Sorrento Eats: Three dinners in one night!
After an entire day of being on my feet, I was in the mood for a good, sit-down dinner. I scoped out a place on TripAdvisor, coming across Ristorante Pepe Bianco as a casual-looking restaurant (no tablecloths - somehow I feel a bit uncomfortable dining in tablecloth restaurants solo), with an inventive set menu with a few selections each for appetizer, main course, and dessert. I like set menus because you can try a bunch of things for a reasonable price, also a boon for solo travelers like myself who have no one to share dishes with!
Sorrento is a small town, but Ristorante Pepe Bianco was particularly close to my hotel, at the bottom of Piazza Sant'Antonio. These Sorrentinos really like their Christmas lights!
So I got to the restaurant, and oops, looks more formal than I thought with tablecloths and lots of servers milling around an empty dining room. I was so tired that I went in anyway.
After perusing the menu, I asked about the set menu as I didn't see it, and the server went somewhere to double check. No, they don't have set menu in December - the last set menu ended last week. Double oops.
I decided to stay since I didn't have any backup options thought out, plus it was raining.
They first brought out an amuse bouche of a delicately fried small white fish. This was a promising start to the food, even though I was disappointed by the lack of set menu, as well as the waiter pushing an expensive lobster at me.
My main course was an exquisite homemade pasta with mussels and clams. The delicate, briny parsley sauce clung just so to the fat, chewy noodles. It was just amazing how such a simple, light dish could have such a powerful flavor.
I was still hungry, so was considering ordering another dish. (Here again, the waiter pushed the lobster!) Instead, I went with an almond and hazelnut semifreddo which was okay. Finally, the waiter offered a glass of limoncello which I was glad about, since Sorrento is famous for its lemons and lemon products.
All in all, the seafood pasta dish was honestly one of the best meals of the trip, but the overall experience was a bit marred by the constant lobster offering.
During my after-dinner stroll, I came across a lively food truck fair! I love how frequently I stumble across these food fairs in Italy.
I decided to try out this "Frusta Sorrentina," which apparently is a creation of this local chef Antonio Esposito.
I was a bit disappointed though, in that the dough was preformed and parbaked in this vulva shape, and it was simply filled and heated up in an oven. The quality was much more similar to any industrial heat-and-serve pizza than the ones I had in Naples.
I was already very full by now, having had a pizza after my full dinner, but I wanted to try just ONE more dish to see if I could raise the average for the evening!
I came across this cart selling baccala fritto, or fried cod pieces. This also seemed like it would be something typical of the region...
Typical or not, it was delicious! A light batter enclosed piping hot, juicy nuggets of salty cod. It was so yummy, but unfortunately my third dinner of the night defeated me, and I just couldn't finish no matter how good it was!
Here are all of the posts in this Pompeii and Amalfi Coast itinerary:
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