A day in Caserta
My partner and I arrived in Naples today and headed to Caserta where we are spending the night before driving to Puglia tomorrow.
Before visiting the royal palace, we had lunch at the nearby Le Colonne, which has a Michelin star. It has an unusual menu with an emphasis on various mozzarella dishes. Our first courses (mozzarella stuffed with peppers, and a pizza like none we've seen before) were very good, secondi (meat) were somewhat less successful, though still pretty good. Vitello tonnato was made with breast of veal, and was just a bit dry. We had a nice spumoni for dessert. The place is rather formal, with excellent service. Not bad for just about 100 euros with wine.
For dinner near our hotel in San Leucio, we went to the Ristorante Lucio. Good traditional food for a very reasonable price, though oddly they add a 12% service charge. Baby octopus with tomato and olives was delicious, pasta was a bit heavy but the pistachio pesto on it was great. My orata with tomatoes was superb and a bargain at 15 euros. Filet of maialino was overcooked but flavorful, with a delicious red wine reduction. The wine was excellent, a Cecubo 2007 Villa Matilde for 18 euros. They have an interesting list of local wines. We enjoyed this meal very much. Off the beaten path and totally authentic.
re: jen kalb
The palace was somewhat disappointing. A very imposing, grand building, with room after gilded room, but run down, with little furniture and Venetian glass chandeliers that haven't been dusted in 200 years.
The fish is not so surprising to me due to the proximity of the Bay of Naples.