Ristorante Le Cinque Lune, ValenciaWith his authentic cuisine Fabio Musto, chef and proprietor of Le Cinque Lune, has created a corner of Rome within the heart of downtown Valencia. Just off the stylish Gran Vía Marqués del Turia, situated within the lively restaurant district of the city, this unassuming eatery brings the authentic cuisine and ambience of Italy – and more specifically Rome – to this part of Spain.

Once inside, the main language heard is Spanish, or Valenciano, but other than that it would be easy to imagine yourself in the heart of the Eternal City. The very aroma of Italy hangs in the air in this restaurant that prides itself on its homemade pasta, breads, pastry and deserts. While very self-effacing, self-taught Fabio Musto is clearly the one who brings the passion and skill to this kitchen.

Tall and athletic, the former junior football player for Rome side Lazio now concentrates on what is really his first love: food. Or rather, good food, for while not focusing on the trappings of gastronomic hierarchical status he does most definitely pursue perfection. “I want to show the people in Valencia just how good real, authentic Italian food can be, and seduce them with a kitchen that is rich in both flavour and tradition.”

And this he does, having built up a solid following within the area. At Le Cinque Lune there are always specialities of the day, so on our own visit we allowed ourselves to be advised and went for the homemade ravioli with voleto truffle filling and spinach fusili. Combined with local wines and olive oils carefully sourced by Fabio, they were the real thing: substantial pasta with a gorgeously crafted and delicate filling.

Interior of Ristorante Le Cinque Lune, ValenciaPeople often wonder how the Italians can put away so much (and still look slim) but they manage it by making good, honest food that is remarkably light when properly prepared. And so it is with Fabio, who professes not to cook out of choice but out of calling. ‘For my sins’, as he calls it. Having first acquired his passion for and knowledge of food from his grandmother, he subsequently built up expertise through many years spent in hectic kitchens.

“For me a good restaurant is the product of the right mix of ‘ingredients’: good quality raw materials, fine food, a pleasant ambience and service, and also developing a relationship with your clients.” It might explain why he has so many regulars, though the subtle mix of the heavier Roman dishes with a menu that borrows lighter elements from other parts of Italy must be the final deciding factor.

During our visit we opted for an assortment of pastas – some made specifically to cater for individual dietary needs – and completed this lunchtime outing with gorgeous homemade panacotta and a strong cup of Italian coffee. With a restaurant that surprises people with the honest quality of its food and the apparent lack of ostentation, Fabio has successfully established Le Cinque Lune as a little bit of Rome in the midst of Valencia.

Ristorante Le Cinque Lune
C/ Ciscar, 23, Valencia
Tel: +34 963 346 526