Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gin O'Clock, Monzu Gin Club and American Bar, Capri (Na)


That Saturday hundreds of tourists arrived at Marina Piccola on the beautiful island of Capri around 11 a.m. I was one of them. And though many were headed to the beach, to take a tour, sight see or a go on a boat ride to the Blue Grotto I decided to head towards Punta Tragara Hotel. Punta Tragara is one of the top hotels on the island. It boast a 5 star Luxury hotel rating, a fantasticaaa view of the Faraglioni rocks, Monzu Restaurant, and Monzu Gin Club and American Bar.

Chef Luigi Lionetti met me on my arrival and showed me around .....


with one of the first stops being the bar and Daniela Chirico.



Chirico is one of the most talented bartenders on the island with a passion for gin and tonic. Monzu, then, was the perfect playground for my increasing curiosity about this historic cocktail dating back to the 19th century - aka a G and T. His cocktail menu has 150 types of gin and 21 different tonic water.



After studying the menu I asked Chirico for a little help.

He went into action. It was gin o'clock...





Fantasticaaa!!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Amazing Appetizers, Chef Pasquale Palamaro, Ristorante Indaco, Lacco Ameno, Ischia


A few weeks ago I had the chance to chat with Michelin starred chef Pasquale Palamaro about his new menu for 2018.   The chef was 'in town' for an event not far from where I live.  He mentioned that he had been working on some new dishes that were...were...well, he suggested that I come to Ischia, to Ristorante Indaco to try for myself.
I was very curious, no wait...curiosissima, as they say in Italian.  So I decided to take a ferry  one evening  to Lacco Ameno to check it all out.



 Palamaro loves the sea.  And why not?  Born and raised on the bellisssima island of Ischia one can certainly  understand why.  That is why last season he decided to devote his entire menu to the sea/il mare.  So it was no surprise that for his 2018 this theme would continue.  Let's take a look at two of his appetizers.

Golden Anchovies.  Fantasticaaa!  When the plate arrived, it was hard not to be reminded of an aquarium.  A sea colored platter which hosted Palamaro's variations of anchovies.




A closer look:


  • An golden anchovy - anchovy mousse with vinegar in carpione
  • a fried golden anchovies ball with gold leaf
  • marinated anchovies
  • anchovy radish tartare 
  • puffed rice anchovy and saffron chip
  • dehydrated anchovy wafer
  • tortello pasta stuffed with an anchovy cream, 
  • capellini di zucchini and zucchini sauce








Palamaro's voyage under the sea continued with his grilled oysters and octopus carpaccio.

A closer look:

  • A  mousse prepared with the cooking water from the octopus, 
  • then a layer of lupini clams and diced crunchy carrots and zucchini, 
  • Palamaro grilled oysters with Normandy butter (for smoky notes), 
  • All topped with an octopus carpaccio, white balsamic vinegar pearls and green sauce powder (capers, vinegar, parsley)







Amazing!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Amazing Appetizers, Don Alfonso 1890, Sant'Agata Sui Due Golfi (Na)


During my recent visit to Don Alfonso 1890, I was greeted with familiar smiles and these dishes featured in their Spring 2018 menu. Appetizers with 2 Michelin stars!!

Marinated red snapper cannoli in buffalo milk yogurt, lemon and chili peppers, like a ceviche, with white sesame sauce and spring vegetables. ( I told Chef Iaccarino that this was one of my dishes of the day)





And this creamy garlic soup with crab. Garlic lovers unite!!!!! (This dish reminded me of their classic tomato and crab soup from 2014)




Amazing!


Sunday, June 3, 2018

La Repubblica del Cibo kicks off Festa a Vico 2018 Tonight, 3 June 2018

In just a few hours, the sixteenth edition of Festa a Vico will kick off with Repubblica del Cibo. Vioc Equense,on the  Sorrento coast is preparing to welcome over 180 chefs for the most popular event of the event organized by Gennaro Esposito, two-Michelin-star chef of Torre del Saracino in Seiano. Here's the deal, a 20 Euro donation to one of the six Onlus friends of the Festival (Santobono, Alts, Fondazione Pro, Noi con voi per le Mici, Istituto Costiero, Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata) you can buy tickets that will give the opportunity to taste five dishes (plus water and coffee) or four dishes and enjoy a glass of wine (plus water and coffee). Last year there were about 15,000 people who attended so it is highly advised to arrive early!  The stands open up at 1930!

Here's a list of the stands for tonight...


