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Montepertuso (La Tagliata or Il Ritrovo) & Ravello (Villa Maria)???

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agsotr Apr 24, 2009 04:41 AM

Coupling a beautiful view with a good meal ( e.g. L'Esplanade in Domme, France) is important during our vacations. Any assistance would be appreciated in helping us decide between La Tagliata and Il Ritrovo. We know that Donna Rosa has received good reviews- however, it is our understanding that there are no views to be had while dining.

We will also be attending a concert in Ravello and have a reservation at Villa Maria. Any pros- cons- alternatives in Ravello???

Thanks !

  1. z
    zerlina Apr 24, 2009 05:09 AM

    It was some years ago, but I found the food at Villa Maria very good, and the view from the terrace is breathtaking.

    1. jen kalb Apr 24, 2009 07:01 AM

      We stayed at the Villa Maria in late march 2007. We liked the room and terrace view, but the food - and we had a full, multicourse meal with fish, etc - was definitely mediocre for that area. Maybe I should cut some slack because of low season, maybe they were not very well stocked with ingredients since there were few patrons, but it was the worst meal we had on the Amalfi coast., lacking in the fresh light tastes we loved. dont pick this restaurant for its well known view, there are better options also with views.

      It was closed when we were in Ravello, but I think if visiting againI would try to eat at the restaurant, Il Flauto del Pan up at the Villa Cimbrone which is farther up the same hill (you pass Villa Maria while going there) and which hopefully you will be visiting for the garden and views anyway, stupendous.

      http://www.lucianopignataro.com/artic...

      Do look at the other writeups on the pignataro website too - there are several other reccs for Ravello with views as well - his commentary might be helpful to you as they were for us.

      I think one thing to consider is that while you may not have a view while dining, you will have amazing, exhilarating views otherwise wherever you are getting to your restaurant, pick your meal for the food not the view is my advice and take some of the stellar walks in the area. But if the view is your top consideration, you will not be lacking for choices!

      1. f
        foodio Apr 24, 2009 02:39 PM

        I ate twice at Il Ritrovo in early May of last year and while the drive up the mountain (from Positano) is certainly breathtaking, the restaurant itself did not have a great view. However, it is right on the edge of the mountain and it appeared as though the sides of the restaurant might open in the warmer months, but it was much too cold when we were there. I highly recommend the restaurant, we enjoyed the food and the owners so much that we went back twice. They will also pick up and drop off at your hotel which is a great service.

        Maybe someone else has been there in the summer and can help you out.

        Enjoy!

        9 Replies
        1. re: foodio
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          PeggyD Apr 28, 2009 11:01 AM

          Il Ritrovo has a patio with an amazing view -- it is a bit more upscale dining (and prices, too) than La Tagliata ... frankly, I went to Tagliata when I was with my son ... it was simply too much food, and we were there at 7pm (because he was younger then) and some of the selections (served family style) seemed so overcooked, I figured they were leftover from the night before. They fired up this huge grill to grill meats about 830pm ... just as we were finishing our meal ... that confirmed it ... if that is where they grilled the meats, and it was off earlier in our dinner, then our dinner was grilled the day before. The view is to die for, but so many places around Positano/Montepertuso have that -- if you want to eat casually, there is also a pizza, pasta restaurant called Da Constantino ... they send the younger son to pick you up in the van at your hotel and return you to the same spot. Where are you staying?? This might prompt a few more interesting food w/ view suggestions!!

          1. re: PeggyD
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            agsotr Apr 28, 2009 02:12 PM

            Hotel Marincanto will be our base for five nights in Positano. Prior to that we will be staying for 4 nights at La Minerva on Capri.

            1. re: agsotr
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              PeggyD Apr 29, 2009 05:38 AM

              Ok ... we have stayed at Marincanto ... the view from there is beautiful!! You may want to stay on your balcony and have a picnic there!! We picked up picnic items at the deli in the middle of town one night after having a big lunch at the cafe in Nocelle -- I think it was called Cafe Santa Croce, which was open only for lunch at the time. Nocelle is a small village above Positano -- we took the bus from the stop right up the street from Marincanto and hiked the Path of the Gods ... google that and you will learn more about the hiking trails if you are interested. The trail ended in Nocelle and we had lunch there -- basic, fresh food, lovely wine ... and views to die for!! Bus stop in Nocelle returns hourly to Positano, where we went back to Marincanto and enjoyed the beach, and then picked up picnic items for our balcony. On another trip, adults only, we had drinks at the beautiful hotel, Le Sirenuse ... just a down the block from Marincannto, and went from there to dinner elsewhere. For a splurge, you might want to have dinner at Le Sirenuse ... we did not have time to do so ... but I heard it was good. For Capri restaurants, you may want to search on this board -- RomeAddict -- is one of my favorite posters on this board, and I know she mentions several good spots in Capri to try for great dining. We only went to Capri for the day ... and our lunch restaurant was great, but I cannot remember the name of the spot!! Congrats and have a GREAT trip ... sounds like a great itinerary!!

