Naples Trip Report (as it happens)

Arrived Paris this morning, late, but in time to meet @Carmenere for our delayed-also flight to Naples. We are here together, feeling quite pleased with ourselves, as the trip has been so long in the planning, and that we both made our plane here seems almost impossible. But here we are.

Of course, we arrived starving, and in between anything like a regular mealtime (3 p.m.), but while I was freshening up, @Carmenere made a plan. We went to a little bakery on via Toledo called Augustus where they had some delicious prepared foods in the back. I forgot to take pictures before we dug in, but we had two kinds of pasta (the white one with potatoes) the red one a delicious sugo (not sure what it had in it, but some kind of sausage bits). I’ll be having more of that.

We also had an eggplant dish (maybe a caponata? @Carmenere?) and zucchini that was sauteed and then tossed in a vinegary sauce. Up my alley in a big way, that!

Really sorry about the pictures! We stopped for a coffee (well, I ordered two!), and @Carmenere told me my fortune through the grounds left over. I didn’t need the grounds to know it’s all good!

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Yum! the zucchine is cooked a scapece (like escabeche) with vinegar, usually garlic and some mint?
good treatment for grilled eggplant too. You had a wonderful intro to Naples, it looks like.

Not sure what exactly was in the zucchini, but it sounds as you describe. And you are right, a delicious introduction to Naples!

After a looong nap, I woke to find @Carmenere at it again. A perfectly planned evening. We took a taxi down to the harbor and saw immediately a soulful sight of castle and moon. (Picture worth only a few words, sorry!)

Down a lovely staircase, arbored with a canopy of twinkling lights was a bustling, seafood restaurant at the edge of the harbor (Zi Teresa).

Families and vacationers (not Americans that I could tell) enjoying a seafood feast.

Ours started with crudo scampi and shrimp:

We ordered a bottle of the local “Bianlocella” that I had asked @vinouspleasure about before I left, but he didn’t know anything more about this grape than I did. It was a perfect accompaniment to our meal. Like Carricante that I am quite fond of, it manages to be full bodied without being sweet at all, and opens up to have a slight smokey quality to it. Very delicious, and I totally drank my promise to only have one glass in my jet-lagged state.

We also caught the waitress hauling around a turbot that went right to the kitchen, and then to another table, and @Carmenere and I are already planning a return visit to this restaurant as there were too many delicious sounding and looking things to choose from.

Tomatoes two ways was our next course. I bemoan not being able to get good tasting tomatoes in New York. Not a problem here in Naples. Spectacular. And the olives with the tomato salad were also worth mentioning. Soft and succulent, unlike the olives I get at home too.

For main courses, @Carmenere had the frittura, with mixed fish/seafood, and I had the spaghetti vongole. Mine was for sure exceptional, and @Carmenere mentioned particularly like a red mullet that came in her dish.

No room for either of us for dessert, but I had a café and am just about running out of steam now. Hopefully we can get back to Zi Teresa, https://www.ziteresa.it/2018/11/05/i-nostri-piatti/, during our trip!

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btw there is a fish called Pezzogna, a bream, in the Naples area that is particularly good. Also the stewed moscardini (small octopus) . What a lovely trip already!

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Thanks for the great reports, @ninkat - enjoying more vicarious travel through you!

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Naples is a great eating city (also just generally a great city). On my recent visit I ate so many snacks I was rarely hungry for sit-down meals. Thanks for posting and I look forward to more. Have fun!

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Brava! Everything looks wonderful and delicious!!

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Grazie to all! So today, I took it quite easy. We had coffee this morning and @Carmenere had a delicious toasted cheese and salami sandwich (I had a bite, well a bit more than a bite since it was basically two sandwiches) and then only had a late afternoon gelato (okay, but I am looking for better) before dinner. @Carmenere had a wonderful sounding lunch (but again, she said the portions were huge.

We had a return trip to Zi Teresa for dinner tonight (there were simply too many things we wanted to try and the food was very excellent…we are going for pizza tomorrow!). We had some fried squid and tuna tartare to start. And then @Carmenere had risotto with seafood, and I had paccheri with lobster. We had cocktails (I had an Aperol spritz, hit the spot, and I think @Carmenere had a negroni, but I wouldn’t swear to it; we had a half liter of the very lovely house white from a local grape, but @Carmenere will have to add the details here).

