With my family’s roots in Campania, I knew the food was Neapolitan cuisine with a balance of dishes based on rural ingredients growing in groves along the cliffsides and seafood caught fresh in the aquamarine waters along the coast. We couldn’t wait to sample the food! Here’s our guide on where we think are the best spots to try the Neapolitan fare along the Amalfi Coast:
Where to splurge:
We decided to treat ourselves at the two Michelin star Rosselinis in the Palazzo Avino, 1000 meters above the coast in Ravello. Rosselinis is where food meets art! We decided to try the tasting menu and each dish was so beautifully prepared, I almost – almost – didn’t want to dig in. Even something as simple as the butter was intricately carved into roses.
The tasting menu was 9 courses total and each portion size was just right. Some of our favorites were the Ahi tuna filet with caramelized capers and fried potato puree and the herb and cheese crusted rack of lamb with white asparagus and a leaf potato chip that we’re still talking about! Dessert was 3 courses – yes, 3! – of which we unanimously agreed the the ricotta foam scented with lemon and passion fruit mousse topped with fresh strawberries and mangoes was light and just the right amount of sweet.
Rosselinis sommelier will help you perfectly pair your wine selection to your meal. And if you can’t make a selection from their extensive wine list, feel comfortable leaving the decision up to the sommelier as we did!
Rosselinis ($$$$$) is open April to October and reservations are required.
Where to have the best home-cooked meal:
Cumpa’ Cosimo, also in Ravello, is simply called Nettie’s by the locals. That’s because it’s run by Netta Bottone and has been in her family for four generations. The menu is simple Italian fare all prepared by Netta. Netta herself even delivers our second courses to us and she tours the tables to make sure every one of her guests is enjoying the food. She’ll probably even offer you more pasta, just like an Italian nonna!
The menu changes to whatever inspires Netta; if you spot the cannelloni on the menu, don’t hesitate to try it!
Cumpa’ Cosimo ($) is sometimes closed on Mondays and reservations are essential. Via Roma 46, Ravello, 84010
Where to try the mussels:
Mollusks are a traditional part of the Neapolitan cuisine and are caught fresh right along the coast. I never liked mussels as a child; my dad ate them all the time! But spotting them on many a menu, we decided to give them a try.
La Vela in Maiori not only offers stunning views looking out on the beach from its position on the seaside promenade, it also specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. We had the mussels marinara (cozze marinara in Italiano) which were served with garlic bruschette perfect for piling on some mussels and a spoonful of the marinara.
Also delicious is the selection of fresh fish. The grilled swordfish with lemon was light and full of flavor.
La Vela ($$) Via G. Amendola 7, Maiori 84010
Caffè Positano is a simple restaurant in the heart of Positano looking out over the sea. With a selection of everything from paninis to pizza to fresh fish and seafood, everyone can find something to their liking at this charming cafe!
Now hooked on the mussels, we tried the mussels in a white wine and garlic sauce. They were served in dish with little wells individually covered to keep them hot and sizzling. The freshly baked bread is perfect for soaking up the juices and white wine sauce.
NOTE: Thank you to Rosselini’s for hosting us and providing us a spectacular meal. As always, all opinions – and decisions to stuff myself beyond belief – are my own.