  • Marco Di Martino Archiviostorico  - Napoli (NA)
  • Gerardo Figliolia Osteria La Pignata – Bracigliano (SA)
  • Antonio Tecchia Line Presso San Cristoforo Resort - Ercolano (NA)
  • Venerando Valastro American Brothers Food Diner   - Benevento (BN)
  • Giuseppe Pirillo Bar Del Capo Restaurant -  Sorrento (NA)
  • Gabriele Piscitelli Agape  - Sant Agata Dei Goti (BN)
  • Enzo Langella Gran Caffè¨ Napoli 1850 -  Castellammare Di Stabia  (NA)
  • Pasquale Langellotti  Basilico – Sorrento (NA)
  • Armando Manzo Ristorante Emozioni - Napoli (NA)
  • Cristina    Basso Deglutiamo Con Cristina     -Napoli (NA)
  • Gioacchino Vorraro Mamma Elena  - San Giuseppe Vesuviano  (NA)
  • Roberto Ottone Due Torri Hotel  - Verona (VR)
  • Luca Brenca Morgana 2.0  - Battipaglia (SA)
  • Pasquale Palladino Deposit0 – Pontecagnano (SA)
  • Carlo Boragine    Stileosteria  - Roma (RM)
  • Shigeru    Nakaminato Bunon  - Tokyo SO
  • Alfredo    Versetto  Shinto Napoli -  Cardito (NA)
  • Salvatore Tarantino Triglia - Trattoria Di Mare  - Avellino (AV)
  • Catello    Attanasio Capo D'orso Eventi - Salerno  (SA)
  • Mario    Di Costanzo Di Costanzo Patisserie - Napoli (NA)
  • Maria    Scotto D'abbusco Il Magone - Monte Di Procida (NA)
  • Ryotaro  Watanabe Rios buongustaio – Yokohama
  • Giosue'     Maresca  La Lanterna - Sorrento (NA)
  • Ivan Palombi Mastroianni's - San Pancrazio Parmense (PR)
  • Andrea    Catalano Dissapore - Carovigno (BR)
  • Raffaele D'urso    Frate Cosimo - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Matteo    Donati    Donati - Castiglione Della Pescaia (GR)
  • Mirco Scognamiglio 12 Morsi Burger & Friends - Napoli (NA)
  • Nunzio    Spagnuolo Ristorante Cieddì - Portici (NA)
  • Alessandro Tormolino Sensi Restaurant - Amalfi (SA)
  • Marco Nitride Muumuzzarella Seaside - Napoli (NA)
  • Pierluigi Gallo Giulia Restaurant - Roma (RM)
  • Salvatore Piccolo Locanda Mariacarolì - Sant' Anastasia (NA)
  • Salvatore Caccioppoli Panificio Il buongustaio - Sant'Antonio Abate (NA)
  • Pietro Roberto    Montone F IC - Unione Regionale Cuochi Della Campania - Montoro (AV)
  • Luigi  Vitiello Villa Regina Ricevimenti-Villa Belvedere - Grottaminarda (AV)
  • Antonino Tommasiello  Pasticci E Pasticcini - Battipaglia (SA)
  • Vincenzo Di Prisco Palazzo Vialdo - Torre Del Greco (NA)
  • Michele Sabatino Macelleria - Apricena (FG)
  • Massimiliano Malafronte  Panificio Malafronte Ciro Srl - Gragnano (NA)
  • Antonio Andreozzi Al Capri - Capri (NA)
  • Francesco Veneruso Macelleria La Fattoria Di Ciro Veneruso - Portici (NA)
  • Nando    Bifulco    Bifburger - San Giuseppe Vesuviano (NA)
  • Antonio Di Sieno Macelleria Trippicella - Napoli (NA)
  • Camillo    Sorrentino Osteria Torre Ferano - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Nicola    Pansa Pasticceria Pansa - Amalfi (SA)
  • Giovanni Alaia    Pasticceria Ignazio Alaia - Somma Vesuviana (NA)
  • Vincenzo Faiella De Vivo Dal 1955 Pompei -  Pompei (NA)
  • Catello    Zingone La Marinella - Sant'agnello (NA)
  • Alex Pochynok  Roji Japan Fusion Restaurant - Nola (NA)
