Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Amazing Appetizers and Aperitifs, Chef Emilio Desiderio, Rada Restaurant, Positano (Na)

Confession.  I have a love/hate relationship with Positano. 
Love- an amazing hot spot on the Amalfi Coast.  Great shops, restaurants, spectacular views, and a beautiful beach that welcomes travelers from all over the world.  Really, all over.
Hate – traffic, parking, and did I mention the traffic?

But as they say, love conquers all, so last Saturday afternoon I hopped in my car and headed out to Positano.  The drive was amazing, practically no traffic thanks to a little cloudy weather and a Naples soccer game.  I arrived early enough to window shop as I headed down the alleyways from the garage to Rada Restaurant located on the rocks.  On the beach.
Fitting this on the rocks, on the beach.  Fitting because when I arrived, Chef Emilio Desiderio was ready to take me on a little passeggiata sulla spiaggia.

Chef Emilio Desiderio

A walk on the beach, the affectionate name he has given to his aperitif starring his take on the sea that he sees from the restaurant’s kitchen window.

Let's go!

A little bubbly from Franciacorta...

Then, the chefs version of sea algae, reminiscent of the greenery that often washes up on the beach. Here in version 'crunchy chip'.

Next, sitting on a starfish, a smooth stone. Or is it?  Look closely.  The chef's fake stone is actually stuffed with sauro fish, dried tomatoes and oregano.

Algae is back, this time as a soft sponge topped with a salmon mousse.

Sitting inside this ceramic sea urchin, the chef served up creamed hake fish with a potato foam and Lapsang souchong black tea.

 Here a tuna tartar underneath a ginger foam.

 Inside this seashell, I not only heard the sea, but  was treated to Chef Desiderio's fusillo alla carbonara.  A puffy fusillo pasta with a carbonara mousse and Ossetra caviar.

Desiderio's bread, butter, and anchovy alongside an Italian classic - finger food style.  Spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes.

Our stroll continued and led us to a small fried mozzarella ball with a sprinkling of crustacean powder.

Next, onto the appetizers – brand new for the 2017 season, which for Rada opened up just a couple of weeks ago.

I think it's safe to say that my love for a great artichoke has spread throughout the region.  Desiderio's smoked version includes shrimp and a black squid chip on the side!

Shrimp bisque dripped around the side.

I hae a special name for this next dish.  I've nicknamed it my presunset seppia. An appetizer starring grilled cuttlefish.

Blessed with an amazing backdrop that only Positano knows how to give, the chef paired his cuttlefish with a creamy spring pea sauce, fake peas made with ricotta cheese and lemons, pea srouts, and an amazing sauce made with the the cuttlefish's 5th quarter.

The third appetizer - Chef Emilio's red mullet parmigiana.

The chef lightly fried the mullet in bread crumbs, and accompanied it with a sort of deconstructed parmigiana.  Creamy eggplant, parmigiano cheese,

A basil pesto, and provola cheese.


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