Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Meeting at Metis, Naples (Na)

Eduardo Estatico:Let's meet at Piazza dei Martiri -Tuesday night what do you think? 

What do I think, well…hmmmm…Let’s see - it’s a weeknight -second of all – it’s a weeknight.  Something that I try to avoid during the winter season.

On a positive note, Piazza dei Martiri is located in downtown Naples, one of hottest neighborhoods in the city.   I’m in!

Estatico led me down Vico Santa Maria Cappella Vecchia. I was very curious about this new adventure that my caro amico Eduardo Estatico was about to embark on. This time, not just as a consultant but also as a partner. After a few minutes, we finally arrived at the end of the Vico.  We arrived to Metis - a play on words - a mix of this and that. 

Estatico lead me to the double glass doors, opened them, and I finally got a chance to see what he had been talking about.  Here - a small comfy chic elegant /cocktail/oyster bar 

Chef Eduardo Estatico

Designed to be the next hotspot for an aperitif, a light dinner or after dinner nightcap. Inside velvety yellow and green seats. Here's a peek at my 'live' Italian.

Classy black tables and countertop.   Just enough for 18 people.

There I met Vincenzo Supino - oyster ambassador.

Diners on a journey, oyster voyagers enthusiastic about a tasting, but like me, needing a tour guide.  Supino is one of the best…

Vincenzo Supino

  Oyster tasting with a glass of champagne but this is not just about champagne and oysters.   Let’s add some cocktails!  Cocktails mixed by barman Mirko Lamagna.  

Mirko Lamagna

Lamagna had one one simple question what would I prefer.  I’m not a big cocktail drinker but I did share that I liked gin.  Lamagna went to work right away!

Grilled Pineapple – French gin, homemade pineapple syrup, fresh lemon and champagne…

Tea punch: rum, Clemente Blanc, homemade Tea syrup, and other ‘secrets’

Experience: cognac V.s.o.p, homemade liquor al caffè, homemade sciroppo dì cardamomo, fernet branca, champagne.

And I can't leave out my favorite - Revolution.Can you guess the ingredients?

Champagne oysters and... Metis as I mentioned earlier has 18 seats and a very small 'kitchen' which I place in quotes because there really  isn't any place to cook. That was the challenge that Estatico had - to create a menu to fit the style and vision of this location; such as beef tartare...

Shrimp bon bon filled with ricotta….

And his egg in purgatory…

Dessert?  A Neapolitan treat - la pastieria Estatico style.

It was cold that evening.  And a weeknight.  But for me it was worth it.  I can’t wait to return…maybe in the spring.  When it’s a little warmer.

In bocca a lupo ragazzi!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Fantastic First, Chef Domenico Candela, George Restaurant, Naples (Na)

It's a part of my past that I can't deny.  As a child, I, along with millions of American kids, enjoyed SpaghettiOs® for lunch at least once a week. And if not that it was spaghetti with the famous jar of RAGÚ® sauce.  Yes, a part of my past - a young American girl growing up in the suburbs.  My Italian connection came in a jar or a metal can. 

It is because of that past - that #spaghettimadness that I, many many years later have grown to appreciate a great plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce - spaghetti al pomodoro.  

Like the one that I had awhile back prepared by Chef Domenico Candela of George Restaurant in Naples, Italy.  Candela uses a wid variety of tomatoes for his sauce - Piennolo, Corbarino, Pendolino, Lampadina, San Marzano, Pachino giallo  and Pizzutello.  

Candela's spaghetti has plenty of sauce that can be soaked up with basil sponges prepared by the chef himself.  And cheese?  Of course - Candela prepared fake tomatoes and filled them with a cream prepared using Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.  Basil?  A grande variety here also.

Of course I was at the pass while Candela plated up my dish.  Here's a look.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Pizzeria da Lioniello, Succivo (Ce)

One of the reasons that I feel lucky to live in Campania since there are plenty of pizzerias to choose from, each offering  more that just a good pizza, but a pleasurable evening out.  My recent trip to Pizzeria da Lioniello is one example.  I went on a Wednesday evening- early- just as it was opening to ensure I got a table and a chance to chat with Salvatore Lioniello- pizzamaker and owner. alongside his brother Michele.  Lioniello is  young with a dynamic and magnetic personality.  His signature fedora hat was not only on his head, but throughout the pizzeria as well, included the plateware, napkins, glasses and-yes- the pizza ovens.

 Lioniello picked up the menu and we had a chat about some of the newest pizzas.  Pizzas such as 'A cas' r'a nonn' which in dialect is translated as 'Grandma's house.' What's on top?  creamy beans, sausage, provola cheese, and fried parsely.  Or his limited edition Aria d'inverno - Winter air with velvety potatoes, smoked provola cheese with veal cheek, a reduction of red wine, and crunchy leeks.  Or would I be interested in classics such as margherita or marinara, Lioniello asked.  Actually, I told him.  There's a pizza that I'd been thinking about all day.  This one, I said, as I pointed to my telephone which was opened to the pizzeria's Facebook page.  Ok!  he smiled, and headed to one of three wood burning ovens.  I followed - Salvatore - Let's add a frittata di pasta before I try the pizza.

Just a few minutes later, their famous fried pasta arrived at my table filled with creamy besciamella, ham, ground beef and peas.

From my seat I could see Lioniello and his team prepare pizzas from behind the large glass window.  I decided to get up and take a closer look, just like what the curious children in their father's arms had been doing all evening.

Salvatore Lioniello

Time for mine!  I just was just as he was adding the finishing touches.

The finishing touches to Oreste - a Lioniello classic with sausage,

walnut cream, porcini mushrooms,

grated cheese and basil.

I finished my pizza - decided to skip dssert (this time) and headed to the window to wave goodbye to Lioniello.  Goodbye?

More like a see you later...