  • Michele Esposito Il Grottino - Positano (NA)
  • Giuseppe Zaccaria Dal Pescatore - Vietri Sul Mare (SA)
  • Mario Lerice Ristorante Maragoncello - Montichiari (BS)
  • Stefano     Parrella Osteria La Lanterna - Mugnano Del Cardinale (AV)
  • Dario De Gaetano La Fescina  Nuova Hostaria Flegrea - Quarto (NA)
  • Nunzio    Annunziata Hotel Delfino Ristorante Marea - Massalubrense (NA)
  • Antonio Esposito I Dottori Del Fritto - Napoli (NA)
  • Francesco Pucci  Taverna La Riggiola - Napoli (NA)
  • Emanuele Sibilia Il Piccolo Ducato - Cisterna Di Latina (LT)
  • Luigi Coppola Tenuta Duca Marigliano - Paestum (SA)
  • Vincenzo Piacente Ristorante Terrazza Gioponti -  Hotel Parco Dei Principi  - Sorrento (NA)
  • Antonio Putignano Arlu' - Roma (RM)
  • Michele Cappiello Pasticceria Cappiello - Santa Maria Capua Vetere (CE)
  • Giovanni Cappelli  Le Tamerici - Roma (RM)
  • Akio Nishikawa Sakuragumi - Ako TR
  • Agostino Malapena Ristorante Costanzo - Aversa (CE)
  • Giovanni Maria    Peggi Ristorante Marula - Follonica (GR)
  • Michele  De Martino Casamare - Salerno (SA)
  • Nicola Scotto Di Luzio Borgo50 Bistrot - Bacoli (NA)
  • Avitabile Basilio Masseria Guida - Ercolano (NA)
  • Gianfranco Brescia Osteria Della Dogana - Foggia (FG)
  • Luca Mastromattei Pescion - Pescara (PE)
  • Alessandro Moraca La Locanda Del Testardo - Bacoli (NA)
  • Kevin Luigi Fornoni Relais Torre Mozza - Torre Mozza (LI)
  • Gianluca Ungaro Ciacco & Bacco Ristoburger - Gragnano (NA)
  • Michele Falciano Rivea  London Alain Ducasse - London EN
  • Raffaella Cecchelli La Tana Dei Brilli - Massa Marittima (GR)
  • Federico Delmonte Acciuga - Roma (RM)
  • Gianluca Fattoruso Hotel Villa Le Zagare - Gragnano (NA)
  • Pasquale Funghini  Alfresco Del Monastero Santa Rosa - Amalfi (SA)
  • Sabatino Cillo Cillo Grill & Barbecue House - Airola (BN)
  • Ludovico D'urso FIC - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Ciro Campanile Hotel Elisabetta Luxury Events - Lettere (NA)
  • Alberto     Basso Ristorante Trequarti - Val Liona (VI)
  • Carlo Starace Agriturismo La Ginestra - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Pietro Cuomo Hostaria Di Bacco - Furore (NA)
  • Sabatino Sirica    Pasticceria Sirica - San Giorgio A Cremano (NA)
  • Gerardo  Di Dato Di Dato Pasticceria - Angri (SA)
  • Anna Chiavazzo Il Giardino Di Ginevra - Casapulla (CE)
  • Alberto    Parascandolo Pasticceria Mille Stelle - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Marco Claroni Osteria Dell'orologio - Fiumicino (RM)
  • Pasquale Bevilacqua Pasticceria Mamma Grazia - Nocera Superiore (SA)
  • Salvatore Aprea  Da Tonino - Capri (NA)
  • Andrea Caloprisco Osteria22quattro - Roma (RM)
  • Angelo Fabozzo      Clanio Ristorante - Aversa (CE)
  • Sara Palmieri Formatrice - Associazione Nonsologlutine - Salerno (SA)
  • Fabrizio Sepe Le Tre Zucche - Roma (RM)
  • Raffaele De Risi Ristorante Ghe' Kale' - San Paolo Bel Sito (NA)
  • Ludovico De Vivo Capofaro Malvasia & Resort - Salina, Isole Eolie (ME)
  • Maximiliano Cotilli Satricvm - Latina (LT)
