For so long, it’s been a huge dream of mine to visit the city of Naples, the ‘so called’ Capital of the South, the birthplace of Pizza. This city of long narrow streets, incredible pizza and historic monuments seems to represent everything quintessentially Italian and despite, my incredibly high expectations, still managed to live up to my wildest dreams, if not exceed them.
My trip to Naples was not only my first time visiting the region of Campania but also my very first time in the South of Italy. Now, I’m no expert on Italian politics and the North/South divide but wow, is it incredible to see the difference between the two regions. It’s not only visible in the streets strewn with rubbish, or the higher rate of crime and poverty but it’s also extremely blatant in the people. Somehow, you feel a deeper struggle in the Southerners and yet, they’re still willing to help and accommodate you far more than in the North. Also, needless to say, the food is almost completely different on either side of the divide. Where, in the North it is richer, the people tend to cook with more butter and eat more meat, whereas in the South the meals are heavily carb based and cooked with olive oil.
This restaurant is very special to me because it was and always will be my first meal in Naples. Amici Miei: A family run trattoria that does Neopoletan food flawlessly.
Ambiance: Getting to this restaurant was a horrible nightmare and a great adventure. We pretty much wandered up and down, for half an hour looking for what seemed like an invisible road which, according to the map, was supposed to be perpendicular to the one we were on. It turns out that, in what looks like a little shop on the street, there is a tiny public elevator that takes you to a level of streets above you. Now, I have no idea how this works architecturally, and had I not been dying of hunger I might of investigated it, but for now it remains a mystery, an Italian Narnia if you will.
Food: This small place can make the simplest dishes and make them taste out of this world. I kid you not, the dish that I remember most from this old-school trattoria is a simple rocket salad. Crisp leaves, shaved parmesan, delicious fresh lemon dressing, perfect seasoning…. Oh, I’m salivating thinking about it. I’m definitely not the type of person who just eat salad as a meal, but I swear I could eat this for the rest of my life.
We also had the veal escalopes cooked in white wine which was emaculate and the paccheri pasta reccomended by the owner which was coated in creamy tomato and gorgonzola sauce with aubergines. This dish really surprised me as it’s not something I’ve ever seen on a traditional Italian menu, featuring what could seem like a strange combination of ingredients but somehow, worked harmoniously all together. Perfection.
I realise this is quite strange being a typical Italian restaurant, but the day I visited Amici Miei they had a crème caramel for dessert and I openly admit that it is by far one of the best I’ve ever had. (Strangely enough, the other really good one I’ve had was also in Italy)
Service: The thing I love most about trattorias is that often the owners or family members are the ones serving the customers. There’s nothing better than having delicious home-style food and being made to feel like family at the same time. We were served by both the owner and his wife during our meal. Both spoke very good English and were extremely helpful and friendly.
NOTE: No menu in English.
Price: Average of 35 euros per person. (Well worth it!)
Address: Via Monte di Dio, 77/78, 80132 Napoli, Italy
+39 081 764 6063