Here refueling at a gas station comes with flavor. A gourmet experience to be enjoyed, shared and talked about. Quality Italian cuisine, on the road, affordable, for everyone. It is with this philosophy that "Alt-Stazione del Gusto" was opened in Rome — in the locations occupied for more than twenty years by McDonald's in Viale America, in the Eur area —, the result of a new catering project by Enilive in collaboration with Niko Romito, the three-Michelin-starred chef (he likes to be called that) who has transformed Castel di Sangro, a town of 6,000 564 people in the province of L'Aquila, into a world-class culinary destination.
I envisioned a roadside dining service because the roads belong to everyone. I wanted to work on a popular cuisine service, with easy-to-understand dishes that had an almost homemade feel and a creative, quality approach
The opening to the public in Rome, in the historic Eni gas station (on September 20), is only the first part of a journey that aims to open one hundred “Alt-Stazione del Gusto” restaurants within four years, starting with the main Italian cities. But it is only the beginning. “We are also considering with Niko Romito installing Alt into airports and train stations. It will take time, but we are confident,” explained Giovanni Maffei, commercial director of Eni Sustainable Mobility.
Recounting how this “partnership” came about was Romito himself, a chef "by chance" (“For Alt, I envisioned a roadside dining service because the roads belong to everyone. I wanted to work on a popular cuisine service, with easy-to-understand dishes that had an almost homemade feel and a creative, quality approach”).
With his trademark simplicity he reports that he has accomplished what he himself would like to find when he is on the go: “A menu that, from breakfast to dinner, can satisfy the traveler, the motorcyclist, the family passing through, those stopping for a business lunch in a casual environment or those who want to take away a snack, good bread or fried chicken”.
Romito has genuineness running through his veins. The 49-year-old chef from Abruzzo made his way to high-class catering by teaching himself, inheriting the restaurant opened by his father who later fell ill. So he abandoned plans in the financial field, where his studies in economics had lead him, and in just a few years he has racked up one success after another (a three-star restaurant, a boutique hotel, a higher education and professional specialization school dedicated to the world of catering and cooking, and a network of restaurant-laboratories run by graduates of the school). He does everything with Abruzzo, attention to people and a love of Italianness at the center.
And Eni shares all these values: “We believe that gas stations can become meeting places where we don’t just go to refuel,” said Ballista, CEO of Eni Sustainable Mobility, “Alt combines three fundamental dimensions: quality, accessibility and sustainability. These are the same values that characterize Enilive”.
“Food fuels man,” Maffei adds, “we have Eni cafes in 1,200 gas stations but we have never broken through in catering: we hope to do so now". And who knows, maybe what will bring good luck to the new project is that Alt sign that chef Niko inherited from his father Antonio (My dad had a restaurant up the road, and when he wanted to let everyone know that he had included breakfasts on the menu, he put out a sign that said “Alt: breakfasts”).
Alt, stopping is a must.
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