Friday, August 11, 2017

Fantastic Firsts, Chef Lino Scarallo, Palazzo Petrucci, Naples (Na)

I didn't know what to expect that afternoon at lunch as I sat down at the table.  Actually, that's not really true.  I did.  I knew that I by placing my appetite in the hands of Chef Lino Scarallo- and that's not a bad place to be.  Here's a look at the primi piatti portion of his Lino, fai tu tasting menu - Palazzo Petrucci, Naples.

First up,
Cannelloni bean soup.

Yes, a summer bean soup served with caromate prawns, pork snout, and lime.

A creamy creamy zucchini risotto,

a melt in your mouth scampi,

and crispy, crunchy pork toppings.

And them-

One of my favorite pasta formats - spaghettone!

Served with octopus and fresh spicy chili peppers.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fantastic First, Chef Domenico Iavarone, Jose' Restaurant, Torre Del Greco (Na)

There are times when I look at a menu and have a hot desire to try something new...but then there are  times when I open a menu hoping to find the chef's classic.  One of his signature dishes.
That's exactly what happened during a recent visit to Jose' Restaurant in Torre del Greco.  There, in the kitchen of this spanking new restaurant I found an old friend- Chef Domenico Iavarone- and his classic Linguine con scuncilli alla puttanesca...Linguine pasta, sea snail and a puttanesca sauce.

I had the opportunity to be in the kitchen as Iavarone began the final countdown to plating up a plate for me...

Chef Domenico Iavarone

A first course perfect for this hot summer...why? I asked...

Fresco perché il gazpacho e' freddo e c'e' questo contrasto che a me piace...

It's fresh because the gazpacho is cold and I like this contrast, he answered.

He added this plate to his family 2 years ago and treats it as a beloved firstborn child...

Linguine pasta...

scuncilli/sea snails...

a cool comfortable puttanesca sauce with tomatoes and spices...

powdered capers and black olives...and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil...


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Amazing Appetizers, Chef Salvatore La Ragione, Ristorante Mamma', Capri (Na)

On that particular sunny Saturday afternoon, hordes of tourists headed for the beach, their boats, and the beautiful grottoes of that magnificent vacation island - Capri. I, instead, headed for the cable car to take me to the piazzetta, up the stairs to the right, and down a cool little alley to the Michelin starred Ristorante Mamma'.

There Chef Salvatore La Ragione prepared these three appetizers paired with a glass of white wine and a spectacular view.


Red mullet...

a green pepper pesto...

and marinated sliced onions.


Cuttlefish tagliatelle...

fresh cool garden greens...

and a beet and sesame seed oil mayonnaise.


Roasted octopus...

broccoli, zucchini...

and Jerusalem artichokes.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mozzarella Madness, Muu Muuzzarella Seaside, Naples(Na)

In Campania, marvelous fresh buffalo milk mozzarella cheese is available daily.  It's eaten  alone,   maybe with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sometimes  with fresh tomatoes, or on a pizza.
Mozzarella di bufala cheese - A Campania classic and an idea that sparked a fire in the mind of Salvatore Maresca  when deciding to open up a restaurant that focused on something new...the new black, so to speak.

Salvatore Maresca

Muu Muuzzarella was born!  And there I sat, four years and three locations  ( plus a temporary restaurant in Sardinia) later.

I decided to visit their location which boasts a view of Napoli's seaside... Muu Muuzzarella Seaside on Mergellina's boardwalk.

Maresca and company have a philosophy.  Campania's gold incorporated  in various parts of a full menu.  Like the quick lunch I enjoyed that hot Thursday afternoon.  Take a look.

Boccocini di mozzarella, mela e pesto

 - bite size pieces of mozzarella mixed in with apple and basil pesto...

Tartara di Tonno Rosso con Mozzarella, Limone di Sorrento e Velo di Pesto al Basilico

-red tuna tartar, mozzarella, Sorrento lemons an basil pesto...

Then dessert.  I had heard so much about the cheesecake, that I couldn't resist!  This version - starring buffalo milk ricotta cheese - was topped with a wild berry sauce.


Fantastic First, Chef Nino Di Costanzo, Dani' Maison, Ischia, (Na)

Lunchtime, chef's table, Dani' Maison, Ischia.  A table in the kitchen  so close to Chef Nino Di Costanzo's pass, that if I desired,  I could actually reach out and touch the tiny herb garden that sits on the opposite side of his mini white wall.
I sat on my side of the wall at a tiny marble table looking over the menu.  Di Costanzo quietly watched and patiently waited for me to decide.  The decision was easy - Up to you, Chef!

That was all the chef needed for him to burst into action.  A serious series of dishes came from his side of that mini white wall, some that I have already written about here and here.

Some including this pasta dish - Di Costanzo's Linguine 'Gerardo Di Nola'.

Linguine pasta,

with a creamy sauce made with codfish,  garlic, and extra virgin olive oil...

and a mildly spicy puttanesca sauce.