Food. I love it. A lot. And so does The Boy Next Door. Therefore this post is verrrrrrrry long, with alooooooot of photos, so apologies if it takes you more than a day to get through, but I just couldn’t leave out any photos of the amazing meals we ate on vacation!
The adventure started around an hour after we landed in Napoli and made our way to the train station. I’d read online numerous times that Caffe Mexico served amazing coffee, and although I’d walked past this coffee shop on a number of occasions during previous trips, I’d never tried their coffee. TBND (The Boy Next Door) didn’t need to be asked twice when I suggested we test it out, so we dragged our bags up to the bar, and between my miniscule understanding of certain Italian words and our ‘Itaglish’ (Italian/English) conversation with the bar man, we ordered coffees.
A Caffe Frappe for me and a Cappuccino for TBND.
So delicious, mine being a little too on the sugary side, but still good! TBND claims it’s one of the best coffees he’s ever had. Worth popping in, even to get a picture with the bar men in their funny little outfits.
We arrived in Amalfi and decided to start the vacation off on the right foot, choosing fish and salad that evening for dinner. Sometimes I feel it’s best to ease myself into the
gratuitous hearty style of eating that usually occurs on holiday, rather than jump in feet first on day one, only to be left feeling completely stuffed and telling myself ‘I shouldn’t have eaten that!’. I like to leave that feeling until at least day 3 ;oP
In Atrani there’s a great little fruit store, which was located conveniently near our apartment, so we stocked up on everything from peaches to watermelon, to make sure we had healthful snacks, but also because the fruit in Italy is so damn delicious!
The woman we befriended in the fruit store gave us a little run down on some of the fruit and veg we had never set eyes on before.
TBND in deep discussion here over the size and quality of Amalfi lemons. No other lemon compares, I promise you that.
Having kitchen facilities at our apartment meant we could enjoy a homemade Italian meal, all bought from the local deli and fruit store. So good!
It was only a couple of days before our eyes grew bigger than our stomach’s and we started to indulge in some of the more thigh expanding local food.
A little pre-dinner snack for TBND from the fish store in Amalfi.
Spaghetti Omelette. Yep!
It took us no time at all to indulge in the Italian way of life, in which we drank coffee at any given opportunity.
I couldn’t wait to introduce TBND to one of the most delicious treats you ever could try! Lemon Granite and Crema topped with fresh fruit, and ALWAYS eaten in the late afternoon on the stairs of the cathedral, in front of the piazza in Amalfi. Why? Because that’s just the best time of day to indulge in this cooling cup of happiness after a day in the hot sun. And the people watching is the BEST from those stairs.
He was HOOKED from the first mouthful. In fact I’m yet to meet anyone who hasn’t been hooked from their first mouthful. It is that good!
Yes, there he is again, with that dimpled smirk, running back from the granite store, utterly impatient to eat his 4,372nd Lemon Granite.
Too good. Oh how we miss you Lemon Granite!
The next culinary delight I wanted to introduce TBND to was Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Walnut Sauce. Again, there hasn’t been a person I’ve introduced this to that hasn’t fallen head over heels in love with it. TBND isn’t a huge fan of gnocchi, but I insisted he try this particular one, and he was sold after the first bite. It is so rich, that it really does need to be shared and about 10 mouthfuls in he declared it was the richest thing he’d ever eaten and he wasn’t sure he could ever eat it again. The next morning he’d changed his mind and was already craving another plateful. It is so unbelievably full of sin, but sometimes it’s good to be bad!
The gnocchi was balanced out with some fish…
… and a plate of Melanzane di Parmigiana – aubergines baked in tomato, topped with mozzarella.
The following evening, we moved on to my favourite pizzeria, Le Arcate, in Atrani, ordering two of my favourites, with smoked mozzarella cheese being the key ingredient to making it taste so good.
We ate our pizza’s next to the waters edge. Like a couple of hungry wolves, we’d gobbled them up within minutes.
Which resulted in complete and utter food coma’s. And after two days of me eating gluten, having been told I was gluten intolerant 2 months prior, my body screamed ENOUGH!!! and pretty much went on strike for the next few days. I knew I couldn’t cheat the system any longer, and with sadness I accepted I would not be eating Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Walnut Sauce again on this vacation!
The good news is that once I started asking different restaurants if they served ‘senza glutine (gluten free) pizza or pasta’ the majority said ‘Si! (yes)’. HALLE-FREAKING-LUJAH! The pizza party had not come to an end for me!
Back to Le Palme we went, the same guys with that deliciously evil gnocchi, but this time around for a gluten free pizza! They even served me a gluten free bread roll. I was so happy, that I ate it all, and then more or less rolled home I was so full.
