|Pastry Chef Antonino Maresca|
Ro World - a fantastically ambitious project that opened its doors for the first time back in February. A hot spot in progress with a cafè, bistrot, restaurant, and...what caught my attention - a pastry department led by one of Italy's top pastry chefs, Antonino Maresca. Maresca's desserts are known throughout Italy - particularly due to his work in Michelin starred restaurants such as Il Mosaico in Ischia as well as teaching courses throughout the country with a focus on high end deserts.
When you walk into Ro for the first time, it is hard to miss the piccoli pastry counter on the left. Small pastries that are made daily and refurnished throughout the day. If you are lucky, you may even find Maresca himself behind the counter helping you pick out what to take home.
So what is behind the counter? Under the glass? Campania classics such as a babà, a zeppole di San Giuseppe...as well as favorites such as berry tarts and eclairs.
During one visit, I spied a cheesecake or two under the glass. Definitely a reason to come back a couple of more times. Visits which I tagged #cheesecakethursday - a cheesecake to take home and enjoy at my leisure. One week I tried one with summer berries.
The next - apricot and pistachio.
Or Ro World's hand made treats such as fitness bars and plum cakes.
It was just last weekend that I had another chance to sit with Maresca, this time over breakfast. The pastry which he calls RO, a danese with hazelnuts and filled with hazelnut cream.
I tried to look somewhat elegant as I devoured another piece of Maresca inspired magic. I tried to look nonchalant as Maresca spoke to me about pastries and desserts that he is working on, also including granita. Ce la faremo is his motto, we will do it.
No doubt. Save a dessert for me...
Monday, June 29, 2020
Friday, June 19, 2020
I call it my table. The table in the far corner of the dining room of Il Faro Di Capo D'Orso, a Michelin starred restaurant located in the town of Maiori on the Amalfi Coast. I've grown fond of that little corner table, even if I must admit, that this visit began a little different than the others. The restaurant had just opened for their first lunch service of 2020, their first lunch service after Italy's lockdown. So after a quick check of my temperature at the door - to ensure that I didn't have a fever- I headed over to my table, took off my mask, and sat down.
Feeling comfortable when you go out, particularly as the country reawakens, is very important. That was immediate thanks to restaurant manager Bonny Ferrara and sommelier Antonio Cannoniero. I was treated to an aperitif which included a glass of champagne,fantasticaaa finger foods prepared by Chef Francesco Sodano and his brigade, and a little bit of conversation. Here's a look.
Corn meal disc with smoked goat milk ricotta cheese, herring caviar, and anchovies from nearby Cetara.
A puffed pastry with almond sour cream, pumpkin seed mio, razor clams and fermented caper leaves.