Hosteria "Il Pino" - Ristorante Bar Enoteca - Via G. Capriglione, 13 Praiano Amalfi Coast (SA) Italy. Tel. +39 089874400
Situated in Praiano, one of the prettiest towns of the Amalfi Coast, famous for its comfortable atmosphere of total relax, for its panoramic features and the winding streets and staircases between the terraced gardens that slowly take you down to the sea with its rocky beaches. Recently reported in an article of Times On Line: Praiano has a more authentically Italian atmosphere than its brasher neighbours. It will take you just a minute to realize how true this statement is, if you have just visited Amalfi or Positano.
Walking down one of these typical staircases, after just a few steps, you will find yourself inside the "Hosteria Il Pino": a large and bright terraced restaurant, surrounded by a mix of delicate colours and with something really unique: a "spectacular" view. A tall Pine tree keeps an eye on the clients' tranquility, whilst secluded terraces with lemon groves and evergreen Mediterranean maquis fill the side lines. In the far distance the Norman fortified towers and cobalt blue of the sea hypnotizes one's sight and ravishes one's soul. The sensation is like being suspended half way between the sky and the sea! You cannot stop staring at the breeze that ripples the waves, the vaults of the seagulls, the great view over the small islands "de Li Galli" and on the horizon near Punta Campanella, where the Peninsula of Sorrento meets with the Gulf of Amalfi, the Faraglioni rocks of Capri (even though for a moment I was not sure, as I did not expect them being so near).
Here the restaurant managers, Sandra Fusco e Baldassarre Fiorentino, are used to make their clients feel at home, illustrating the specialties and suggesting the best combinations of food and wines. In the kitchen the chef Luigi Di Martino, originally from nearby Gragnano, is praised for his years of experience at the Hotel San Pietro of Positano. Avoiding daring mixtures, the main highlights of the menu proposed are based on the natural flavour and taste of the ingredients, the cured selection of the products and the combination of perfect wines with each course.
The personalized Hors d'Oeuvre of: Octopus carpaccio, rolled smoked salmon with ricotta cheese filling, fried anchovies filets with provola cheese stuffing: a really pleasant combination of tastes of products of the land and of the sea. The surprise was the delicate and fragrant taste of the first course, "Paccheri" pasta of Gragnano with Tartufi clams and fresh broad beans (freshly picked form the nearby garden); a real delicacy the mix of the sweetness of the beans and the contrasting taste of the tartufi. The main course was a classic mix of grilled fish (pagellus fish, prawns, cuttlefish and scampi).
The wine proposed was a rosé Aglianico del Taburno DOC of the Cantine Iannella, year 2008, with an intense fruity taste, strong but at the same time delicate with a reasonable alcoholic content (13%).
A moscato with a pronounced sweet floral aroma, was served with the dessert: "sinful" wild strawberries and chocolate, an excellent tiramisu and a fragrant lemon flavoured millefoglie cake.
The final opinion? More than positive. The restaurant proposes a high level of quality in an informal and family way and prefers to exalt the simple tastes rather than force with cooking strainings.
Another positive note of the organization is the proposal of periodical musical evenings and cultural events (such as Mescolarte, a combined exhibition of music and art), that create an affinity between good food and wine with the passion for music and art.