Allow me to elucidate: as a savorychick, when I say jewel, I am referring to food and not gems! For the past years, on my many travels to Europe, I was always impressed with the quality of ingredients, however, not inspired with new expressions in the culinary world. Having lived most of my life in Los Angeles, I have been enthused by the fabulous chefs and restaurants the city has to offer. Of course, that is not to say I did not enjoy my culinary experiences while in Europe; on the contrary, I did find many restaurants that captured my attention. But, did not find the edge I was looking for in exciting new dishes.
…Until I went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy! Land of the Lemoncillo!
I am going to recommend two restaurants that had all the ingredients to make me want to brag about my culinary finds: picture perfect setting, artistic entrepreneurs passionate about food, creative chefs perfecting the art of flawless cooking, fresh local ingredients, and the love of serving astounding dishes.
The Amalfi Coast is worth the hair raising, four hour drive from Rome. Driving on the narrow winding roads perched on the cliff is an adventure all onto itself. This region is an obvious tourist attraction. We were fortunate to stay in a quite small town of Priano, one mile south of the famous city of Positano. Our hotel, The Grand Hotel Tritone, offered exclusive access to the beach while overlooking the city of Priano to the south and picturesque Positano to the north. The famed city of Positano is more beautiful than the pictures you will find in guide books. Of course, it has its share of touristy restaurants; however, we were fortunate to stumble into Da Vincenzo
The amibance was warm and welcoming; patrons were mostly locals mixed with a handful of lucky tourists; the lighting and acoustics just right (including the decorative ‘bells’ rung by the owner, Vincenzo, on a whim); last, but not least meals prepared to perfection! While in Italy, I did not have one bad meal. The ingredients are so full of flavor, it is hard to go wrong. At Da Vincenzo, there was an exact science to preparing meals with a stroke of artistic genius. Our days at the coast were limited, but we arranged to have one last meal there. Every meal we had was exquisite! Should you visit Da Vincenzo, I hope you have the opportunity to meet the owner, Vincenzo, who grew up in this restaurant, which was originally his father’s! You could tell he inherited not only the business from his father, but also his passion for serving amazing meals to lovers of food!
In our own town of Priano, we were recommended by our concierge to dine at Posti Hosteria il Pino. From the moment we walked into the restaurant, our breath was taken away by the amazing view of the coast while the sun was setting and our warm welcome form the receptionist. To our surprise, our servers, a young man and women, were a married couple who also owned the restaurant. Every dish they presented at our table was a work of art. The ingredients included local fish and herbs that were unfamiliar to my palate, yet simply delightful. I was so impressed by their passion for serving innovating, delicious meals, I had to meet the chef! He was gracious to educate us on his creations.
My zest to travel the world and see as much as I possibly can limits me to go back to the same places twice. However, these two restaurants have inspired me to go to the Amalfi Coast once again. I hope your travels will take you there too.