Subject: Re: Campania restaurant recommendations

You already have the few for Napoli, all of which are quite reasonable. I have been to Da Dora three times and the pasta with seafood is thegoldstandard.:-) Don't be surprised when Dora, the cook, breaks out in song and the waiter who knows every state capital in the US.

The two that get good grades from the reviewers are more international than they are Neapolitan--these two are La Cantinella and La Sacrestia. While La Cantinella is very good--and very expensive--it is not the kind of restaurant to enjoy the best of Neapolitan cuisine. We also enjoyed Giuseppone a Mare. This one is a long cab ride from the hotel where we stayed (Santa Lucia on via Partenope).

For outstanding pastry try Mary's at the entrance to the galleria. Mary's is just a very small shop--I would describe it as a stand. There are many friggitorie all over the city but as you walk around (especially in the Vomero section of the city) keep you eyes peeled and olfactory senses set at keen in order to identify the best places. These serve many deep fried things (Neapolitans are expert at frying food) including rice balls, potato croquettes, zeppole etc.). Naturally, the coffee and gelato are excellent almost everywhere.

In Sorrento we went to a trattoria located just a few miles above the city, Antico Frantoio, in the hamlet of Casariano. At the tip of the Sorrento peninsula I recommended Taverna del Capitano, which is in the fishing hamlet of Marina del Cantone of Massa Lubrenese. We enjoyed an expensive lunch at Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant'Agata due sui Golfi. This gets rave reviews by the restaurant press but, while it is very good, again it is not the best for enjoying the best cuisine of the locale. This town is a few miles from Sorrento.

In Amalfi we liked La Caravella for our major meal of the day and A Teatro for pizza and a generally light meal. In Ravello we had a good time at Cumpa Cosimo. However, we were there in March and I would suspect that when the droves of day-tripper tourists hit Ravello, this restaurant would be disappointing. However, in Ravello there is a marvelous restaurant in the Hotel Palazzo Sasso--Rossellinis. The views from the restaurant are wonderful as is the food, but reservations are hard to come by so if you would like to go to this very expensive restaurant make reservations before you leave for Italy (tel# 089 818 181). However the strength of the US$ to the Lira makes these kind of places somewhat reasonable but then again I am used to New York City prices.

To get a good understanding of Neapolitan cuisine read Arthur Schwartz's cookbook, Naples at Table.

Let me know if you have any further questions.