After arriving via train to Naples and taking a ferry boat to Sorrento, it was some time in the late afternoon by the time we checked into Hotel Minerva
. After taking in the breathless views from the balcony of the room and up top on the rooftop patio overlooking the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, we headed downtown to walk around and get some dinner.
We turned to our trusty advisor, Rick Steves and picked a restaurant from his book. It’s a little restaurant off one of the narrow side streets in old town. It’s small but charming and surprisingly filled with a lot of tourists, mostly American. As I think more about this though, we were kind of in tourist-ville being in the old town area of Sorrento. Nevertheless, Rick Steves has yet to steer us wrong as the food ended up being quite tasty.
The Caprese has been very solid no matter where we go in Italy. Again, I have to say how truly delicious the Italian tomatoes have been. The freshness of the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil have really made this dish sing to me every time I have it. This time it was the Caprese Salad, so it was mixed with some arugula which was unfortunately, way too bitter for my taste bads. Arugula always has a slightly bitter kick to it which sometimes I can eat and sometimes I can’t. This time it was a little too strong.
Although you can’t see it from the picture, the prosciutto was served with cantaloupe. I remember the first time my Mom made this for us as kids. I was thinking, “Why would you mix salty meat with sweet melons?” Obviously, I was naive to the perfect balance of flavors that come from eating these two things together. Yummy!
I love seafood… in case my readers have not picked up a strong aquatic slant to the dishes I tend to order, particularly on this trip. The pasta used in this particular frutti di mare dish was scialatielli. I have no idea what kind of pasta it is, but it’s unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It’s like they took 2-3 strands of spaghetti, stuck them together and then cut them into 2 inch pieces. It was very interesting. The sauce was a light in consistency yet rich in flavor. I think the broth had some garlic, tomatoes, and lots of seafood-flavor infused in it. I really liked this dish a lot.
The pizza capricciosa was thin-crust style with mushrooms, olives, and artichokes. I usually prefer thin-crust and minimal cheese-topped pizzas, because I don’t like feeling so heavy and stuffed afterwards. This pizza fit my criteria just right. They are a little light on the toppings, but I suppose that is in the vein of Italian pizzas anyways. I only had 1 piece, because by this point in the meal I was pretty full.
Overall, I liked this restaurant. We sat outside under the awning and enjoyed the serenading of an Italian minstrel. Aside from the pasta being pretty special, everything else was typical but very solid in taste and quality. I felt satisfied and happy with the dinner, and I would recommend to anyone looking for a good place in Sorrento.
Price 3 ½ stars
Ambiance 3 ½ stars
Food 3 ½ stars
Overall rating 3 ½ stars