              1. re: PeggyD
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                agsotr Apr 29, 2009 09:27 AM

                Can't wait to sit on that terrace!!!
                We also plan on doing some hiking ( using Tippet's Sunflower Landscapes as a guide,as well). We plan on hiking up to Montepertuso, up to Pontone via the Valley of the Mills-- as well, many hikes on Capri. Not sure if we'll do the Pathway of the Gods-- heard and also read (in an old NYTimes article) that it can get very narrow in a few places ( which might unnerve my husband).
                We have also read good reviews about Bar Bruno--- planning on drinks at Le Sirenuse and walking up the block to Bruno's.

                Thanks so much for sharing your experiences-- as well to those who have responded.

                1. re: agsotr
                  p
                  PeggyD Apr 29, 2009 11:04 AM

                  Very good ... we used the Sunflower Guide as well ... we took the bus from the corner (about 25 steps from Marincanto ... up the via C. Columbo) and rode the bus to Montepertuso ... then on to Nocelle. Nocelle is the last stop and we hiked the pathway of the Gods from there ... the path was fine (and I was with my 8 year old son!!) but this summer, we are going to go to Bomerano and walk the Pathway back to Nocelle and then take the bus down (supposed to be more beautiful.) We did not like Brunos ... the views are beautiful, but the food was less than average, and the service horrible ... 40 minutes between delivering the bread and wine to ORDERING dinner ... I was afraid we would be eating our meal at 1am!! Then, they brought the bill before delivering our food!! Crazy!! Definitely, Le Sirenuse patio bar is the best spot on earth to go for drinks ... I have told so many people that ... they should comp me a few drinks!! The view is absolutely beautiful ... we stayed there two trips ago, but the summer prices are more than $1000 per night and the view is the same at Marincanto for less than half -- good food and wine to be had at Le Sirenuse, however. Another good restaurant in Positano is Max's ... no view, but a wine bar in the center of town ... VERY GOOD food. And, if you are not too tired to walk a ways ... we went to a restaurant on the other side of town ... called Il Fornillo ... it is in the Fornillo neighborhood of Positano about 10 blocks from Le Sirenuse (if you can call them blocks and straight uphill in several sections!!) ... Il Fornillo had great seafood, pastas, and beautiful salads ... and a view!! The food and prices were both VERY GOOD!! You will think you died and went to heaven on the Amalfi coast -- a real feast for the eyes, as well as food !! Ciao!

                  1. re: PeggyD
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                    agsotr Apr 30, 2009 08:45 AM

                    Thanks for the heads up about Bruno's-- will have to amend our reservations.

                    When you hiked the Pathway of the Gods, where did you go from Nocelle?

                    Also-- did you have the opportunity to walk down from Montepertuso?

                    1. re: agsotr
                      jen kalb Apr 30, 2009 09:40 AM

                      If you are interested in the walks in that area (and you should be if you have several days) you should definitely pick up a copy of the Sunflower Guide, which in addition to maps and pix, has lots of useful info on the strenuousness of the walk, where to start out, (hint - walk downhill rather than up when you can) how to get there, etc. We did all our walking around Ravello where we were staying, and it was fabulous.

                      1. re: agsotr
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                        PeggyD Apr 30, 2009 04:30 PM

                        We went from Nocelle onto the Pathway ... should have taken the reverse route ... from Bomerano BACK to Nocelle. Lunch in Nocelle is nice. From there, we walked down to Montepertuso, but then, took the bus down to Positano. You might search PositanoAdventureWalks ... they offer guides, but we did it on our own. Felt like we knew Montepertuso since we went up there several nights for dinner ... the view was stunning!! Ciao!!

