Sunday, July 24, 2016

Three Fantastic Firsts, Chef Lino Scarallo, Palazzo Petrucci, Posillipo (Na)

Each time a take a look at a restaurant menu, my eyes, mind and heart linger in the first course section for an extended amount of time.  It's really hard for me to decide just I usually opt for two or even three assaggini-mini portions.  Like a recent visit to check out the summer menu at Palazzo Petrucci.  Chef Lino Scarallo pleased my eyes and palate with these three dishes.

Tortelli stuffed with mussels, spollichini beans, and spring onions.

Potato gnocchi  with cappuccio cabbage,  oysters and lime.

Spaghettone with creamy zucchini, smoked mackerel, grated egg yolk and orange peel.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Salad by the Sea, Chef Lino Scarallo, Palazzo Petrucci, Posillipo (Na)

Just three months after my last visit, I was back at Palazzo Petrucci.  Back to the Michelin starred restaurant that has enjoyed its position on the beach since its move in January 2016.  This time I was curious to try Chef Lino Scarallo's summer menu.  A summer menu that included this insalata di mare - this seafood salad.  Scarallo broke it down, spreading out each tasty bite around a multicolored dish.

The chef added sea algae chips and dipping sauces made from sfusato lemons from the Amalfi Coast and there you have it.

Scarallo's seafood salad.
His salad by the sea.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Three Amazing Appetizers, Chef Paolo Barrale, Marenna' Ristorante, Sorbo Serpico, (Av)

As mentioned in an earlier blog, I was in Irpinia earlier in the week at Marenna'.  Here's a look at three appetizers from Michelin starred Chef Paolo Barale's summer 2016 menu.

Insalata di rinforzo or reinforcement salad.  The chef's version has escarole, anchovies, and a small red pepper stuffed with creamed salt cod.

Cod popped up again, being quite popular in the area, but this time vapor cooked, an orange sour cream,  sweet peas, and crunchy prosciutto ham.

Then a pleasant surprise that the chef accompanied to my table himself.  After a nod and a smile, he asked me if I liked tartare. Because this dish was the chef's play on the famous pear and ricotta flavor mix.  Beef tartare, ricotta and hazelnuts, and black truffles.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fantastic Firsts, Chef Paolo Barrale, Marenna' Ristorante, Sorbo Serpico, (Av)

I decided to escape the summer heat for awhile and  head to  Irpinia. Tucked away in the hills of Sorbo Serpico is the Feudi di San  Gregorio winery and the Michelin starred restaurant, Marenna'. There Chef Paolo Barrale served me some incredible dishes including this first course. Let's take a closer look.

Black squid rice with thinly sliced cuttlefish...

peas, coconut milk, oranges, and coriander.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Snapshot of the Day, Catch of the Day, Osteria 1861, Santa Maria Di Castellabate, (Sa)

My early memories of tuna include that famous chicken of the sea theme song.  Maybe that's why I enjoy  hanging out in the kitchen  when the catch of the day arrives and the chef gets to work.  Like on this particular day at Osteria 1861 located on the waterfront in Santa Maria Di Castellabate.  On that particular day, Chef Antonio Tafuro began to clean and fillet an incredible yellow fin tuna.  The chef brainstormed aloud about what dishes he may prepare.  So what did he decide?  I'm curious as well!.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Pranzo with Pulcinella, Dani Maison, Ischia (Na)

So what do you do at lunch between dishes?  Look down at your phone? Look up on the walls?  At my little table for one in the kitchen at Dani Maison,  I decided to look up..and look around.
 I was greeted by the glaze of a mini Pulcinella interpreted by Neapolitan artist Antonio Nocera.  A glance inviting me to get up and really look around.  I did. For a good close look at the dining room which could also be considered a min art gallery featuring more of the artist's work.

From Pulcinella and the rest of his carnevale friends,  to nesting birds.  In the dining room, and later speckled around the restaurant's garden.

A few moments later, I found my way back to my table and looked up.  Did I see a little smile from that mini statuette?
Maybe, maybe  not, but I decided to smile back anyway.
My next dish was on its way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Forza Torsiello!

Chef Cristian Torsiello
Torsiello.  A name that has been on my blog quite often over the  last few months.  A visit to the Michelin starred restaurant Osteria Arbustico pulled me out of my writers block back in April.  A recent visit last month gave me more material and a sneak peek at the young brothers, Tomas and Cristian's latest dream - opening a trattoria 5 km from their restaurant.  A dream not to be viewed as a cash cow, but an opportunity to share his cuisine with tourists and locals in his beloved hometown,Valva. The grand opening of Al Mulino was scheduled for tomorrow evening. I, like many of his friends was excited to see what the chef and his staff would have in store for us.
Last night, a group of arsonist tried to burn down  that sogno.
They tried, by breaking in, pouring gasoline on the chairs and tables and then setting fire to the Torsiello dream.
Instead they only fueled a fire of solidarity around this young chef and all his staff...
Forza, Torsiello!  
A name that has been on my mind, my blog and my heart the last few months.  The south shall rise again...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Natavot! - Napoli Introduces it's First Craft Beer

Hanging out in an artist's studio drinking a cold brew on a hot July evening while enjoying aperitifs prepared by two of Campania's top Michelin starred chefs - been there/done that.
Last week I attended a not so ordinary event which fused together art, food, andcraft beer.  Palazzo Sansevero in the heart Napoli's centro storico was the location.  The stables of the old palazzo dating back to the 16th century now houses Neapolitan artist Lello Esposito's studio.  The perfect place to present a beer, right?
I thought so!  Among the artist's bronze sculptures and paintings featuring the city's patron saint San Gennaro were refrigerators full of Natavot - the first Neapolitan unfiltered and unpasteurized craft beer produced by Kbrirr.
Natavot's label has  the stylized image of San Gennaro, and that the name refers to the miracle that is renewed every year. (natavot means once again in Neapolitan dialect)
The food for this happy hour was prepared by Chef Marianna Vitale of SUD Ristorante and Chef Lino Scarallo of Palazzo Petrucci. Vitale prepared oysters on a half shell with friarielli greens while Scarallo brought two dishes; caramelized zucchini flowers  with ricotta, tomatoes and anchovies and a mozzarella ball stuffed with eggplant parmigiana.

I wouldn't mind doing it once again - natavot!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fantastic Firsts, Chef Cristian Torsiello, Osteria Arbustico, Valva (Sa)

Another Saturday Stellato with Chef Cristian Torsiello.  A Saturday afternoon to try one of his first courses that represent the territory where the young chef’s Michelin starred restaurant Osteria Arbustico calls home. 

Torsiello told me that in his part of Campania, Valva - in the Salerno province, fresh pastas are the norm.  So, after looking over the menu together, we picked out this one.

Ravioli stuffed with rabbit stew….

Topped with caciocavallo cheese, celery powder and truffles.


Amazing Appetizers, Il Bikini Ristorante, Vico Equense (Na)

My  2016 bikini season kicked off in a colorful and flavorful way. Here's a look at three of Chef Mimmo De Simone of Il Bikini Ristorante appetizers that found their way to my table one sunny summer afternoon.

First up, not technically an appetizer - but a benvenuto.

A welcome featuring a lightly calzoncino stuffed with mozzarella cheese and a fried anchovy.

Next, two appetizers beginning with a tasty unexpected surprise.  Scallops and foie gras.

Followed by red mullet and creamy eggplant.