Then another miracle occurred, I didn’t think it was possible, but I was proved oh so wrong. I asked my favourite pizzeria, the one I mentioned earlier, Le Arcate, if they happened to have gluten free pizza, and all my Christmas’s came at once when they told me yes. It took a bit of convincing to get TBND to agree to share a GF pizza with me, maybe it puts a dent in his manliness or something, but he eventually agreed and as luck would have it, who knows how it happened, but the GF pizza tasted even better than their regular pizza base. Win win!
The chef’s at Le Arcate, working their magic, with the chef in the background keeping watch over our pizza.
A little sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Pizza for lunch on the beach, don’t mind if we do!
We even chose this gluten free deliciousness for our last lunch the day we departed Amalfi. I can’t recommend it enough.
Next on the ‘addicted to’ list was ice cream and ice lollies/popsicles/ice blocks – whatever you call them!
I started an unhealthy relationship with Magnums, and should really put a restraining order on myself to stay away from them. But they are so good!!
Homemade peach ice lollies in Positano.
One last Magnum, the day we were heading back to London, Marc de Champagne flavoured and silver in colour, super cool looking, and super tasty.
When in Italy, one should not just stick to ice lollies and Magnums however. It would be a crime not to eat gelato, and being the law abiding citizens we are, we pledged our allegiance to the act of gelato eating, and made sure we ate one Every.Single.Day.
I have a favourite gelato shop on the waterfront in Amalfi, and they serve everything from Peach flavour, to Cherry Yoghurt, to Nutella. It’s the best!
Reuniting with my favourite gelato for the first time in a year. One happy girl.
The most special of dinners we had during our stay was at Hotel Luna. Located half way between Amalfi and Atrani, this place looks like a little castle from the outside, and I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve walked past it over the years, yet I’d never stepped foot inside.
I am so very grateful that TBND suggested we try it out for dinner, because little did I know that when I walked through the doors I would be greeted with one of the most beautiful views you could wish for over dinner, along with amazing food server by waiters in white suit jackets, with Frank Sinatra playing through the speakers. It was perfect.
Aperol Spritz in hand, amazing view from behind, my favourite summer dress, and my smile basically translating to ‘I am NEVER leaving’.
My starter was a work of food art.
Sadly I don’t have any photos of our main course, as night set in and it was too dark to take a decent snap, but we ate the most delicious fish and various side dishes, vowing to return again on our next trip.
Pre-dinner drinks in the piazza of Amalfi. Those who know me in the ‘real world’ know I don’t drink, never have, never will. But I now have a few exceptions, one is a glass of mulled wine at Christmas, another is a glass of champagne at celebrations, and the next two are Italian favourites, Aperol Spritz (which is all TBND’s fault for introducing it to me) and Bellini’s. So I indulged on this evening, in the Venetian combo of Prosecco and Peach Puree. Just one though!
We couldn’t go all the way to the Amalfi Coast and not go to Da Adolfo. I first visited this restaurant in 2013 with my parents on the day of my birthday, and realised instantly why it was spoken of so highly. The food is exquisite, which you wouldn’t guess from looking at the restaurant exterior, but this place is completely packed every day at lunchtime, because you are guaranteed one of the best meals you’ll ever eat.
TBND and I missed the boat from Positano to the restaurant by 1 minute, so we took a water taxi instead. When we arrived the owner explained he had thought we were ‘no-shows’ and our table had been given away. We were promised another table within 15 minutes and offered complimentary prosecco.
Sure enough, our table was ready in 15 minutes, and we placed our orders for Aperol Spritz.
We inspected the chalkboard menu and tried to make the tough decision of what to order.
And a plate of mussels.
Someone was a little bit happy!
Next I ordered a Melanzane di Parmigiana. And it was SO GOOD!
TBND went for Spaghetti Vongole, which was delicious according to him.
And I chose fish. Also delicious.
Da Adolfo is a must. Do yourself a favour and go!
Last, but by no means least, was a meal at Piazza Duomo. Located in Amalfi, I’m always a little dubious that any restaurant located on the perimeter of a piazza is likely to be a tourist trap. I was really wanting some pasta this particular evening, so we were checking various menu’s for gluten free options, and when we asked the waitress at Piazza Duomo if they served GF pasta she said yes, so we decided to try it out.
As it turned out, they specialised in steak. Long story short, I decided to fore go my pasta craving and share their best cut of steak with TBND. Best decision ever! The food was amazing! Even our side dishes were to die for. It was all so good that I didn’t really think to take photos, apart from the grainy iPhoto picture of our steak above….
…. and this selfie of us, on our SECOND visit to the restaurant to eat pasta….
…. and this panoramic shot. We even made a THIRD visit to the restaurant to eat MORE pasta. The place is brilliant, really modern and the wait staff are first class. I cannot wait to eat there again!
And that concludes my marathon post on What I Ate in Amalfi. The third and final post will be coming soon, What I Saw in Amalfi, so watch this space….