                        1. re: PeggyD
                          jen kalb Apr 30, 2009 07:22 PM

                          right - I think that was the way we planned - as Im sure Ive posted before we had wanted to take the bus which goes up the Furore Canyon (reported to be great) from Amalfi to Bomerano, and down from there -

                          In any event the local tourist office in Positano will have free maps of the trails most likely - the Ravello one had good ones, in case you dont want to shell out for the Sunflower book. These paths are very well laid out and often carefully paved since they were the major way people got around this area for centures, before the auto. I cant imagine that you need a guide if you find a map. Enjoy!

          2. t
            tuttebene Apr 30, 2009 11:43 AM

            We ate Villa Maria last summer. Food was as good or better than average for the area. Service was attentive (would have probably been friendlier if my Italian were better but not a deal breaker). The views are breathtaking - large expansive terrace. And the ambience was great. A priest with around 20 of his congregation were lunching when we were there - their meal was served family style at 2 large tables and it was lovely to watch some local colour. Not a bad choice IMHO. And possibly easier to get a table since it's not as well-known and doesn'y have the cult following like some other places in the area. Thanks for bringing back fond memories.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tuttebene
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              agsotr May 1, 2009 09:41 AM

              I do own a copy of Tippet's Sunflower Landscapes guide which seems to be quite comprehensive- but it's always good to get first hand info--
              Also-- will use the local tourist offices for maps as well.

              As for Positano Adventure Walks-- we are using them to guide us through Pompeii.

            2. g
              Greatfallsdeb Jun 9, 2009 06:52 PM

              Not sure if your trip has already happened---we are just back from 3 weeks touring Italy and spend 4 nights in Positano. Based on Chow postings, Il Ritrovo was on my must -do list. I can't compare it to the other choices you note as we did not eat at either but my husband and I both agreed that dinner at Il Ritrovo was one of our top 3 in Italy. The service was extremely good and personal. They were very friendly. We ate on the patio overlooking that unbelieveable view- it was just warm enough. I understand that the area is suffering from the recession and I believe it- we rarely encountered a crowded restaurant anywhere. I would have to review my notes to remember exactly what I ate that evening and it might be awhile before I could post more detailed info, but wanted to chime in as many of these entries helped me plan our trip through Italy.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Greatfallsdeb
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                PeggyD Jun 10, 2009 05:10 PM

                Even if you don't post a full trip report for a while ... give us a little idea of your favorite spots and what towns were they located in ... we'll wait for all your notes later! Ciao! Peggy

                1. re: PeggyD
                  g
                  Greatfallsdeb Jun 10, 2009 07:44 PM

                  Well, my all around favorite was in Ravello- Cosimo- no view but wonderful food. I also of course favored Il Ritrovo. In Positano, I really liked La Cambusa, right above the beach, especially for seafood. A lot of the rest of our dining was very casual (a bar) or not particularly noteworthy although we did not have a bad meal anywhere. My least favorite for dinner was at Hotel Buca du Bacco, I know some people on Chow rave about it, but we felt it was the least special and the service was adequate.. We stayed at that hotel.

                  I should note that I am a huge Tuscany/Umbria lover and the bulk of my 3 weeks was centered on that part of Italy.

                  1. re: Greatfallsdeb
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                    Indy 67 Jun 11, 2009 02:53 AM

                    Your comments about Buca du Bacco are so weird to read since I'm one of the folks who rave about the place. I'm not in any way doubting the circumstances that led you to your conclusion. I can only say that our experience was so superb I'm having a hard time imaginging that kitchen and that wait staff producing a merely adequate dining experience.

                    1. re: Indy 67
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                      agsotr Jun 11, 2009 04:33 AM

                      Leaving in one week!!! This is the plan so far: have reservations at: La Tagliata, Il Ritrovo, Bar Bruno, La Sponda and Villa Eva.

                      Thank you to all who have provided info-- will report back upon my return

                      1. re: agsotr
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                        Greatfallsdeb Jun 11, 2009 05:35 AM

                        Not sure if you are just in Ravello for the day, but maybe you could get lunch at Cosimo. If you are looking for a local experience, this is it. The owner (later post on this) was afraid my husband wasn't liking his food (he was just stuffed....) so she kept bringing him extra plates of surprises. He didn't want to be rude, so tried to eat some of everything. It was hilarious.

                      2. re: Indy 67
                        g
                        Greatfallsdeb Jun 11, 2009 05:32 AM

                        So were we, Indy 67, let me tell you.

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