Sunday, November 02, 2008

Where to eat in Sorrento...

I will get to the excursions in later posts but I wanted to mention the food. I adore Italian food and going to Sorrento was a chance to indulge.
The restaurant at the hotel was lovely. The set menu is good value and does include wine. It is overseen by Don Alphonso who also runs a Michelin starred restaurant at little ways away, but there are a ton of other choices.

O Parrucchiano was started in 1868 by a man who fell in love and therefore failed to become a priest. He opened a wineshop and restaurant instead. The restaurant is still a family business and a number of the staff have worked there for over 50 years. They invented cannelloni in the early 19th century. And I must say their version is excellent. The restaurant is huge and stretches back and back in a variety of glass houses.

L'Antica Taverna is next to Il Davide (Davide does excellent ice cream -- over 100 flavours.When I only wanted limone, the proprietor put an extra scoop of orange free so I could taste the difference). The food is a bit more sophisticated and the service is excellent. They have a strolling mandolin player, a tasting menu and several set menus. It is melt in the mouth.

La Basilica is a pizzeria and restaurant near Piazza S'Antionio. They do a wide selection of tradition Italian dishes with generous proportions. The mussels in a marinara sauce was particularly good. They have a strolling guitar player who has a lovely voice.

L'Abate which is on the Piazza S'Antionio had some of the best pizza made in proper wood burning oven. If you sit inside, you can watch them make it. They also do a selection of handmade pasta. Portions are generous and the staff friendly.

Da Emidia is over in the Marina Grande. They belong to the slow food association and do not take credit cards. They specialise in fish -- freshly caught. The wine comes from barrels and is served in decanters. Very cheerful. Huge portions. Inexpensive.

Museum Caruso Restaurant is where we went for our final meal. It has a certain reputation for good food in a special place and more than lived up to it. The walls are hung with photos and memorabilia from the tenor's life so it is also a museum as well as a place to eat. The food has an added twist. For example, my eldest had black squid pasta. The wine list goes on and on and the waiters are very knowledgeable about what will and will not work with your menu choice. We ended up with a delicious bottle of Taurausi and there is a reason why it is considered the best wine of the region. The desserts are pure fantasies of spun sugar. They employ the same guitar player as La Basilica but here he is a bit more attentive and gives you a list to choose from. I chose Turrno a Sorrentio. My dh bought the cd and it is a lovely compilation album and a fitting memory of a glorious place.

The photo is from Capo di Sorrento where we walked out to the ruined Roman villa on the Sunday. I unfortunately made a wrong turning and the walk took longer than planned. We did however eventually walk through olive groves with nets stretched over our heads as the olive harvest was not yet complete. In the nets like strange bird nests, collections of olives hung. Totally peaceful.


Natasha Oakley said...

It's sounding like you were living the dream. I'm experiencing a real desire to taste that cannelloni!

Michelle Styles said...

YOu can find the recipe here -- complete with demonstration.

And yes, it was very much like a wonderful dream..

Avi J said...

l love itallian food. l am a professional chef and l majored in Itallian cusine both meals and desserts. l am saving up to do an internship next year in time for my 24th birthday. I will have to add Sorrento to my list.

Donna Alward said...

Oh now I am so HUNGRY!

Hope you don't mind me living vicariously through you.


Michelle Styles said...

Avi -- Yes, the food was very good. They also have a number of markets in the local area. Of course limoncello is the popular local after dinner drink and so that is everywhere.
Donna -- as I adore living vicariously...I am assuming others will as well. I am so glad you are enjoying it.

Nell Dixon said...

Oh, it sounds fabulous.

Kate Hardy said...

Oh, YUM! They all sound fabulous.

I have a feeling I'll be doing another Naples book sometime soon. You've definitely inspired me :o)