d'Antonio has some sound advice!
is unique in the world and, obviously,
it deserves a visit. Never be in
a hurry when you go to Pompeii. My
personal advice is very hard, I know:
first of all you go to Pompeii; the
following day you go to Naples to
visit the Museo Archeologico, and
yes, the day after that you come
back to visit Pompeii again. Only
with this iron rule will you really
understand and appreciate Pompeii.
Only a few of my friends believed
me, but they still thank me.
you're visiting Pompeii and you want
to go to a restaurant. Which one
? Mostly the food is not great and
there are only three good restaurants.
Two of these are much too famous
and expensive and one of them is
not at all friendly to strangers.
So, the best choice is Zý Caterina.
know as well as I do the bad early
warning signs. But it would be easy
to make a mistake in this case. Don't
be put off by the window on the street
dispensing food to take away; the
signs look too large as does the
dining room inside. It's a good idea
to make a reservation, not mandatory
but useful. Ask for Signor Fabio,
the young patron of Zý Caterina.
Although he's less than thirty he
manages his restaurant very well.
It's the third generation of the
family: his grandfather began when
visitors to Pompeii were the most
sophisticated travellers in the world.
will give you a menu list and wine
list but, please, forget it and listen
to his advice. As antipasti we chose "seppie
con finocchi e olive", cuttle fish
with fennel and olives which was
good because fresh and light if not
perhaps not the best. Very good the
suggested wine: Greco di Tufo Novaserra
2002 by Mastroberardino. We drank
this until the first proper course:
paccheri di Gragnano ai frutti di
mare. Paccheri is a kind of short
macaroni made in Gragnano, one of
the hill towns close to Pompei, fifteen
minutes driving. Gragnano is the
most important town of Italy for
pasta. I think you all know by now
that Frutti di mare is seafood. The
recipe also calls for small and sweet
tomatoes and olive oil. This was
really very good.
dislike seafood or, anyway, you prefer
some other first course, you'd best
taste "pasta e fagioli", very well
cooked with tender beans. As second
course, really it depends on the
fish market because Zý Caterina serves
only fresh local fish. We tasted
an excellent "pezzogna all'acqua
pazza". (Vincenzo can't find an English
equivalent, apart from the bit about "mad
water"! Some our friends (we were
eighteen) wanted meat and Fabio suggested
a mix of grilled meat. So the wine
became Avellanio 2001 by Mastroberardino.
I wanted to taste also the mushrooms
with potatoes: nice, original and
fruit and, as dessert: delizia al
limone. Big slice in the plate but
even so, for many of us, a second
slice was a very good idea. The dessert
wine was Melizie by Mastroberardino.
cost of our meal:
Eighteen people: 640 euro. (About ú24.00
a head) Excellent
in its quality/price ratio.
is closed on Tuesday.
Via Roma, 20 ( close to Porta Anfiteatro )
Tel. 081 8507447
here for more reviews of restaurants
in the Neapolitan region by Vincenzo