Just across from the restaurant upon arrival (we went early, 8:00, so we would not have to wait for a table (no reservations for small parties which seems the local custom), and this proved a smart move:

And our meal:

I still think my spaghetti vongole last night was the best pasta I have eaten in a dog’s age (and then some), and I believe that @Carmenere might even sign on to that belief, though the meal was excellent again tonight. The fritturas all need some salt, so this was true of the squid again tonight, but the frying technique is superb. I am happy to add my salt! My lobster was cooked to perfection (as was the paccheri). We enjoyed tremendously.

I walked by both a cheese shop and a salumeria that deserve closer attention, but it’s hard for me to eat more than one meal a day (especially since it is still hot here in Naples). But the quality of the salami and cheese in @Carmenere’s breakfast sammy was something to write home about. Ditto the sourdough bread it was on, come to think of it.

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Well, we take the good with the bad! 50 Kalo was seriously bad. We don’t know if they took a dislike to us because we were foreigners, but 1st they dropped us from the wait list, and when I inquired, said they had called our name when they had not (we were standing for 45 minutes right by the door, and then the service and pizza were just really bad. The biggest problem: the pizza was flaccid and undercooked dough, cheese not melted.

@Carmenere and I pondered this. We thought, they cannot be serving this pizza to everyone, but we also thought no reputable place would be cooking sub-standard pizza just for us. So, everyone can have an off day, but we definitely had a hard time there. Pizzas looked nice (despite my pictures).

Alas, it gets no better: We decided to go to also-touted Gran Caffe for dessert and coffee (probably wouldn’t have been my pick, but I’m picky about coffee!), and both the coffees and desserts, not good. Strawberries were FROZEN at the bottom of the ice cream dessert that @Carmenere ordered, and my sfogliatelle with stawberries was overly sweet.

The room was throwback beautiful!

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Still on the hunt for decent pizza…am thinking to try something late(r) tonight. But we have had a couple of excellent meals in the meantime.

Last night’s dinner at La Bersagliera, another harbor restaurant with fish specialties. I started with a half portion of spaghetti vongole and @Carmenere had fried anchovies (I think also some pieces of fried cod in that dish). I thought the anchovies exceptional. My spaghetti was good, but not as good as the one I had at Zi Teresa. Following the starters, we split a whole grilled fish. Tried to try @JenKalb’s suggestion of Pezzogna, but they did not have it last night, so it was something called a Dentice (an Italian version of snapper). It was delicious! Served with a few grilled vegetables, we ordered a side of fries. I couldn’t eat many of them, as that pizza was still sitting in my stomach, but they felt very much like the kind of fries I have had in Greece.

I did not get a great picture of the fish, as the waiter took it to a side table to filet for us. But we did also drink another local grape wine. A grape I had never heard of, Coda di Vope. It was nice also, but I think both of us preferred the Biancolella one (I know this because we got another bottle of that today at lunch, different vineyard, just as delish).

Today we ate lunch at a restaurant that just opened at lunchtime after their August vacation. Unfortunately, they have not yet gotten up to speed in the marketing or cooking department, so several of the dishes we tried to order from the menu were not actually available. Still, we had a lovely meal in a very lovely trattoria-feeling kind of space. Restaurant is called Ristorante Europeo Mattozzi. We had shrimp crudo and clams to start (guess who had the clams) and a pasta with ragu and mine was paccheri with fish and olives. We had a tomato salad with. For dessert we had figs and a white melon. And the aforementioned Biancolella. I loved this place, old school in ways that felt nice and attended to. And the food was tasty, nothing one would call daring, but if I had this place in my neighborhood, I’d be there at least once a week. @Carmenere was disappointed in her shrimp. Oh, and the pizzas that went by looked cooked!

