Design Luxury

Agli Amici 1887 (UD)

by Lavinia Colonna Preti
Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

In Udine, a restaurant that has never ceased to innovate for over 136 years of uninterrupted management, the gastronomic home of chef Emanuele Scarello, 2 Michelin stars, and his sister Michela, passionate maître de maison and sommelier.

Emanuele and Michela today, Tino and Ivonne, and again Ivia, Severina, Ferruccio. Then Emilia and some time before Umberto. These are the names of the 5 generations of the Scarello family who, since 1887, have taken turns managing the Agli Amici restaurant.

A fairy tale of love for one’s land that begins when the great-great-grandfather Umberto, the King’s guard, receives the license to manage the business of selling colonial goods and tobacco as a “payout”. Then the advent of radio and television transformed it into an osteria, a meeting point for the small municipality fraction of Godia where it is located and, from there, the turning point towards a more attentive, sensitive and healthy cuisine, today a gastronomic destination, part of the Relais & Châteaux association.

Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets
Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

It’s always the details, the research and the incredible care that make the difference. In life, as in the kitchen.

(Emanuele Scarello, chef)

Ivonne Bodigoi, an extraordinary cook and mother, is the “magical gateway” between the old and new course of the restaurant, who manages to make her son Emanuele passionate about the territory of Friuli Venezia Giulia, a rough borderland, and those invisible details that dictate the difference between good and masterpiece.

Like the preparation of gnocchi (still a must for Agli Amici) with the renowned Godia potatoes: it is, in fact, the season in which they are cooked that determines the perfect quantity of flour to use, because potatoes are a living material, and the concentration of starch and water varies according to the temperatures.

Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

Today Emanuele’s cuisine, two solid Michelin stars since 2010, is based on his great love for the sea, his land and an ingenious creativity that leads him to create extraordinary taste associations starting from local products, such as wild herbs, white asparagus, sea bass and shellfish from the coast as far as Istria.

The love and knowledge of every single ingredient drives him to experiment according to the motto “everything is transformed and nothing is thrown away”, so among his signatures we find the Scampi served on the table in its noble part with yoghurt and fermented carrots and in of Ravioli stuffed with its claws and chickpeas. Or the algae of the Grado Lagoon, protagonists of the famous Spirulina and almond “Postcard” dish accompanied by seaweed and meringue Ice cream, which also become a tasty cabbage Broth.

Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets
Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

In the dining room, Michela Scarello manages the hospitality, the service and the wine cellar, with over 900 references, of the restaurant, or rather “home” as she usually defines it, with enormous passion. An extraordinary sommelier, she takes care of rediscovering forgotten vines by enhancing small producers without ever losing sight of the excellent labels.

The Agli Amici gastronomic journey begins in the new Blu Lounge where, in front of a large design counter-stage, aperitifs and amuse bouche are served. We then continue in the elegant main room which, among works of art and luminous traceries, overlooks the garden and the centenary mulberry tree around which the restaurant has developed.

Agli Amici 1887 (UD) — Friuli Venezia Giulia Secrets

The sophisticated interior is a compendium of the history of Made in FVG artisan design from the 60s onwards: from the decò armchairs handcrafted in nearby Manzano, the capital of the artisan chair, to the perforated walls designed by architect Paolo Zuliani, up to the modern seats by Moroso.

“Hic manebimus optime” (here we will be fine) says the sign on the restaurant’s door and never has a promise been kept so well since 1887.

The Secret

The delicious bread served with smoked alpine butter is produced with sourdough and flour from the ancient water mill of Godia, dating back to the 15th century and still perfectly functional, which is located just behind the Agli Amici restaurant.

Useful Info

Agli Amici 1887
Via Liguria 252
33100 Udine
Tel. +39 0432 565411

Tasting menu: from 140 euro, 70 euro wine pairing

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