When Fabrizio first came to Norwich fifteen years ago, one of the first places he found was Umbertos Trattoria, the Italian restaurant on St Benedict’s street, Norwich. Missing home, Fabrizio was delighted to find an authentic taste of Italy on his doorstep but more, he was pleased to find Umberto himself, who really helped Fabrizio out as he found his feet in Norwich.
A few weeks ago now, Umberto asked Fab to pass by the restaurant. When he got there, Umberto had prepared a crate of beers, wine, pasta, and a bottle of the same Amaretto liquor he used to generously pour for us at the end of a meal when he came out of the kitchen in his chef’s hat and toured the restaurant. Umberto said that he was finally retiring, the restaurant would be closing soon. As well as the goodies, Umberto also passed on some cook-books. We were touched leafing through the recipes, as we recognised some of the classic dishes that we’d tasted in Umberto’s over the years, pages turned over denoting favourite recipes.
Umberto opened the restaurant in the mid-nineties, and cooked all his meals from scratch, using the best ingredients. The pictures around the restaurant conjured up Umberto’s native Calabria; the toe of the boot of Italy, located just over from Sicily. The regional cuisine is what kept his customers so happy over the years and at the end of the evening we were always pleased to spend some time talking to Umberto, hearing stories of his life growing up in Tropea, Calabria.
Umberto’s is now closed; another restaurant will be opening there soon. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Umberto for all of the good times; Grazie Umberto!
Thank you for the recipe books – you can be sure that we will be recreating some of those same dishes for the Amaretto lunch-time crowd over the months to come. Norwich will miss you and your amazing food – and we wish you all the very best in your retirement. Please pass by for a coffee soon and often.
Comments are open on this post, do scroll down and leave a message for Umberto – we will pass it on.
“Un pezzo di Calabria. Uno di quei vecchi ristoranti a gestione familiare, cosa difficle da trovare in inghilterra…cibo ottimo, buona la pizza e servizio giovane e sorridente.”
“A piece of Calabria. One of those traditional Italian family restaurants that are very difficult to find in England….Great food, great pizza and youthful, smiling service.”
Nico T, Genova, Trip Advisor