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AMALFI COAST RESTAURANTS!

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Honeymoon in July and staying in Praiano for 5 nights! I would love some help with critiquing my choices as there are so many. I will also say I love seafood, so if I am missing any of the best choices for that please let me know.

lunch- Ravello-cumpa cosimo; A Paranza- Atrani; La Cambusa- Positanol; (lunch in Nocelle one day when we do Walk of the gods).

Dinner- Il Ritrivo-Montepertuso, Hosteria il Pino- Praiano

Other options for dinner include: Next2, Da Vincenzo, il Fornillo, Mediterraneo

Does anyone have any other suggestions or places I haven't listed?!? Thanks for all your foodie help.

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  1. You have done a search, right? there are some great posts in the last year that you will want to read if you havent yet..

    2 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      yes, they are just all from the last year or before, so I was hoping for something more recent.

      1. re: lborr530

        I was thinking of this wonderful report from November 2009 and the responses particularly but there are others inclluding many you havent listed.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6663...

        Remember this is mainly a warm season destination, so reports for 2010 are just starting to trickle in. Hope by the time you go there in July there will be additonal reports also.

    2. From spring 2008, but I doubt if these places have changed all that much:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5159...

      1. I don't think the food or the ambience at Cumpa Cosimo is so compelling that it is worth skipping the view in Ravello. Da Salvatore has excellent food, a gorgeous view and al fresco dining.

        http://www.salvatoreravello.com/

        7 Replies
        1. re: barberinibee

          I think the good homestyle food and friendliness at Cumpa Cosimo compensates for the lack of a view. There is enough "view" all over Ravello to satisfy any visitor.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Depends on how much you value al fresco dining, I think, as part of the enjoyment of eating a lunch in southern Italy in July, especially as part of a trip to Ravello. The sunny spring day I lunched at Cumpa Cosimo the interior was airless and felt cramped and hot. I actually enjoyed the views from Da Salvatore more than from some of the gardens. As for the friendliness, I found the atmosphere more studied show than sincere at Cumpa Cosima, and at Da Salvatore really very friendly, for multiple meals.

            Sticking to the tris of pasta at Cumpa Cosimo is the way to go if that's the restaurant choice. I've had excellent -- really exquisite -- crudo at Da Salvatore, although I'm not sure I'd expect to find it on the menu in July. But all the food I've had there was done just right, light and fresh. There is a memorable house-made limoncello too.

            1. re: barberinibee

              we had the tris and the mixed vegetable appetizer at Cumpa Cosimo and both were very good, some of the best food we had in the area. The proprietress came over to us at the end -we were sort of dubious about her shtick from stuff that we had read, but we felt she was genuinely interested in our pleasure - she then brought us some complimentary cake. I think it is recommendable because it is very good homestyle type of cooking different from most of the seafood-oriented restaurants .

              like your name by the way.

              1. re: jen kalb

                This is one of the rare times I ever parted company with Fred Plotkin on an Italian restaurant experience. I usually am more than happy with his recommendations because he is so undogmatic about the many elements that make for dining pleasure, and he includes more than the food on one's plate.

                We only had one meal at Cumpa Cosimo, and admittedly, the day we went, there were problems that could have knocked down any restaurant: The spring weather had been highly variable, and the morning suddenly turned warm. The heater in the restaurant had been turned off, but probably too late -- all the cooking plus a full house made the smallish space stifling. Add to that one corner of the restaurant being commandeered by a large party with a birthday celebrant. They were loud, and wanted to be entertained by the wait staff . They were obliged, everyone else seemed to come second and the food was a mixed bag of hits and misses. The beautiful day outside fairly screamed to us to be out there with it, and there was nothing that made me want to linger inside Cumpa Cosima, although the hostess was gracious when we asked for our bill ahead of coffee.

                For me, view never trumps food, but when all things are equal, for Ravello, on a beautiful warm day, I like to savor a long al fresco lunch, if only in a garden, even without a sea view. Da Salvatore's food for the rest of our stay was very good, so good, we never returned to Cumpa Cosima, and the service was always very friendly. If I'm ever again in Ravello, I'll go to Cumpa Cosima for dinner, but I'll luxuriate in a lunch outdoors if the weather is great.

