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La Scialuppa Ristorante – Pizzeria

Via Borgo Marinari 4
Napoli
Tel.: +39 (0) 81 764 5333

Wednesday 20th March 2002

This was our last dinner in Naples – we were to leave the following morning. We had spent the day walking around Naples – especially the Spanish Quarter, and the Via Toledo – all quite exhausting, but at times exhilerating as well.

When it came to selecting where to eat for the last time, we again resorted to the Borgo Marinaro, right opposite our hotel. We had already eaten at three of the restaurants there, and at another branch of a fourth, and we were quite satisfied that the reputation for good eating the Borgo Marinaro has was justified.

So little time. The Transatlantico, right next to the Scialuppa, was a strong contender, but in the end, the Scialuppa enticed us.

When we entered, we realised that the place was full – nevertheless, the maître d’ said yes – there would be a table shortly, please could we wait? There was nowhere to sit, but we stood at the rear of the restaurant, next to the coffee machine and bar, and were offered a glass of bubbly. Within five minutes – during which time I was quizzing the barman about the Limoncello – we were led to a table.

Again, we were next to a large group – again all males. We had noticed that the sight of groups of males eating together was more common than mixed parties or couples!

The place was really buzzing, and I was at first disappointed that there was, again, a minstrel in our midst. I was pleasantly surprised when this accomplished guitar player and singer did not approach each table for a tip – it looked as though he was employed by the restaurant. Odd how this realisation (that I was not about to be accosted for cash) added to the enjoyment – even if I ended up paying by having it added to the bill!

To the food. I had to try the mussels for starters. When the dish arrived, it could have served as a main course!. They were fresh and tasty, in a simple sauce.

Main course for Marg was a Cotelleta Milanese – veal in breadcrumbs.

I, meanwhile, had been asking the waiter what was the difference between “Astice” and “Arragosta”? He answered by picking an “Astice” up from the display and having it wave its pincers at me! (As I understand it, Astice is Maine Lobster, what most people think of when lobster is mentioned – big claws, whereas Arragosta is a “Spiny Lobster”, with smaller pincers)

After seeing this, how could I resist the “Risotto all’ Astice”? I couldn’t!

Marg was very pleased with the veal. Quite often she has been disappointed with bland, flavourless and/or tough offerings which had no resemblance to “proper” veal. This dish was good.

My risotto arrived, and what a surprise: I had been expecting a dish with perhaps a variety of shellfish, with a smattering of lobster pieces. What I got was a large dish with half a lobster on top of the risotto. And it was delicious – both the lobster, and the risotto.

Having had such a large bowl of mussels for starters, I could not finish all the dish – which was shame.

The house wine was very acceptable. We declined dessert or coffee, but tried a glass of the Limoncello, which we were told was made in-house. This was such a different taste to the limoncello we’d tried at home (and which we didn’t like). It was sharp and astringent, with a powerful lemon flavour which wasn’t overpowering. A perfect after-dinner liqueur.

What a great evening, a fitting last meal in Naples, and at €44.42 (£28.65!) a bargain.

Sandro and Marg  

Eatanddrink Ratings

La Scialuppa

Total Score: 89%
Quality: Exceptional
Service: Exceptional
Facilities: Above Average
Ambience: Above Average
Value: Exceptional

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