Archive for the ‘Capri’ Category

Canzone Del Mare Restaurant – Capri, Italy

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Via Marina Piccola, 93
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Tel. +39 081 8370104
Fax. +39 081 8370541
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive – Very Expensive

View of the Fariglioni RocksLa Canzone del Mare (Song of the Sea) is located directly above the water in the Marina Piccolo. They have a salt-water pool that is emptied every evening and refilled every morning. You are just steps away from the sea and you may prefer to swim in the little pebble beach cove below the restaurant. Emilio Pucci had one of his first shops near the entrance at one time in the early sixties.
The little beachThe singer Gracie Fields, resided on the top floor of the restaurant building and I spotted her many times years ago while she was entertaining Arab Sheiks on the large terrace.

You must pay an entrance fee to use the facilities, plus deck chairs, towels, etcetera. It can add up quickly.

The restaurant has always been the most expensive and chic place to have lunch on the sea in Capri.
Beach chairYou may choose from local whole grilled fish (not listed on the menu) but they are sold by the gram and today any one of them that you might choose are outrageously expensive. Anything on the menu is slightly higher than the going price at the rest of the seaside restaurants.

This Beach Club and restaurant is an institution in Capri, and no matter what it costs it is worth going to the place at least once, and if you stick to the printed menu it will not be a painful experience.

Da Paolino Restaurant – Capri, Italy

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Da Paulino, Capri

Tel. +39 081 8376102
Fax. +39 081 8375611
Via Palazzo a Mare, 11
80073 Capri (NA)
Prices: Moderate

One evening while I was dining at Da Gemma one of Capri’s renowned residents was making his way through the tables stopping to chat with almost everyone. Prince Francesco Caravita di Sirignano, whom I had known over many years, passed by my table and said to me, “Join us tomorrow in the piazza and we will go for lunch on my boat, but do not expect a yacht, my boat is piccolo—a barca.” Dress accordingly and we will go to the Marina Grande first and my girlfriend Christina will buy the food.” “Do any of you drink wine?” he questioned. “I have given it up at my age, I am 78. Christina doesn’t drink wine but we will certainly have some Capri bianco for you.” he exclaimed.  “Wine costs nothing, less than water in Italy!  Isn’t it wonderful?” Descending on the funiculare from the piazza to the Marina Grande the little harbor grew bigger and bigger as we approached. The boatman had taken off the canvas cover and had made ready.  As we pulled away from the dock and crossed the harbor, dodging ferries loaded with gawking tourists,  Prince di Sirignano pointed to a sheared off part of the rocky cliff above and said, “All that part fell two years ago and buried a man fishing underneath.” We continued around the island past the white grotto, with a stop there for a swim, then through the Faraglioni, two towering volcanic rocks off the coast, one with a large tunnel carved by the waves through the center.  “We usually anchor in the tunnel as it is cooler to have lunch.  However, the traffic on the weekends makes it too rough to do so,” he explained, as he brought the little boat through the passage and into a stiff afternoon breeze.  We will go to the Marina Piccolo near the Grotto Verde and have lunch there”. Everyone was given a bowl with olive oil and crushed basil and oregano in it. Plates of sliced tomatoes, bread and fresh mozzarella to dip into the olive oil and finishing with fresh fruit. The conversation soon turned to restaurants and I asked them, which of the current ones they preferred this season. They mentioned a few and then exclaimed, “although, a must is Paolino. Feeling like the pack mules that used to bring tourists up the mountain years before, we climbed the steep, narrow cobble-stone pathway, at the hottest time of day, toward Monte Tiberio, where the Emperor used to throw virgins off the high cliff into the sea. I was out of breath when we reached a stone wall surrounding Da Paolino restaurant, I walked up the stairs that led to a large patio, with a arbor covered with grape vines and interspersed with lemon trees with grapefruit-sized fruit. In due time, enough to finish an entire liter of Fiuggi water, Paolo and his wife greeted me and I was seated at a table under the lemon trees. A bottle of mineral water and unlabeled wine were placed on the table along with a basket of bread. There was no menu. Paulino approached the table and announced in a big voice, “We have the best potatoes you will ever taste and they are grown right here and after . . . the next course, rabbit, we raise the rabbits over there and of course, white wine we make our own from the vineyards on the side of the hill”. Do not ask me for anything else that is all I have today! The wine tasted similar to the white wine I had drunk twenty years earlier in Capri, before they had so-called sophisticated vinification methods, a wine unfiltered and unfined, slightly cloudy and infiltrated with sediment. A wine, which was genuine, straightforward and earthy with no chemicals used to balance it. It was really a pleasure to drink. Fried potatoes came out of the kitchen scalding hot along with a large bottle of emerald green, olive oil from the trees on the property.  Drizzled with oil they were simply the best potatoes I had ever tasted. The rabbit was extraordinarily good and we finished with a glass of homemade lemon liqueur (limoncello), made from the giant lemons on their trees, a tart finish to what was—a most pleasurable lunch.

Da Luigi Restaurant – Capri, Italy

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Tel. +39 081 8370591
Fax. +39 081 8376113
Via Faraglioni, 5
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

View of the small bay and the mainland beyondIt is a lovely walk along Via Tragara and down the steep hill through the Mediterranean pine tree forest until you finally see the giant Faraglioni outcroppings coming out of the sea directly in front of you. Situated in front of these rocks is restaurant Da Luigi that has a large terrace that overlooks the water and in the distance you can see the mainland.

