I awoke to a gorgeous sunrise and prepared for what was to be one of the most profound experiences I’ve encountered in Sorrento. We proceeded to leave Anacapri for the ferry, which is always a stunning treat as the view from the convertible taxis are breathtaking. Minus the little traffic jam at the roundabout in Capri all was in order and right with the world as we made our way to the ferry. As we approached the ferry huge throngs of tourists were leaving the ferry to spend the day in Capri – – perfect timing. On board and all excited, our appetites grew larger by the minute.
After what seemed to be forever, we arrived in Sorrento, met our driver and then proceeded to be driven several miles to Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi. We arrived to this quaint, warm and inviting village that was quintessential authentic Italian. This was paradise, complete with century old buildings, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie marking the center of town and a distant landscape that tested the notion of “suspension of disbelief,” this was the view from the garden of Don Alfonso.
Stepping out of the car we were greeted by warm and engaging personalities that totally transformed us. All I kept thinking was – – if the food is as amazing as the gracious and hospitable hosts – – we’ve found a new spot in Sorrento. We were then escorted to the stunning, well manicured garden with heavenly views of a vivid mountain range that appeared to float in mid-air. Turing my attention to something so American would appear to be out of place, but this American treasure was none other than the vocals of Ms. Sarah Vaughn. Her silky vocals riding the cool Italian breeze through the garden was unreal as I slowly relaxed and awaited to experience the ultimate.
There was something magical and very soothing about the energy and people we’d just encountered – – Paradise Found!!!! And then came the pre-amuse bouche and a little bubbly
This was my introduction to restaurant Don Alfonso.
After several glasses of bubbly we were then escorted into the main dining room where a private yet inviting corner table awaited us. The menu arrived and I saw the one dish that absolutely made my head spin – – Rose Petal Pasta with Eel Ice Cream and Caviar. Three words – – YES, YES, YES!!! We proceeded to have the Chef’s tasting menu. And the rest is Italian Cuisine Bliss……….
When the much anticipated “Rose Petal Pasta with Eel Ice Cream and Caviar” arrived we had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Livia Iaccarino who not only welcomed us to her wonderful home (restaurant), but insisted we have a complimentary glass of the Italian Sparkling Rosé — Ca’del Bosco. I took a sip of the Ca’del Bosco Rosé and was totally blown away by the pairing. The rose scented pasta exploded with aromatics that were as intense as rose petal extract. This was truly off to an amazing start.
After lunch we had the opportunity to visit one of the most amazing wine cellars I’ve laid eyes on. Carved from volcanic rock dating back to sixth century B.C., this cellar was a goldmine. With 1,300 labels represented and over 25,000 bottles, you are sure to find the perfect wine to have with what I can best describe as perfection personified – – the cuisine of Don Alfonso.
After the tour of the cellar, we were greeted again by Chef Ernesto and Nicola outside near the garden. It was truly an amazing experience as they treated us like old friends, chatting about life and their love of great cuisine. If not for the need to catch the ferry back to Capri, we could have went on for hours which would have been perfect as dinner would have been the right thing to do. Next Time!!!!
Our time at Don Alfonso was so incredible, plans are being made to return for overnight accommodations, a cooking class and yes, more indulging as Chef Ernesto has welcomed us back home with more amazing and wonderful cuisine to keep our palates excited and overwhelmed.
Grazie Mille to all of you and we hope to see you soon – – “2017”!!!!!
Don Alfonso 1890
di Don Alfonso Gestioni s.r.l.
Corso Sant’Agata, 11/13
80061 Sant’Agata Sui Due Golfi, Naples (IT)