Amalfi Coast report - early May 2010 - long
Amalfi Coast reviews & costs ~ all costs include wine, usually starting with Prosecco followed by a house red or white. All wines were excellent and very reasonably priced.
We are winding down our Italy trip by spending several relaxing days on the Amalfi Coast. We’ve dined fantastically in Venice and Rome, but now we’re looking for something more casual and homey. The following all worked perfectly ~
Fattoria Terranova, Sant’ Agata sui due Golfi, Massa Lubrense ~ 8 people ~ 375 Euro
I read about this place in a SlowFood article and spent months trying to get in touch with them for a reservation. Emails, phone calls, faxes – nothing worked. Finally, I relied on the owner of the B&B where we stayed in Positano to contact them. She was born in Positano but had never heard of this place (it’s about 6 miles as the crow flies from Positano, but probably about 30 via the roads). A few emails later, she told me ~ no problem, you’ve got a reservation at 1:30 pm. With nothing more to go on, our driver picks us up in Rome and off we go. Our driver, also born in Positano, has never heard of it either, and didn’t know where it was. No matter, this is Italy and everything always seems to work out. We wound our way up a road on the peninsula high above the sea and found a small parking area and a sign pointing to Fatttoria Terranova. So we park and start walking down the hill, and down, and down. Our driver decides this isn’t quite right, so tears back to get the van. By the time he catches up with eight laughing Americans we’ve found Fattoria Terranova (which has a lovely parking area right there). We then enter paradise. This is a working farm that has a B&B as well as a restaurant. It’s surrounded by vineyards and terraced lemon groves. The lemon trees are heavy with both lemons and blossoms and the air is filled with the smell of lemons. We are on a long covered terrace dripping with hanging baskets of flowers with a breath taking view of the village below and blue sea, Capri is in the distance. At this point we could have been fed dog food and not even noticed. But instead, a parade of amazing dishes started arriving at the table. To start, bruschetta with olive tapenade or tomatoes. This was followed by antipasti ~ an assortment of fritters including fried polenta, arancini, suppli ~ the best seafood salad ever, with mussels, shrimp and tiny octopi ~ a cross between a pizza and frittata with eggplant and tomatoes ~ fresh made burrata and ricotta ~ zucchini wrapped around cheese and baked in tomato sauce ~ grilled eggplant, zucchini and peppers ~ salumi platter. Next the pasta ~ a simple baked macaroni and cheese ~ a thick cut noodle with eggplant, tomatoes and cheese ~ baked ravioli ~ bowtie pasta with prosciutto and basil. There was dessert, but I have no recollection of it ~ probably due to the offering of three different liquors, all made by Fattoria Terranova. There was Limoncello, Liquirizia (licorice) and Manoarino (orange). We were there three hours and would have happily stayed for three more.
Da Gemma, Capri ~ 8 people ~ 375 Euro
Great little restaurant in Capri with a beautiful view of the Sorrento peninsula and bay of Naples. Food was very good and service was terrific.
Ristorante Valle dei Mulini, Positano ~ 8 people ~ 220 Euro
Pizza and salad were just fine here. It’s in the heart of Positano with a lovely patio area, but no view of the sea.
Trattoria Compa’ Cosimo, Ravello ~ 8 people ~ 200 Euro
This is a family run madhouse. Chaotic, fun and yummy. We didn’t bother with any menus and just let the owners feed us. Started with a mixed meat and vegetable antipasti, went on to several shared pastas and finished with sausages covered with melted cheese. The men in the group all got kisses and cheek pinches from the Italian grandmother that appears to be the hostess/cook/server/and everything else.
Trattoria la Tagliata, Costiera ~ 8 people ~ 370 Euro
What an experience ~ brace yourself for the scariest ride of your life. This restaurant is perched on a cliff in the small town of Costiera above Positano. I strongly suggest that you do not attempt to drive there yourself. Apparently the restaurant has lost many patrons to the suicidal roads, so they will happily send a vehicle to pick you up from and return you to Positano proper. You will be awe struck by the views (even from the ladies room), but then distracted by the food. There are no menu’s (at least none that we saw). You sit down and the food starts coming. Lots of antipasti, then pastas (the spaghetti with little tomatoes was wonderful), but the star of the show are the meats. Sausages, pork, T-bone steaks, lamb and more. Just when you think you’ll explode out come a parade of homemade desserts.
Bar Bruno, Positano ~ 4 people ~ 120 Euro
Great little restaurant/bar with patio on the main drag thru Positano. Good pastas, good meats. Especially liked the carabonara and the pasta with arugula pesto. The server tried to steer us away from the arugula pesto, saying we wouldn’t like it, but don’t be dissuaded ~ it was delicious. We liked this place so much we went twice. This is also a wonderful spot for a drink outside gazing over the beach of Positano and sea.
We received excellent, caring service at every single restaurant and bar. Language was never a barrier, a smile and frequent use of grazie mille always helped.
The group’s favorite? Fattoria Terranova, it epitomized the magic that is the Amalfi Coast.
Thanks Nancy! I will be in Positano for 3 days in October. Did you check out Da Vincenzo by any chance? I had heard good things on Trip Advisor, but hadn't been able to ask anyone that's actually been to Positano. And sometimes Trip Advisor isn't always accurate ;)
Fattoria Terranova sounds amazing!!
Didn't make it to Da Vincenzo, so if you go let me know. I can't wait to get back to Positano and the Amalfi Coast. It's absolutely the most beautiful place I've ever been. If you're not in good shape now, you will be after Positano. It was over 300 vertical feet from our B&B to the main square. You'll quickly learn to walk down and take the bus back up.
Have a wonderful time and be sure to report your dining experiences (and costs, if you can remember them). Most restaurants were kind enough to give me a menu and that really helped when making my report.