  • Gaetano Torrente Convento - Erbusco (BS)
  • Filippo    Cascone  Cascone Mastro Fornaio  -Lettere (NA)
  • Pasquale Troiano Cantina Bentivoglio - Bologna (BO)
  • Emanuele Vallini La Carabaccia-Officinavallini - Bibbona (LI)
  • Fabio Pecelli Caffè Propaganda - Roma (RM)
  • Giovanni   Sorrentino  Gerani Ristorante - Santa Maria La Carità (NA)
  • Mirko Marcelli Creta Osteria - Cortona (AR)
  • Antonio Cera  Forno Sammarco - San Marco In Lamis (FG)
  • Michele  Mazzola Locanda Rei Restaurant - Sant'agnello (NA)
  • Mario Pollio Pasta E... - Sant'agata Sui Due Golfi (NA)
  • Potito Izzo La Taverna A Santa Chiara - Napoli (NA)
  • Marco Parillo Casale Del Mare - Castiglioncello (LI)
  • Amelia Mazzola La Torre One Fire - Massa Lubrense (NA)
  • Giovanni  Mariconda  Degusta -  Avellino (AV)
  • Franca    Di Mauro Il Cellaio Di Don Gennaro - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Daniele    Ferrari    Ristorante Val Sia Rosa - Civita Castellana (VT)
  • Corrado Parisi Odart - Hall In Tirol (CE)
  • Andrea     Azzarito Eccellenze Campane - Napoli (NA)
  • Mario Cinque Yacht Club Marina Di Stabia - Castellammare Di Stabia (NA)
  • Luciano    Bifulco    Braceria Bifulco - Ottaviano (NA)
  • Giuseppe Daddio  Scuola Di Cucina & Pasticceria Dolce & Salato Srl - Maddaloni (CE)
  • Carlo Spina 3 Piani - Napoli (NA)
  • Eduardo  Estatico Jkitchen Presso J.K Place Capri - Capri (NA)
  • Francesco Bibbo' Ristorante That's Amore - Monteruduni (IS)
  • Alessio    Gubello    Alessio Gubello Private Chef - Lecce (LC)
  • Carlo Matarese    Scintilla Risto Club - Grand Hotel Cocumella - Sant'Agnello (NA)
  • Luigi Sorrentino La Bettola Del Gusto - Pompei (NA)
  • Stella    Ricci Pasticceria Stella - Rotondi (AV)
  • Francesco Nacci  Botrus  Divinoristorante   - Ceglie Messapica (BR)
  • Claudio    Gatti Pasticceria Tabiano - Salsomaggiore Tabiano (PR)
  • Francesco Fusco  Il Moera - Avella (AV)
  • Marco Lucamarini Il Casolare Dei Segreti - Treia (MC)
  • Michele  Grande  La Bifora - Bacoli (NA)
  • Vincenzo Vaccaro Cucina 82 Restaurant - Gragnano (NA)
  • Marzia Buzzanca Percorsi Di Gusto - L'aquila (AQ)
  • Maria Acquaviva Mignon - Milano (MI)
  • Nicola Russo Al Primo Piano Ristorante - Foggia (FG)
  • Guillermo  Field  Melendez  ProfumoDiVino - Treiso (CN)
  • Antonio  Petrone  Pensando A Te - Baronissi (SA)
  • Salvatore Accietto Ristorante Le Tre Arcate - Piano Di Sorrento (NA)
  • Maurizio De Riggi Markus - San Paolo Bel Sito (NA)
  • Fabio Ometo Villa Trabucco Relais - Torre Del Greco (NA)
  • Riccardo Faggiano Evù - Vietri (SA)
  • Edi Dottori Sala Della Comitissa - Ristorante Con Bistrot - Baschi (TR)
  • Marco Caputi Maeba Restaurant - Ariano Irpino (AV)
  • Marco Davi Perbacco - Aprilia (LT)
  • Saul Halevi Melia Sky Barcelona - Barcellona SP
  • Antonio Petrillo La Corte Dei Filangieri - Candida (AV)
  • Giacomo De Simone Punta Scutolo Delle Axidie - Vico Equense (NA)
  • Angelo    Borghese Osteria Al Paese - Nocera Inferiore (SA)
  • Lorenzo  Principe Famiglia Principe 1968 - Nocera Superiore (SA)
Here's a look at last year's event...


