainly easier than being in southern California where there is tremendous pressure to look and act young.  Really the Italians don't care. Their first sort is not your age but your nationality. Can they talk to you? Oh you speak Italian? Good. They don't expect their 70 year old grandmothers to compete with the 30 year old mamma's and if fact they think women who try are slightly off. On the other hand, the "Bella Figura" - looking good-  is always important in Italy. So at 70 you are expected to put yourself together in the the best way you can. Not a bad way to approach life.

So, for my birthday, I went to the US to see friends, flew down to Miami to visit with my sister and then came back to Italy and went to Senigallia, my new best friend. I love this town!!!

Senigallia is the Marche district, which is the province to the east of Umbria. I have previously written about Ascoli Piceno, also one of my favorite cities,  which is also in the Marche. Not many Americans visit here, and that really should be remedied. They appreciate visitors, have lots to see and have some of the best food in Italy!

But we are now talking about Senigallia. It is not an African country, that would be Senegal. Anyway, Senigallia is located on the Adriatic coast between Ancona and Fano.

It has wide, sandy beaches and two 2-Star Michelin restaurants. There are NO 2 stars in all of the Perugian part of Umbria, and this little city, (45,000) has two! We had to find out about that. So the Stoic One, my friend Christy and I went off to Senigallia to discover if the food could really be that good, or was this just some "French" thing.

Restaurant Number One
Madoninna del Pescatore

This restaurant has a famous chef, Moreno Cedroni, who has also been a TV star. The restaurant opened in 1984.

We had been here twice before, and loved it. What's not to love? Inventive food, relaxed atmosphere, impeccable service.
We invited our friends Joseph and Paul to join us and we had a marvelous time. Some of the food we sampled.

This one one of our favorite dishes from both restaurants. It was anchovies fixed 3 ways. The one in the middle is ice cream. Don't make that face. It was so delicious, we asked for seconds and they brought us 6 more spoons for the table. This was the amuse-bouche so you know we were in trouble!

A very interesting dish was seafood lasagne with a sauce made of coconut milk and parsley. Incredible.

What a fun birthday dessert. Cotton candy.

And a perfectly wrapped present and card.

We gave this restaurant a 5 star review.

We didn't eat any dinner that night, really. Had a VERY light lunch the next day and then on to our second 2 star, Uliassi.

It is way north in Senigallia and on the beach.

It is beautiful inside

and has the beach right off the porch.

About the food...indescribable. It stopped conversation. We would take a bite and then just stare at one another it was sooooo good.

Cuttlefish was the astonishing dish here. This photo is of roasted cuttle fish.

The cuttlefish was tender with the taste of the sea. Even the salad in the middle was so spectacular that I ate each green leaf one at a time!

More cuttlefish. This time fixed as paparadelle...don't ask...with toasted quinoa...more delicious than you can imagine.

The Stoic One had fish soup as his main dish. He deemed it spectacular.

We had a light, refreshing fruit dish for our dessert.

It was one of the best birthdays I've ever had.

May all of you have the best birthday celebration that you can imagine.

PS. The food in both restaurants is that good. It is not just a "French" thing. Expensive, but for a special memorable celebration, they are 2 of the top places in Italy that I have eaten. And no, I can't choose between them. But if I had to choose....I guess I'll have to go back and try each one again.


  1. What a Happy, Happy Birthday. The food looks absolutely scrumptious and the restaurants look divine. I read in the NYT that 70 is the new 40. Lots of fabulous times ahead!

  2. What a Happy, Happy Birthday. The food looks absolutely scrumptious and the restaurants look divine. I read in the NYT that 70 is the new 40. Lots of fabulous times ahead!