Sunday, May 10, 2015

Da Donato

Corso Vitt. Emanuele, May 10, 2015—
LOOKING FOR A SIMPLE place to have dinner with our Naples hosts tonight, I took another look at my Osterie 2015 app, keeping in mind my contessa's desire for meat tonight for a change. A reasonable request, I thought.

The first couple of suggestions were closed tonight, it being Sunday, but the third worked out. Our hosts drove us to a part of town we hadn't been to yet — a sketchy part of town, they thought; they took the precaution of emptying certain accessories from the car before the trip, and did a little research on where to park.

In the event, though, there was a spot on the street exactly across from the restaurant, well lit. And at eight o'clock we had our choice among a number of tables, though the place was full by the time we left, and a couple of guys in the doorway looked hungrily at our table when we stood up.

I ordered simply: a bowl of Ziti con ragù Napolitano , which turned out to be in a red sauce cooked exactly as Cook does back home: long and slow, the tomato sauce becoming dense, toward caramelized, rich and deep. There were a few meaty knuckles or perhaps tailbones in the sauce, too, and the right touch of oregano.

Dessert: a delicious lemon gelato capped with frozen whipped cream, served absolutely frozen, in a Champagne flute. Quintessentially Neapolitan, you'd think, but we had our doubts, and in fact it turned out to be made and supplied by a big restaurant-supply wholesaler up in Torino. How they ship these without breaking the glasses is anybody's guess. The gelato, however, stiffened with just a bit of gelatin, is delicious; ditto the cream.

Irfinia, Campi Taurasini, Vadantico, 2010: At home, I'd call this Cheap Campania red, and note that it's simple, forward, fruity, full-bodied, and pleasant.
•Antica Trattoria E Pizzeria da Donato, Via San Cosmo Fuori Portanolana, 26/28; +39 081 287828
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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