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Amazing Appetizers, Chef Antonino Montefusco, Terrazza Bosquet, Sorrento


The last time I visited Chef Antonino Montefusco was last December, right before Christmas.  I had a chance to spend sveral hours with the Michelin starred chef of Terrazza Bosquet and taste some of his recipes for Natale in Sorrento.  
I decided to head back last weekend to see what the Spring had in store for Montfusco.  I was treated to an amazing tasting menu which featured some appetizers like the three below - all seated at the  comfort of his new chef's table.



A Gillardeau Speciale Oyster served with a salad made of frozen cucumbers, a marine sea sauce  and salty fingers.  A closer look...






Next up,  three thin sheets of fassona which is a prized  beef from the Piedmont region, served wth an oyster tomato tartare, a pesto made with salicornia (glasswort), and balsamic vinegar ice cream.






And you can't have two without three...so they say.  




Red mullet, Controne beans, and Tropea onions.





Amazing!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fantastic First, Chef Luigi Lionetti, Monzu Restaurant, Capri (Na)

Capri!!! Surely you've heard of that amazing island just a 40 minute alisclafo ride from Naples.  International travelers go for the beaches, the spectacular blue waters, the famous blue grotto, and of course, the shopping.
Capri, however, also has some amazing hotels with some of the top restaurants around.  Last Saturday I had the chance to spend a few hours at Monzu Restaurant - Punta Tragara Hotel. A 10 minute stroll from the piazzetta - a location fantasticaaa - away from the crowds - with an amazing view of the Faraglioni rocks.  Bellissima of course.  But I was there to try some of Chef Luigi Lionetti's dishes for the new 2018 season.
I was invited into the kitchen to observe the chef while he plated up an amazing pasta dish starring mezzi paccheri pasta.  This pasta format is a challenging format, in my opinion.  The cooking time is pretty long usually 12- 14 minutes.  I love  an al dente pasta, particularly a pacchero that stands up and says hello.








Like this dish from Lionetti.

Paccheri pasta with zucchini...zucchini prepared as a creamy sauce, but also dehydrated crispy spring goodness...




The chef also added clams and tiny tiny squid...







Hre we are at the table....



fantasticaaa!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

6 hours on the Island, Ischia (Na)

Hop on, hop off.  I had 6 hours to spend in Ischia that Saturday, and I wanted to spend it like a local.  So I recruited the hlp of two amici ischitani to take me around., professional photographers Simone De Sanctis and Luigi Irace.
'.
First stop?  A quick tour of Cardamone, a fraction of Ischia Porto which is home to Cantine Antonio Mazzella.  On the way I was treated to some spectacular views...






Then into the cantina. 


The winery was busy as usual. This small winery dates back to 1940 and is  is a must stop for tourists and locals alike for a quick tasting and a bit of Saturday shopping.  This particular Saturday was also bottling day - Nicola Mazzella was busy bottling the winery's Vigna del Lume 2017, recently voted the Best White Wine in Italy for 2018 at Vinitaly.




Vigna del Lume - 100% Biancolella, a Campania white grape.  Between a sip or two, Mazzella invited us to take a little walk.  Just across the street, hidden behind a stone wall, the winery had planted a Biancolella vineyrad 4 years ago.  This year's harvest will be the first used to make wine.   The vineyard also shared the soil with crops such as tomatoes, fava beans and the prized local zampognaro bean.





Nicola wanted us to try something else.   Nero 70 2017, still in the stainless steel vat, had just finished its malolactic fermentation and would be filtered the next day.
50 % Aglianico/50 % Piediirosso grapes.  Selected grapes picked during November, and only when the conditions are right.  In 2016, for example, Mazzella did not produce this wine.




Nicola's sister Vera treated us to a casual tasting of some of the winery's other wines paired with taralli and light conversation.












De Sanctis,  Irace, and I



The clock was ticking.  Time for our next stop.  An aperitif at a on of the island's top  fruit and vegetable stands - Garden Fruit.  This wasn't my first visit.  I stopped by last year for roasted artichokes, remember?  I wanted to try those artichokes again...







but I was also pleasantly surprised by Giuseppe's tomato salad.  He used 8 different varieties; Camone, Marinda, Cuore di bue (ox heart), red and yellow Daterini tomatoes, Cherry, Riccio, and Tarantino.  Mixed with fresh herbs, oil and vinegar.  Fantasticaaa!




Our mini food tour continued.  Late Lunch!!! Ischia Salumi!!!



















An amazing delicatessen which producs its own salamis.  The guys and I divided this deli tray which included Ischia's famous pizza a scarola, mozzarella di bufala and cherry tomatoes, an endless supply of cheeses, and Ischia Salumi's rabbit salami.



Yes rabbit salumi.  Made in house.  How?  the rabbit is deboned, then marinated in Biancolella wine for two days to soften the strong rabbit aromas.  Then the rabbit meat is grounded, salt/pepper/chili pepper flakes are added.  Then placed in casings, smoked and aged for a month or so.




 The clock continued to tick.  Time for a quick stroll to the Aragonese Castle and a caffe'...


Time for ice cream??? ICE da Luciano at Ischia Ponte.  I had to try the tiramisu which was fantastic.  


Times up!  Really???!!!

And so this visit ended like many of my visits to Ischia.  That familiar friendly phrase...Karen, the next time you come we've got to...

Grazie, Ischia!

#ischiaadicted