Saturday, October 22, 2016

Travel Diary - Indian Summer Tour 2016, Part 2...Amazing Appetizers - Chef Alfonso Caputo, Taverna Del Capitano (Na)

Chef Alfonso Caputo
1 October, 2016 - Indian Summer Travel Diary

The last fifteen minutes or so of my eighty-minute drive to Marina Del Cantone is probably my favorite.  An immersion of century old olive trees blends into spectacular views of the sea.  It is at this point that I usually turn my car radio off and enjoy the rest of my drive towards Taverna del Capitano, the Michelin starred restaurant/hotel run by the Caputo family.

1:00- pm ish
The kitchen, a traditional first stop whenever I visit Taverna del Capitano.  The kitchen is small, cozy, and calm.  A calm before the storm, so to speak.  A chance to chat with Chef Alfonso Caputo and maybe, just maybe get a sneak peek of hat he has in mind for his simple savory appetizers.  No such luck! I make my way to my favorite table with a perfect view of the beach.

1: 25 pm ish
Maître Sommelier Mariella Caputo pours me a glass of Nudo Erioco Falanghina Spumante Extra Dry.  She knows me ell, including my passion for Campania wines, particularly Falanghina del Sannio.  This would prove to be the perfect pairing for whatever appetizer that the chef had in mind for me that Indian summer afternoon.

1: 30 pm ish
Il Benvenuto
Fried onion/fish ring with black rice…

1: 37 pm ish
Caputo’s take on onion ravioli...but in this case, the ravioli is made of onions!  Inside?  Fresh ricotta cheese then topped with a bit of the sea – octopus, of course!

1:53 pm ish
Another colorful and flavorful example of the chef’s love for the sea outside his window in complete harmony with the bounty of the territory around him.  Shrimp, white seabream, capers, melon, and zucchini…

2:08 pm ish
This dish came out with a smile and a bit of advice from Claudio Di Mauro.  Di Mauro, suggested that instead of using a teaspoon for the chef’s last but not least appetizer of sea urchin and arugula ice cream, I should use a little piece of their homemade bread to scoop out the flavors.  The sweetness of the pane combined with the savory flavor of the sea urchin alongside the bitterness of the arugula as a combination that I do not believe I have ever tasted.

Thanks, Claudio.

Thanks, Mariella.

Thanks, Chef Alfonso!

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