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Sorry I’m coming late to the party. Just to answer a few questions;
Augustus is a bakery-catering place that serves a tavola calda everyday at lunch time. The service is very nice and the food is quite decent. The white pasta was a dish of mixed pasta with potatoes and provola (smoked mozzarella), the eggplant dish was very much like a caponata but without the sweet-sour style and without the raisins, and the zucchini were indeed alla scapece.

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Yes, we tried to order pezzogna a couple of nights ago, but they didn’t have it. In France it would be called a pageot rosé and in Spain a besugo. A very tasty fish, perfect when baked or grilled.

That crudo at Zi’ Teresa was simply the best I’ve ever had. What I had (as a cocktail) was not a Negroni but simply an Americano.
Wine details: it was coda di volpe (a white grape from Campania) from Irpinia, a subregion of the Campanian hinterland, like Benevento where they also make fantastic white wines.

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Loving this report. And those pics…the one of the moon over the harbor!!

Will fly into Naples next week but alas, bound for Vietri and Maratea and parts south, so no visit to the city itself…

No “alas” about it! Looking forward to reading of your travels, and when you get back to New York, hopefully you will join our little band for a local meal!

I had little appetite after our massive lunch, but we went and did our best at a small far-off-the-beaten path restaurant that @Carmenere sussed out called La Trattoria Da Peppino “Ritrovo degli Artisti.” The restaurant looked like someone’s home kitchen (and I think it was!)

We managed to get through most of a restaurant’s choice of appetizers, a huge plate, as it turned out with something that looked like a knish, but tasted much better and lighter; a frittata, eggplant parmigiana, some vegetable (@Carmenere had a guess about this) and some big hunks of fresh mozzarella.

This after I had looked at the menu and asked what “friggiarelli” was, and asked to try, so the owner brought us two huge portions. I still cannot find a translation, but these greens were very good, and after eating most of my plate, I was giving up here, but @Carmenere managed her polpetti (I managed a bite). Ditto her tiramisu. This was a wonderful spot for home cooking. The women in the kitchen were seriously good at their job!

We took a bit of a walk after our dinner past the Piazza del Plebiscito (@Carmenere later identified the church in the picture as San Francesco di Paola).

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Lunch for me today was a sfogliatelle from Antico Forno delle Sfogliatelle Calde Fratelli Attanasio (this a very welcome suggestion from @vinouspleasure). I didn’t snap a picture of the pastry (which I unwrapped and ate on the way back), but I did get one to give a sense of how popular this little bakery is (and with good reason):

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That red shrimp! And the Paccheri porn, the pic highlights for me so far. Enjoy!

8 trips to Italy so far and something tells me our 2 hours total in Naples may not be enough.

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I’m one of those “it’s never enough” kind of gals. But two hours…yeah, that seems a little stingy! :wink:

A final meal tonight at a restaurant that we were just waiting to reopen after its August break. Mimi alla Ferrovia. Another restaurant that was on everyone’s “list.” We enjoyed every mouthful. Plus the genuine and warm welcome was irresistible.

@Carmenere started with tuna tartar, and I had the stuffed pepper with ham and cheese and bread. Mine might have been my favorite thing I ate so far this trip. It’s the kind of appetizer that I see at Armando’s in Rome. A baked cheesy thing with peppers. Just delicious. I was trying to decide between that and the eggplant parmigiana. The waiter steered me right; he told me the pepper dish was their specialty.

For mains (primis) @Carmenere had sea bass and preserved lemon ravioli with a cuttlefish sauce (complex and delicious), and I had (what else?) the spaghetti vongole with tomatoes. Hard to decide which was better for me, this one or the one at Zi Theresa. I’ll have to come back and decide.

We had an incredible bottle of wine. Another grape I had never heard of (zibibbo), but @Carmenere pointed out. It was made in terracotta, and that’s what gave it it’s deep, almost blushed hue. The taste was amazing. And it even went well with the incredible baba au rhum (we each had a slice).

Off to Ischia in the morning (hopefully). Don’t forget to go out and look at the moon tomorrow night. Once in a blue moon…It’s actually the second super blue moon of this year, but it won’t happen again for a long time. (Blue moon: two full moons in a month. “Super” because we are closer to it, it should look bigger.)

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