                I'm not familiar with iborr530's other restaurant choices above, but if he or she doesn't like seafood (I live on it) or will end up leaving Italy without tasting homestyle cooking unless they eat lunch at Cumpa Cosima, that's something to consider. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'd go all the way to Ravello and make my one meal indoors when there are equally tasty and fresco garden and sea view choices -- but maybe in July, some diners want air conditioning!

                1. re: barberinibee

                  I dont want to prolong this debate. But would just note that for someone making a stay in Praiano seafood will not be hard to find. They do great things with vegetables and cheeses in Campania, and people, like those at Cumpa Cosimo, who do those dishes well are worth seeking out, in addition to the restaurants who snag the best local fishes. Wondering if you have some recommendations in the nearby towns too?

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Thank you for all of the insight. I think we will just go with the flow when in Ravello. I do love seafood (I live on it too) and we will be in Florence and then Tuscany for 11 nights prior to the Amalfi Coast, so I am sure I will be ready for seafood when I get to Praiano. Any recommendations for great seafood?!?

                    1. re: lborr530

                      I can't recommend "La Strada" in Praiano highly enough for great seafood. We were there a few days ago, en route to Ravello from Positano, for lunch. I had the carpaccio of the day - which was presented to me as a whole fish and served to me as raw filets on a bed of arugula with divine cherry tomatoes - one of the best dishes I have ever had. My boyfriend had an out- of- this- world tagliatelle with zucchini and mussels. It was too hot to sit on the roof so we sat on the terrace which was noisy but we were too involved with the food to care. We both agreed that La Strada was far superior to most restaurants we tried in the region - fancy and not - and we tried a variety of places - all very good...
                      I also thought the grilled Prawns at Da Vicenzo in Positano were especially delicious. I will post separately about our experience at Don Alfonso - a very different experience - exquisite really - but more of a once in a long while (or lifetime) experience.

        2. I did a week driving along the Amalfi Coast at the end of March 2010. i found a lot of restaurants esp. in Praiano and Marina di Praia were closed for it being off season and were opening the weekend we were leaving. (Which was ok, because it also meant fewer people about generally).

          Three places stood out for me:

          1. Maccus in Amalfi: www.maccusamalfi.it
          We got here literally the first day they were opening and got the new menu. We had a 'sfizi dello chef' antipasto for two, which was basically three antipasti (served sequentially). There was a tris of swordfish, anchovies (meh) and a local white fish whose name I can't remember (amazing!), then a big saute of mussles and clams (one of my favourite dishes and done with just enough broth), and finally crostini with various purees (I think there pea, chickpea, and borlotti beans) with pancetta and spring onions. All with oven fresh warm bread. Service was great: attentive but not overly obsequious, and the restuarant itself was modern and casually elegant in a quiet little piazza. We had a torta al limone with lemon cream to finish and it was light and delicate and spongey. It was e35 for the two of us for lunch and while I wasn't nearing a food coma I felt well-fed afterwards.

          2. Figli di Papa in Ravello: www.ristorantefiglidipapa.it
          This does have an outside dining area, but it doesn't have a view. I had seafood crepes which were delicious (shrimp, octopus, etc in a creamy white sauce in a crepe) and a nice variation on a straight up pasta primo. They do have a 'menu turistico' tho. OMG!

          3. Villa Maria in Minori: http://www.agriturismovillamaria.it
          Not sure if you can just book here for lunch/dinner (probably) but a great little agriturismo with a spectuacular view. You're talking a plate of local cold cuts (coppa, salami, prosciutto) and a mystery cheese (half goat/half sheep?!), farm reared roasted chicken with teeny tiny new potatoes. Hospitality was great, they even made us a packed lunch for the road the next day and had cups of fresh home-made lemonade waiting for us when we arrived.

          1. I was there a few weeks ago and posted a trip report - link below. We loved Il Ritrovo and A Paranza - good choices. Ravello seems to stir debates - we passed on Cumpa Cosimo just because we really loved being outside in Ravello and decided on wine and snacks outdoor at Villa Cimbrone. My advice - walk around Ravello and decide on the fly once you see it. For seafood specifically, A Paranza was quite good - if you have transport you might want to head to Cetara which is reported to have great seafood places (like Al Convento)

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/708440

            1. I heard Don Alfonso is very good. I went to their offpsring restaurant in Rome (Baby) and was really impressed.

              For pictures of Baby: http://eatingsumo.blogspot.com/2010/0...