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Numana: Trattoria Da Alvaro

via la Torre, 30 , Phone: 071 9331153

Reviewed by: jgk from FL, review #2011

When: 2006

We hit the "Twilight Zone" here. The food was delicious but the communication was horrible. We ordered little, got a lot and paid E121 for 4 with house wine.

We left the restaurant all looking at each other quizzicaly saying "What the heck happened in there???" We walked into the place without reservations on a Sunday evening; the main dining room has a beautiful view but they were full. They sent us upstairs to a small windowless dining room.

We were really after some fried seafood-- local fish, calamari, shrimp, whatever. After the usual water service the waitress begins to take our order. The people at the next table have a mound of fried stuff that looks perfect so I say, in my mediocre Italian, that we would like the same as those people. The waitress says she doesn't speak English and sends us another waitress. The second waitress can barely sppeak English and after about 2 sentences throws up her hands at us and sends back the first. We are taking this all in stride, not one bit upset-- we have wine and are just relaxing. So I try again to say we want what they have--I say we would like antipasto "non freddo, solamente cotto con fritto misto da mare" (because we are frankly tired of marinated sardines). I have done very well all along the trip with speaking Italian-- my restaurant vocab is pretty good. Still, I don't feel like I'm being understood at all. Finally she offers to bring spaghetti ala vongole verace and I say va bene. The first thing she brings is marinated cold stuff never anything fried at all. As part of the antipasto she brought a green cold vegetable that looked like maybe seaweed; it was kinda pickled. I asked her what it was and she said she didn't know--no effort to find out either. Oh well. The spaghetti was very good but not at all what we had in mind. Then somewhow we were served a beautiful whole grilled orato with potatoes--also delicious and plenty for the 4 of us.

We were laughing through the whole meal because everything was so out of kilter. Travel memories are made of this stuff but I can't really recommend the restaurant.

Reviewed by: Donna Marie from CA, review #1547

When: 2005

Lovely local restaurant with excellent seafood.

While in Sirolo, we decided one night to make reservations at a restaurant in Numana with views of the water, the name escapes me right now. Once there we peeked inside and found that we would be the only ones in the place (never a good sign in my opinion) and beat a hasty retreat to the place across the street filled with locals. Da Alvaro.

Small and cozy we found the service to be excellent, the food (all seafood) and wine (all local) fantastic. Heaping plates of shellfish, marinated seafood, steaming platters of pastas and mouth watering deserts. The waitress was charming and attentive and re-filled my glass of grappa for free after I spilled it on the pristine white tablecloth while talking. A small plate of cookies showed up shortly thereafter.

All restaurants now are non-smoking establishments in Italy. And so was this place. However, once closing time came round, the waitress asked us nicely if we would mind if the remaining patrons puffed away with their after-dinner drinks. For us, it was no problem. Right away all the windows and doors were opened (it was a balmy night for October) and out came the lighters, packs of cigarettes and all the locals indulged themselves. As we were leaving a little bit later, they all toasted and thanked us.

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Numana on the Le Marche coast try to eat at least once at Da Alvaro. I promise you won't regret it.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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