Thursday, May 17, 2012

Saturday Lunch - Hotel Raito - Vietri Sul Mare (Sa)

You’ve got to come back in the spring, Francesco said.  So I can show you the garden.  Francesco Russo, is the executive chef at the five star hotel  Raito Hotel on the tip of the Amalfi coast. It was an invitation made during an evening a few months back during my first visit to this hidden paradise on the tip of the Amalfi Coast.

Spring…my favorite time to take a road trip.  Before the traffic jams, before the tourists, before the sweltering heat.  The perfect time to enjoy the amazing colors that the coast has to offer whoever wants to spend a sunny day in Raito, five minutes from Vietri Sul Mare in the province of Salerno.  I did.

Green-The garden.  A garden that overlooks the sea.  Cool breezes from the sea envelop the fig and lemon trees…the peas and fava beans...cuddle young vegetables waiting to ripen…tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini…parsley, salvia, basil…Chef Russo pointed them all out to me.  Part of the restaurant’s plan to focus on products grown close to home…km 0.

From the garden, as well as our walk/talk through Raito Hotel's numerous indoor and out door dining areas, pool, and spa, I couldn’t help but bask in the spring sunshine  and enjoy the bright colors…the yellows, purples, oranges, pinks…the blues…all that would come together perfectly in the lunch that I would soon be sitting down to on the terrace with a spectacular view of the sea.

Apperitivo? Yes. A glass of Champagne Pommery Brut served to me by Domenico Senatore to go along with a colorful  plate of tomato and basil corn chips...

 The colors alone were beautiful to look at...tasty as well.   This was just the beginning, it was time to get serious with a parade of colors and flavors that was just a hint of the spring summer menu at Hotel Raito.


sea bass tartare and lemon served on a sea stone with a side of mayonaise

eggplant parmesan zeppole with a shrimp carpaccio and dried tomato

mediteranean tomato gazpacho, mozzarrella, shrimp, bread crumbs, and anchovies

yellowtail tartare with insalata di rinforza and sea foam
 Firts courses.  Two brightly colored dishes served to me by Russo himself...

Pacchero stuffed with potatoes and soft stuffed squid

russo's spaghetti, garlic, and peperoncino tossed with colatura  di anchovies,  onions from nocera,  and tarallo
 Second Course...
cod with an acqua pazza crust and fresella with tomatoes and basil

Provolone del Monaco ,bread with figs and pickled onions and peppers 
 And of course...dessert...
ricotta and pear

petit fours
Not only was this meal bright and colorful, it was also a chance to taste the territory, discover the province of Salerno.  Sticking with the km 0 theme, I enjoyed a couple of glasses of white wine from Casa di Baal, as well as their olive oil.  The  pasta that the chef enjoys is produced by Casa del Tortellino.  Tomatoes, I Sapori di Corbara.

Spring.  One of my favorite times of year to take a road trip...especially if that road leads to Raito Hotel.

Via Nuova Raito 9
84019 Vietri Sul Mare (Sa) 
0039 089 7634111

A brand of Ragosta Hotels Collection

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