It is possible to rent beach chairs to sit on a rocky platform, filled in with cement to make it flat, as there is no beach; a ladder allows you to climb down into the sea for a swim.

Da Luigi RestaurantAfter sunbathing it is up to the terrace for a lovely lunch, which Da Luigi has been serving quite properly year after year. The first thing on the agenda is to order a large bottle of water and a bottle of Tiberio white wine that the waiter plunks into a large ice bucket and then it is time to settle down to study the menu.
My usual order is pasta or salad and some sort of fish or seafood to follow and maybe some fresh fruit to finish. It could not be a more perfect surrounding for a long lunch that could be punctuated with a swim mid-course.

You may wish to walk the lunch off by trudging up the hill after lunch or take the easy way by taking the scenic boat ride to Marina Piccolo and from there it is a short bus or taxi run up the sinuous road to the town of Capri.

La Fontelina Restaurant – Capri

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

FontelinaTel. +39 081 8370845
Fax. +39 081 8374612
Location: Faraglioni
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Prices: Moderate – Expensive

La Fontelina is a special little cove with a restaurant set on a rocky promontory above the sea; you can swim by climbing down the short ladders from the rocks into the sea as there is no beach. Colorful, umbrella covered, tables overlook the Faraglioni rocks and it is one of the most exclusive restaurants on the sea, serving the best cooking at the waters edge, simply presented local seafood and pasta. I did not visit on my last trip (I have dined there countless times over the years) because of our small child, it is not suitable for children because of deep and possibly rough water. I have also checked with the locals to make sure nothing has changed, and it is also reassuring that it is still owned by the same family for over 50 years.

Boat service back to Marina Piccolo is available. It is a must to have lunch here and essential to book at the telephone number above.

La Capannina Restaurant – Capri, Italy

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

CapanninaLa Capannina Restaurant
Tel. +39 081 8370732
Fax. +39 081 8376990
Via Le Botteghe, 12bis/14
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Credit Cards: All major
Prices: Expensive

If you walk down a narrow street leading off from the piazza of Capri called Via Le Botteghe you will eventually arrive at the restaurant. It is on the right side of the street and the De Angelis family or one of the staff will greet you. Try to arrange to be seated downstairs as this room is more fun than dining upstairs, in my view.
The menu features typical specialties of the region, as do most of the restaurant on the island, although there is a more diverse selection than in some other establishments.
The wine list is very extensive with many Italian and foreign listings.

Terazza Brunello Restaurant – Capri, Italy

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Terrazza Brunella
Tel. +39 081 8370122
Fax +39 081 8370430
Via Tragara, 24a
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive

Terrazza Brunella has a magnificent view overlooking the Marina Piccolo. At night it is enchanting to view the glittering lights on the bay.
The owner is a music fan and he has state-of-the-art equipment to play soft music earlier in the evening and then slowly escalating to light jazz later on. I thoroughly enjoyed the music, it sounds as if it is live, as well as the cuisine and, of course, and the view.

We started with: gnocchi verdi al gorgonzola and linguini frutta di mare and moved on to: scaloppina al funghi porcini ending with frutta fresca. On the wine side a bottle of the local (Campania) Falanghina and finished with a half bottle of Aglianico Corte Normanna. as could be expected both were excellent.

On the wine list all the important regions of Italy are offered. It is about a five minute walk from the Quisisana Hotel down Via Camerelle and then jog left up to Via Tragara.

Faraglioni Restaurant – Capri, Italy

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

FaraglioniVia Camerelle, 75
80073 Capri (Napoli)
Tel. +39 081 8370320
Credit Cards: All Major
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate – Expensive

The Faraglioni Restaurant is about a two minute walk down Via Camerelle from the Grand Hotel Quisisana, and in the evening it is a very popular place to be seen, it means booking is essential. You can choose to sit outside, very pleasant or inside not as ideal. The restaurant attracts an international crowd and you may sample all the Caprese dishes as well as cooking from other regions and in addition they have a very comprehensive wine list to accompany the menu. Try to book one of the straw covered tables on the other side of the street, this is the A section.

Da Gemma – Capri, Italy

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

I was a frequent customer and knew Gemma very well, what a lovely lady! She always wore a red sweater or some article of clothing in bright red and was constantly smiling and greeted most of her customers personally. It was in the sixties when I first met her, and a photo taken in those days still hangs above the reception desk. This was the era when Capri was a destination for the “Dolce Vita” set. In those days, every evening was like a fashion parade on the streets of Capri with ladies dripping with jewelry and dressed in Emilio Pucc These days’ things have changed, and the torn jeans crowd has taken over, although one thing that will never change is Capri, thank God, as they have a no-build law and everything is regulated to preserve the island in its original state. There will be no mega-malls or high rise condos as long as the five or six families that control Capri are in charge.

Da Gemma also has a small pizzeria, across the small tunneled alleyway that winds along in front of the main restaurant, and the pizzas are the best on the island. The dining room faces the Marina Grande side of the island and Gemma’s location is just above the stairway that leads up from the piazza next to the church.
Every day the restaurant has fresh fish or veal prepared any way you wish, and a very lengthy menu that you can choose from, it all may be washed down with an excellent bottle of fresh, easy to drink, Capri white wine (10-5% -11% alcohol) in addition to the famous labels from around Campania that are offered on the wine list. Booking a table is essential in the evening!

Pictured below: Akiko Grace Marshal in the arms of the receptionist at Da Gemma. Above her head is a photo of her father, Kit Marshal, circa 1960, and just above that, a photo of Kit with the current owner in 2006.