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Praiano: M'ama

| Via Umberto I 70 , Phone: 089.874628
www.hotelmargherita.info/restaurant.htm

Reviewed by: Tessmar from CA, review #3982

When: 2012

Deserves an extra star for quality, ambiance, and service

The restaurant is on the roof terrace of the hotel - a more magical spot is hard to imagine, with a view of a good part of the Gulf of Salerno and white tablecloths and simple but elegant wicker type chairs. I have no idea what they do when it is cold or raining, but on our visit (October 20th) it was pleasantly warm without a trace of sultriness.

My wife and I shared an appetizer of millifoglie di melanzane - a single layered eggplant serving with cheese and a light tomato based sauce, and two zucca flowers deep fried in a light tempura-like batter that was slightly sweet and wonderfully crisp.

We sort of split the main courses as one of us had only a secondo and the other only a primo. The former was called gnocchetti Margherita pesto e vongole...a different take on potato dumplings as I had not seen them mixed with seafood before with bite sized local clams, and the pesto was arugula-based.

My secondo was a local fish in a lemon sauce with mixed vegetables - julienned carrots, haricot vert style green beans, and, of all things, potato slices that were cut like shoestring french fries but were soft rather than crisp. The sauce was light and creamy, delicate and not at all overpowering, and the fish fillet was more than fork tender - it simply melted in your mouth.

We shared a mousse al limone which was good but more like a semi-freddo than a true mousse, topped with what appeared to be caramelized lemon peel, all on a small cake bed soaked in limoncello.

We each had a glass of a local white wine called “VB-Furore Bianco” that was quite nice and went well with the meal. With caffe and cover charge the bill was 60 euros, and since we appeared to be the only diners who were not also staying in the hotel, we were asked to pay at the front desk. The hostess provided a complimentary and home made limoncello and even offered to drive us back up the hill to our apartment. We chose to walk, but the courtesy doesn't get much better than that!

Postscript: we liked the peacefulness, warm service, and food so much we went back for our last night in Praiano, and now we do know that when it is windy or rainy dinner is inside on mezzanine room also used for breakfast for guests, with glass sliding panels that still allow for an “outdoor feel.” My wife chose the dish I had last time and I chose a local pasta with sun dried tomatoes and mussels, along with the same local wine, although this time we skipped dessert. The bill came to 54 euros and again were offered the homemade (and excellent) limoncello.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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