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Jul 20, 2011 03:03 PM

Looking for input on first pass at Amalfi Coast eating plan!

Hi Everyone!

I'm planning a trip to Amalfi Coast & Sardinia for mid-August and am hoping to draw on CH expertise for some great meal options.

Have poured through the existing Amalfi reviews (some great stuff in there, thank you!) and pulled together a first draft of restaurant options and was hoping to get some input.

For context, I will be travelling with my boyfriend. We both love to eat, and when travelling look for places with a focus on food and local flavours. Generally prefer authentic restaurants with great atmosphere (cozy / romantic, or fun & lively) to white tablecloth michelin star.... but that being said, if there are any "must trys" that fit in the white tablecloth category we are always open to a bit of variety.

Current plan as follows:

Sorrento - 3 nights - staying at Mami Camilla cooking school (breakfasts & dinners will likely all be based here, but if any "don't miss's" in Sorrento please shout)

Based on Nocelle - 4 nights:
Day 1 - (Day spent in Positano)
Lunch somewhere casual in Positano (Bruno, Il Fornillo, Da Vincenzo, Buca di Bacco?), Dinner at Il Ritrovo

Day 2 - (Day spent in Amalfi)
Lunch at A Paranza (Atrani), Dinner at Ristorante Santa Croce (near where we are staying in Nocelle)

Day 3 - (Day spent doing hike of the gods / in Praiano)
Lunch at Il Pino (Praiano), Dinner at Al Covento (Cetara)

Day 4 - (Trying to leave day flexible on location)
Lunch TBD, Dinner at one of Barilotto di Nonno, Donna Rossa, La Tagliata

A couple of specific questions:
* Does this feel like the right mix of restaurants? any "must trys" I need to capture / replace on here? Some other restaurants I have been considering are Fattoria Teranova, Acquapazza, Cumpa Cosimo
* Any you would take off the list?
* Do any days feel too aggressive in terms of amount of food to be consumed? (eg, Il Pino & Al Covento same day?)
* Is Al Covento best Cetara pick?
* How can I make a reservation at Barilotto di Nonno (tried to google but have yet to find a contact)

Thanks VERY much in advance!!!!!!

ps - I've also posted a previous question on Sardinia and have yet to receive any replies, so if anyone has advice on Cala Gonone / Costa Smeralda recommendations that would be greatly appreciated

Thanks again and happy eating!

Mami Camilla
Via Cocumella, 04, Sant'Agnello, Campania 80065, IT

Cumpa Cosimo
Via Roma 48, Ravello, Campania , IT

Il Ritrovo
Via Montepertuso, 77, Positano, Campania 84017, IT

La Tagliata
Via Tagliata, 22,, Positano, Campania 84017, IT

Il Pino
Via Cellolese,6, San Gimignano, Tuscany , IT

Buca di Bacco
Via Rampa Teglia, 4,, Positano, Campania 84017, IT

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  1. Of the restaurants you mentioned, my husband and I went to Barilotto di Nonno and La Tagliata. La Tagliata I feel is a must!!!...A truly unforgettable beautiful and fun experience! Food is just remarkable, nothing like it...really is home cooked food but the best ever! Service is top...its the family itself running a large place like it's their own dining room (which it is). Views that are close to heaven (literally as well). I would have been happy eating there every night.

    Now, Barilotto di Nonno was the sweetest experience...very very similiar in that its a family, they cook, they serve, this too is eating in their own dining room at home and the food is top notch!!!! The experience for us was different because it's much less known from what I could see and they had also just opened for the season and we were the only ones in the restaurant. We had completely personal service and everything was made just for us and whatever we wanted really. the dining room here is completely outdated....but in the most charming way one will ever imagine...I can't really explain it but I do suggest you go there!

    Although they are similiar, I would try to not miss either. Possibly La Tagliata for dinner and Barilotto for lunch.

    Just some other choices in the area, I would strongly suggest to stay away from the restaurants on the beach in Positano with the exception of the restaurant at Covo de Serecini. We also wanted to try something modern in comparison to La Tagliata and Barilotto so we tried Ristorante Max and absolutely loved it!

    La Tagliata
    Via Tagliata, 22,, Positano, Campania 84017, IT

    1 Reply
    1. re: secondsplz

      Thanks secondsplz!

      We do very much enjoy the family run experience.... which is why we are staying at Mami Camilla in Sorrento (have stayed there on a post university trip previously and loved it!), and Casa Cuccaro in Nocelle. Given that, I don't think we'll be short on hospitality.

