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Don Alfonso 1890, Sant' Agata sui due Golfi

11 Corso Sant'Agata
Sant' Agata sui due Golfi
Italy 80061
Tel: 39 081 878 0026
view web site ›'s insider take:

The little town of Sant'Agata is a rather modest place, but it plays host to what is generally (and rightly) considered to be the best table south of Rome, presided over by the indefatigable Alfonso Iaccarino—grandson of the original Alfonso, who was born in 1890. (They like to keep things in the family here: Alfonso's sons Ernesto and Mario work as assistant chef and dining-room host, respectively). A 2007 makeover has brought the previously rather dated decor up to par with the cuisine, though the pink-and-green color combinations are still rather forceful. All the fruit, vegetables, and herbs come from the family's farm, Le Peracciole, including Nocellara, Moraiola, and Frantoio olives, which they handpick and cold-press the same day for the exquisite fruity, spicy oils integral to Iaccarino's cuisine. The food thinks local but acts global, updating age-old Campanian recipes in dishes such as annecchia (halfway between veal and beef) with guanciale bacon, fior di latte cheese, and potato-and-sage foam. The kitchen can also find virtue in simplicity, with a plate of ravioli filled with caciotto cheese and marjoram, topped with a sauce of Vesuvian tomatoes and basil. There's also the option of staying overnight in one of the nine rather grand rooms. And breakfast comes from Don Alfonso's kitchen.

Open Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday through Sunday, June through September; all day Wednesday through Sunday, October to mid-November, April, and May; closed mid-November through March.

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