Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Summer Serata - Sud Ristorante, Quarto (Na)

Hot summer days lead to cool summer nights.  So I headed to Sud Ristorante in Quarto (Na).
Sud Ristorante,  located in a small side street of Campania's Campi Flegrei area.
A Michelin Star restaurant run by Chef Marianna Vitale and her husband Pino Esposito. Here I knew that I would find a menu packed with creativity and passion for local poducts and traditions, as well as a wine list to accompany it.

Chef Marianna Vitale

While discussing what would be my choice of wine for the evening, the chef sent out her benvenuto.  A tiny taste of Campi Flegrei with a bruschetta, marinated anchovies, and a zeppole (fried dough with sea algae).

And with that taste of the territory, the choice of wine was simple.  A Falanghina dei Campi Flegrei DOC 2011 by Contrada Salandra.

Followed quickly by the sandwhich of the season.  Vitale calls it Il Crostone, which I wrote about last week.  Toasted bread, escarole, mozzarella, tomatoes, and marinated anchovies.

Moving on,  sgrombo and 'grano spezzato' with gazpacho. Colorful, flavorful, which definitely called for a scarpetta with a piece of bread to soak up the last bit of gazpacho left in the plate.

First courses...I had two assagini.  Two tastes from the sea starting with Vitale's pennoni pasta with baby squid, capers, escarole, and lime. Hard not to be enticed by the aromas that floated up from the dish before I took the first bite.

Then her limpepata.  Pasta mista with a mussels in a pepper and lemon broth.  She added a swirl or two of rosated pepper and sea urchin sauce.

Second course?  Served in a glass.  A clever version of eggplant parmigiana with cod.  All the ingredients steam cooked in extra virgin olive oil.

From time to time the Chef would step out of the kitchen, greet guests, stop by my table to see if things were okay.  We chatted awhile about a recent Spanish television program that featured the Vitale (who speaks several languages fluently) on a whirlwind tour of the area, its recipes, its folklore.  
We chatted about the meal, the products, the ingredients.

I mentioned that I had (some) space for dessert.  Vitale headed back to the kitchen and several minutes later returned with a chocolate festa.  Chocolate mousse with licorice, chocolate sauce, and sambuca.

A sweet way to end the evening. 
 I said goodbye to Vitale and staff, wished them a buon estate and went on my way.

Sud Ristorante
Via Santi Pietri e Paolo 8
80010 Quarto, (Na)
081 020 2708

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