Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tiramisu! Ristorante Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense, (Na)

Finding tiramisu on the dessert menu of an Italian restaurant should not come as a surprise to any diner.  I mean, this dessert has been a classic since the 1960s.  Tiramisu, translated as pick me up, cheer me up or lift me up and its key ingredients include cocoa, coffee’, Savoiardi ladyfingers, and mascarpone cheese. 
No it should not be a surprise to see it on a restaurant dessert menu, including the two starred Michelin Restaurant Torre del Sarancino.  Top pasticcere Carmine Di Donna has his own take on the classic starring the same fabulous flavors in a sleeked down version.

I had a chance to hang out in the kitchen while Di Donna plated his latest dolce.


Di Donna carefully placed a spoonful of velvety mascarpone cream on the dish.  He then set down his prized mini tower that he carefully constructed earlier on top.

A tower that included two different palline, little balls.  Light colored made with creamy mascarpone and light brown made of coffee cream.

Four flavorful discs help Di Donna support his structure;
 2 63 % dark chocolate, 2 coffee sables.

A sprinkling of coffee crumble….

At the table, espresso was poured directly into the middle of the dessert – soaked up by a Savoiardi cake…

And of course, coffee ice cream on the side…


Amazing Appetizers, Chef Gennaro Esposito, Ristorante Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense (Na)


I chose an off-season December Saturday for a long overdue visit to Ristorante Torre del Sarancino, the 2 starred Michelin restaurant located next to the beach in Vico Equense. 

After a relaxing aperitif in the restaurants renovated medieval tower, I sat down and studied the menu alongside Maître Vincenzo Spasiano.  This being my first time tasting Chef Gennaro Esposito’s specialties it wasn’t easy to choose just one appetizer.  So I chose four!


Check it out…

  • Marinated scorpionfish…’acqua pazza’.   A spectacular salsa made with the fish heads included.

  • Lightly smoked bonito fish with two special sauces; one starring nduja, the other tarallo from Agerola.

  • Cuttlefish, ink and liver with parsley pesto and lemon confit.

  • Stewed mullet, caprino goat cheese and beet gnocchi.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Breakfast Club - Romeo Hotel (Na)

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So why is it the meal that most of us have a tendency to skip?  Or maybe partake of only when we are on vacation?  I, for one, love the idea of a hotel’s breakfast buffet.  An endless array of breakfast goodies waiting to become a part of your day.  I decided to check out the spread at HotelRomeo one sunny Napoli Sunday.  And, no, you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel!

My experience began as soon as I walked into the luxurious lobby – but my destination was the 9th floor – the Beluga Skybar.
A hotel such as Romeo with international guests has the challenge/opportunity to provide their guests a wide range of breakfast options to 1) make them feel at home with familiar choices and 2) provide Campania classics loved and treasured by the city around them. 

Let’s take a look at the some of the sweet….

And the some of the savory…

Hard to choose? 😃

Finish it all off with an espresso under the watchful eye of Mount Vesuvius.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Neapolitan Roccoco' 2016/2017, Chef Lino Scarallo, Palazzo Petrucci (Na)

It's less than a month away from Natale  but the Christmas spirit has already been spotted in some of the top restaurants throughout Campania.  Like at Palazzo Petrucci, the Michelin starred restaurant located on the beach in Posillipo.  It's here where Chef Lino Scarallo shared his latest twist on the Neapolitan Christmas classic - his Roccoco'2016/2017.

Roccoco' is a Christmas cookie unlike the ones I grew up with.  It looks like a flat doughnut.  It can also be very hard, requiring one to break off small pieces and eat them slowly. It does, however, contain certain flavors that are warm and comforting. A fusion of pisto; spices such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise.  Almonds, honey, and lemon/orange peel are also added to the cookie dough.

At quick glance at Scarallo's 2016/2017 version of this classic reminded me instantly of Saturn surrounded by a thin crunchy cookie ring.  I broke open the celestial sphere and found a creamy roccoco' mousse.

And what were those yellow cosmic creations??

A combination of velvety foam made with Strega liqueur and tiny gel limoncello droplets.

Complimenti, Chef!

The second in my series #adottaunochef #chicchef with Chef Lino Scarallo and CHIC.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Na Tazzulella 'e Café, Romeo Hotel (Na), Snapshot of the Day

In Naples, that coffee moment is a must.  Add an amazing view like this one from the 10th floor terrace of the Romeo Hotel in Naples, Italy featuring Mount Vesuvius in the background... well, 'nuff said!.  This tazzulella, cup of coffee concluded my spectacular breakfast one sunny Sunday morning. Details soon.

In the meantime - enjoy a coffe break.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Amazing Appetizers, Chef Oliver Glowig, La Tavola, Il Vino, La Dispensa, (Rm)

Chef Oliver Glowig

I decided to take a little train trip last weekend.  A day trip from Naples to Rome, a trip that would take a little more than an hour.  
My trip was not designed to visit any of the museums, fountains, churches, or amazing sights around the eternal city.   I actually had no intention of leaving the Rome Terminal train station at all!
Reason?  I wanted to check out 2 starred Michelin Chef Oliver Glowig’s new adventure – a restaurant name La Tavola, Il Vino, La Dispensa (Table, Wine, Pantry).  A restaurant located in Mercato Centrale Roma – a refined food court featuring  some of Rome’s (and Italy’s)  top foodie stops. 

 This would be my first visit to check out the chef’s cuisine so I as full of nervous excitement as I walked up the stairs, sat down, and looked over the menu.
Nerves calmed down thanks to the casual ambiance,  a glass of champagne and an aperitif with Glowig as he helped me pick out his specialties – beginning with the appetizers.

Cooked and raw fruit and vegetables.  A piece of art!

Anchovies alla colatura with chicory and ricotta.  

Simple exciting flavors – 

I’ve never had anchovies and ricotta together.

Scottona beef (knife beaten) with buffalo mozzarella and anchovies.  

This beef had a nutty favor thanks to the cattle’s hazelnut diet.