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Satisfying my Abbruzzese Cravings @ Ovino

It’s a no-brainer that I think about food 24/7. I eat, sleep and breathe food. To put this into perspective for you, last night I had a nightmare where I basically was hosting a party and there was a mess-up with the catering company and we had no food. Needless to say, I woke up in a cold sweat..Yes, I know. I’m crazy!

Muddled in within my stream of consciousness, I’ve been thinking about arrosticini a fair amount and I think that's because I’ve had my Italian family on the brain for some time. Based in Abruzzo, when I spent my three months there at 16, I ate a loooooot of arrosticini. For me, Abbruzzo has become synonymous with arrosticini!

Back home you can only find spiedini (also affectionately known as speducci) at a backyard bbq at your Italian pal’s place, but they’re a bit different. Usually you can find chicken or more commonly lamb, but arrosticini are usually made with sheep meat, but that isn’t to say that you’re eating a tough piece of mutton. Tender like lamb but with a bit of aged seasoning, abruzzese arrosticini are incredible.

Since I’ve missed arrosticini so much, I’ve been on the hunt for a great place to satisfy these cravings. After talking to some pals in Torino, I finally decided to check out Ovino. A fresh and funky restaurant specializing in arrosticini, pizza and regional craft beers, this place was a knockout! And I’m happy to report that my arrosticini cravings have been put to rest...for now, that is!

We ordered:

Arrosticini di Pecora

  • Hearty, meaty, and sure to satisfy the carnivore within you! We ordered about 20 of the smaller spiedini (each weighing 21 grams) and were super full by the last bite. Ember-kissed, these arrosticini are carefully selected from pastures and served simply with a crack of black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Verdure Grigliate

  • A mix of marinated and smokey grilled zucchini and eggplant, this dish was a fresh addition to balance out the arrosticini and focaccia. Eat your greens, am I right?!

Focaccia del Pastore

  • This focaccia was glorious, grated pecorino and slices of fresh pancetta layered on top of crispy focaccia, complete with a drizzle of honey. You already know that anything with honey is a big winner in my eyes. The saltiness of the pancetta and creaminess of the pecorino beautifully complemented the delicate sweetness.

I also had a beer with my skewers and it was not only delicious because it was a great citrus-scented ale and because it was a nice change instead of wine, but it was also so adorable. How can a beer be adorable? Let me explain.

Birreficceria Maiella is an artisanal brewery straight from the mountains of Abruzzo, serving up refreshing brews with aesthetic labels. The one I tried, Isabel, was an American-style IPA with a blend of hops, malt and local Senatore Cappelli wheat. It also had the cutest message handwritten on the back label of the bottle, which read: Dad, you’re always working and that means we can’t play, but we can always love. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, I don’t know what will!

Of course, after reading that I’ll admit that beer label, it just made the lunch feel all the more homey and quaint. Traditional fare served just like you would find it back in Abruzzo. Overall, a big win for me! Check out the next time you're in Torino!

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