Amalfi trip report (long, with a brief recap at the end)
Just wrapped up a week in Amalfi. Food was really good overall - for those not familiar the area is seafood, seafood, seafood. Here are so highlights by town (bearing in mind we were a group of 12 (6 couples) everyplace we went):
Atrani - dinner at A Paranza - one of our trip highlights - we let the chef call the shots and he brought us a series of seafood platters that were fresh, local, authentic and consistently excellent. Good pasta also.
Positano/Monterpertusso - dinner at Il Ritrovo - best dinner of the trip. Chef Salvatore came out and spent some time with us. The experience and food were exceptional. Here we went more with pastas and meats, all excellent. A couple of people got the seafood tasting menu and raved about each course. The tagliatelle with porcini was memorable. Lunch at Buca di Bacco in Positano was not memorable. ok food, relatively high prices.
Amalfi - we stayed on the outskirts of Amalfi and used the town both for dining and provisions. If you need seafood to cook at home - the main Cica location outside of town sells the best seafood we have had in quite some time - right off the boat - awesome quality tuna, octopus, etc. Lemon products of all types (granita, gelato, etc.) are unbelievably good a A Sciula right off the main square. The fancy pastry shop in the square was excellent - although we heard the pastry shop in Minori is even better. We had pizza at twice at Taverna di Masaniello, in a quaint square off of the main square. It was absolutely tremendous - the brothers that run the place are a blast (one of which, Andrew, also has a good art shop in the main square in Ravello) and pizzas are classic for the region - thin crispy crusts with lots of topping options. We also had dinner and a couple of lunches at Al Pesce D'Oro, which was closer to Conca dei Marini and quite near our villa. Salvatore is a wonderful guy and the place was great for pizza, antipasti, seafood - all round good spot. Finally - we had a lunch in the harbor at Lido Azzurra - good quality seafood in a nice setting, but a bit overpriced. Not a surprise based on the location.
Pogerola - we went up the hill from Amalfi - had dinner at La Capaninna then drinks at Gerry's Pub. The square is cute and we were the only non-locals to be found. The dinner was good, not great, with some real winners (pork and porcinis) and a loser or two (tough calamari). Gerry's was fun - he insisted on setting up karaoke for the over-lubricated women in our group, which effectively drove out the locals.
Ravello - spent several hours there but no time for a full meal. The place is beautiful and we did really love the snacks and wine at Villa Cimbrone.
Road trip to Sorbo Serpico, Avellino to Feudi di San Gregorio Winery. - This was spectacular. the winery tour was great and the restaurant was far better than the best of places in the Amalfi area. Not sure if they have a Michelin star, but they should. We had a several course lunch that ran the gamut from potatoes with truffles to sweatbreads to porcini risotto. Admittedly we got special treatment because one in our group was a wine importer and big client of the winery, but the food was spectacular in all regards.
Extraordinary - lunch at Feudi di San Gregorio winery in Avellino area
Excellent - dinners at A Paranza in Atrani and Il Ritrovo in Monterpertuso. Wine and snack break at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello.
Really good - pizza at Taverna di Masaniello in Amalfi, most anything at Al Pesce d'Oro in Vettica (Amalfi)
Mixed bag - La Capaninna in Pogerola, Buca Di Bacco in Positano and Lido Azzurra in Amalfi.
Erica - CICA is a fish store on the outskirts of Amalfi (just at the start of the road up to pogerola/agerola). Fisherman go in with their catches and CICA sells them - we bought big tuna caught that day, fresh octopus and calamari. Brought it home and cooked up a feast. Really high quality stuff.