What could be more enchanting than to dine in a floating restaurant on the Adriatic Sea? Add the glow of a fading sun, followed by the glimmer of the port lights reflected in the water, and the scene becomes unforgettable. Built in 1970, Scimitar was once a ship in the British Military Navy, serving in a variety of capacities before eventually “retiring” in the port of Fano. Damaged by fire, it remained anchored for ten years. Then, following ambitious plans and years of careful restructuring, undertaken by Marco Pezzolesi, Director of Fano’s Fisherman’s Cooperative, it was given new life in 2007 as a floating restaurant.
There’s more than just panoramic scenery here – the food is excellent too and the fixed priced menu is easy on one’s wallet. The all-seafood menu, featuring four courses, changes slightly each day, according to the daily catch. To begin with, a trio of cold antipasti, fresh marinated anchovies, chilled salmon with arugula and cherry tomatoes, and a “salad” of diced potato and octopus. This is followed by a warm antipasto of steamed clams and mussels. There are two primi – a pasta and a risotto and finally, the centerpiece of the meal – a huge platter of fritto misto, calamari, shrimp and sardines, fried in a batter so delicate, they nearly lifted themselves off the plate before we could dish them onto ours. This abundant mound of fish comes with a crispy fresh insalata mista. We choose a local white wine, Bianchello del Metauro, and it is a perfect choice for one of the best seafood meals we have had in Italy.
Scimitar is moored at Fano Port, on the central dock between the fishing port and tourist marina. Beautiful views, soft music, excellent cuisine and choice wines – ingredients that will keep the Scimitar afloat for many years to come.