Rating: 8 / 10 (Food)
You know that feeling when you get pressured into buying something, and you're really happy with the product itself, but the way you were relieved of your money just sits wrong? Well, continue reading:
It all started as a love affair. We were driving up the hill to the lookout point by the church, when a young man in a tuk tuk stopped us and offered to show us a "locals only" view of Capri. We followed and he sure enough showed us to a beautiful place we would never have found alone. He then mentioned for us to have a drink at his parents place down the road, we loosely agreed. After that we proceeded to climb to the church and sight-see for an hour or so. On the way down we stopped at the restaurant (a small shed by the road) and were greeted by his mother and father, both very keen for us to sit down and not just grab a drink on the run.
He began to romance us with tales of his farm nearby, the freshest produce, home-grown lemons and tomatoes and mozzarella made by his inlaws. It was all probably true, but we told him we were just there for a coffee. Then came his wife with her fresh pastries so we decided to try one. They were phenomenal. Like, really good. After a few more minutes of coffee drinking and chat he recommended we ate there because by the time we got to Sorrento most things would be closed (Italy and their 3pm deal). So, we ordered a caprese salad, a lemon spaghetti and a ravioli.
He disappeared downstairs to give the order to his mother, while returning up to make the quickest salad on earth. It was fantastic. Probably one of the better Caprese I ever ate. Everything was rich and tart and herby and right. Next up came the pasta dishes, and again, the food was superb. You cannot knock a single detail on how flavourful and delicious this home-cooking was.
However, as with all love affairs, there comes the moment of betrayal. Ever since we had ordered I had made a mental note that we were not shown a menu. I almost wanted to ask him right before putting in the order how much the food was but he ranted and raved about it being "Much cheaper than Sorrento! Here pasta is only 7.90, in Sorrento is 15 Eur", so my fears were temporarily allayed.
However, after my friend had picked out some limoncello and salami to take home as gifts, the bill came.
In the words of Donald Trump: Shock & Awe.
We paid more in a glorified shed with electricity, than we had dining at Michelin star restaurants. I won't bore you with the details but that old man added a 50% gratuity on there without blinking an eye, confident that his cheery disposition would cause most people to turn a blind eye and convince themselves they were not being ripped off.
But we were, 100%. This was a co-ordinated operation where his son scours the area for innocent holidaymakers, brings them to his parents place like a tout, then heads off to find new victims while his parents figure out how much to add to the persons bill.
It's honestly a diabolical set up, and should be reported to the authorities, and I was almost tempted to say something, but the food was honestly that good... like really.. THAT GOOD... so we decided to let it slide, and headed off to Sorrento for a coffee instead of a meal that would, ironically, have been far cheaper than this.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"