      How would you say the food compares at Barilotto di Nonno vs. La Tagliata? Is one better eating than the other? (I seem to have read in a few places that La Tagliata is more about the atmosphere than the food... would you agree?)

      For anyone else who's reading, I've since found out Hosteria Il Pino is shut for lunch, which adds that as another potential dinner option on Day 2 or 4.


      Mami Camilla
      Via Cocumella, 04, Sant'Agnello, Campania 80065, IT

      La Tagliata
      Via Tagliata, 22,, Positano, Campania 84017, IT

      Il Pino
      Via Cellolese,6, San Gimignano, Tuscany , IT

    2. In Cetara, I would recommend Acquapazza. We were there for lunch in late May, and had a very nice experience.

      We had a 2:30 reservation, but someone had parked stupidly just outside Atrani, resulting in a traffic jam to rival LA on a bad day. (The traffic situation along the coast is worse than ever, as budget cuts have resulted in the removal of the police who used to make nominal efforts to keep things flowing). We arrived around 3:45 and I went in essentially to apologize for missing the reservation, not expecting to be fed. I mentioned that we had been there a couple of times in the past, and they said they could make us a plate of pasta. Once we sat down - at a table next to the owner, who was having a late lunch - they brought a few other things as well.

      We started with an amazing plate of crudi. Red shrimp - just fantastic, with a freshness and sweetness that is hard to find or describe - regular shrimp, local fish (Pezzogna, Nasello, Fragolino), and langostino. Great stuff.

      We then had their house cured anchovies - from the bay, cured for a year in salt in a wooden barrel. (This process also yields the colatura di alici, a brown, concentrated liquid with a delicious anchovy flavor. We sampled this on bread.). After the meal, the owner showed us one of the barrels - very interesting indeed.

      The pasta was incredible - paccheri alla genovese -a variation of a Neapolitan dish usually made with meat, but here with fresh tuna, sauteed with onions and carrots with a hint of nutmeg. Amazing.

      The owner recommended a very nice white wine from Tramonti, just outside Ravello. Blend of falanghina, pepella, and ginestra grapes.

      We had a terrific dessert - a warm cake with apples, spices, and cream, with mixed berry gelato.

      All in all, a great meal, for about 130 euros, and the owner was lovely. Having recently read about a bad experience at Al Convento, this may be the better call in Cetara.

      For your time in Sorrento, you might consider the Torre del Saracino, in Vico Equense. We had a very nice lunch there. They began with some very nice homemade breads and with delicious amuse bouches of asparagus soup with a pesto trapanese and seared local tuna with a fava bean pure and chicory. We then had tagliatelle with broccoli leaves, baby calamari, and sea urchin, and paccheri with sweet and sour spring onions and anchovies. For the main course, we had dentice (sea bream) with an oyster-infused cream sauce, and mixed grilled rockfish. We drank a Fiano from Paestum (Pietraincatenata by Luigi Maffini). Bill was 150 euros.

      Al Convento
      Piazza San Francesco, 16, Cetara, Campania 84010, IT

      Via di fuori 47, Sarteano, Toscana 53047, IT

      5 Replies
      1. re: Jeremy M

        Jeremy, glad to hear of your good experience at Acquapazza. We have a friend who lives down the road in Raito and it is his favorite restaurant on the AC. Lido Azzuro in Amalfi is his second favorite.

        1. re: ekc

          We had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding at the Lido Azzurro in May 2001, and have been back there several times since, including in May 2011 (10th anniversary trip). We love it. Their spaghetti vongole are my favorite. Wonderful selection of fresh fish, and just a lovely staff. And a great view. I've always been surprised that it has not received more attention on this board.

          1. re: ekc

            but see this report on Acquapazza from last year indicating it might at least sometimes be way pricy and that going without a menu may not be wise.


            there are other choices in Cetara - including slowfood pick San Pietro

            PS I would definitely support visiting A' Paranza in Atrani, if you visit Amalfi,

            You wouldnt want to leave the Coast without visiting Ravello, which is stunning -peaceful -Da Salvatore and Cumpa Cosimo are among the restaurants recoomended there.

            San Pietro
            Piazzetta San Francesco, 2, Cetara, Campania 84010, IT

            1. re: jen kalb

              Now that you mention it, I recall seeing that exchange about Aquapazza. The experience described is not consistent with my meals there in the past or this year. We have received good suggestions at fair prices. As has often been discussed on this Board, the price of seafood - particularly crudi and whole fish - has gone up enormously in recent years. Especially in that context, the prices at Acquapazza seem fair.

          2. re: Jeremy M

            adding link

            Torre del Saraceno
            localita Marina Equa, Vico Equense, Campania 80069, IT