I always hesitate to call posts “Where to Eat in (City)” because let’s be honest…I give you the good and the bad. I don’t just tell you were to eat. Sometimes, I am your own personal guinea pig and I tell you where *not* to eat.
If you’ve been following my blog over the past few months, you’ll know that I’ve written about my amazing pizza tour in Naples with Daniel Young. But because I had never been to Naples before, I headed into town a few days early to check out the action, which gave me time for a few meals on my own. Here’s where I ate while I was in town, roughly in order of preference.
Antichi Sapori Partenopei: All the guidebooks pointed me this way and dinner did *not* disappoint. This was the most delicious bowl of vongole I’ve had in a long time, and I consider myself quite the connoisseur. The table next to me were so enraptured with the beauty of my dish that they ordered it for themselves too and then actually finished it before I did. Hah. I would happily eat here again but I would concentrate on going at an off hour because they were really not happy that I was just one person. (It’s a very popular restaurant and while it was empty when I arrived, it was packed and there was a queue when I left.) The Verdict: Go! But not alone.
Osteria della Mattonella: Daniel and I popped in here for a late lunch before our flights back to London. (Oddly, we were on different airlines departing at roughly the same time.) Firstly, this place is just so cute and lovingly decorated — the name of the restaurant is apparently in reference to the tiles. Also, the woman who runs the place is very, very sweet. We spoke to her in English and a very small smattering of Italian, she spoke all Italian and yet still we all managed to understand each other. Thus proving, yet again, that food is a universal language! It was like being taken care of by our very own personal grandmother. Food here was very good, particularly the pasta dishes and the pasta genovese. Definitely make a booking because this place is very very small. The Verdict: Very sweet and small and friendly. Give it a try.
Antica Lattaria: Sometimes I forget that in Italy, things don’t kick off til late. I showed up at this restaurant around the corner from my first hotel an entire hour before they opened. They were very friendly and told me not to worry and that I should come back in an hour. Then they gave me a somewhat weird table in the middle of the restaurant, facing the, uh, only other solo diner. So that was a bit weird but thank God for smart phones. This was my 2nd attempt at scialatielli — keep reading — and it was much better than my first attempt but still a bit too heavy for my liking. Me and scialatielli are over. The Verdict: OK
Umberto: Funnily, this restaurant was highly recommended by a number of people later in my trip and I didn’t even realize I had already eaten there! The restaurant was very loosely attached to my first hotel so I went there for dinner my first night in town and had an unmemorable meal of scialatielli, my first attempt at this dense spaghetti-like pasta that’s popular in Naples. It was like eating a lot of raw pasta dough all at one time with a lot of flavorless pesto and a dash of deeply indifferent service. Note that scialatielli is a deeply unphotogenic dish, hence the lack of photos here and above. The Verdict: Skip it.
So definitely some highs and lows in Naples, and this doesn’t even address the pizza!