We began our first day in Rimini, with a stroll to the beach, starting at the Ferris wheel end. Across the road, we noticed Ristorante dei Marinai. It didn't seem to be open as yet but there were signs of life. So we made note and walked on. After half an hour it became apparent that choices on the sea front were very limited. As the season was at its end, a lot of the establishments were closed or closing. So we turned around and headed back to Marinai.
When we arrived, only two tables were occupied. We were shown to our table and given menus. This is not the place to go if you are an ardent carnivore. It's fish...and then some more fish but that's exactly what we wanted, so we were happy.
We chose the cold fish antipasti to begin and whilst it wasn't bad, it was hardly inspiring. Most of the stuff was relatively bland and things didn't bode too well for our main course. My wife adores shellfish and in particular, the dish “spaghetti allo scoglio”. They had it on the menu but it was for two persons – how could I refuse?
When it arrived, it precipitated gasps of delight. Presented in a huge sauté pan, was a huge pile of spaghetti, topped with a mountain of clams, mussels, baby octopus, shrimp, cuttlefish and the sweetest, tastiest tiny tomatoes I have ever eaten. Both of us tucked in and it was simply magnificent! When you love a dish as much as we do this one, and then get to experience it done so well, it brings a tear to the eye. There is nothing...I repeat NOTHING I could do to improve this dish. We were reduced to using the remnants of the bread basket, to mop up the last remaining drops of that wonderful, tomato based, succulent seafood sauce.
By this time, the restaurant was completely full and that came as no surprise.
My usual blather about wine can be ignored as the food made me forget what I had ordered. I seem to recall the “list” being very short and the house wine, (which most were drinking), being offered in quarter, half and whole litres. If you like seafood, tomatoes and pasta and you don't visit Marinai when in Rimini – you are barking mad!
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