Rating: 7 / 10
Always on the hunt for vegan food that will surprise me, I was keen to try Un Sorriso Integrale, a place I had walked past numerous times but not noticed since it's at the end of a dark alleyway.
Sufficiently rested after moving into a hotel due to my Airbnb apartment facing a flat with a newborn baby that must be possessed by a hundred demons since it didn't stop screaming for 3 weeks flat, I walked the four blocks stopping my Spazia Nea for a coffee.
The restaurant was almost empty when I arrived which did nothing to speed up the rather lethargic service. I thought vegan people were supposed to be energy bunnies propelled by beans and herbs, sprinting between tables with piles of greenery and occult drinks. I was wrong.
My starter came after a long wait in which more people arrived much to the perplexion of the server. She seemed like a "alternative meat" deer caught in energy efficient headlights. She approached people, then seemed to have a minor epiphany, stepped back, turned, forgot something and turned back to approach the table. This seemed like some sort of avocado mating dance perhaps.
My spicy olives were sufficiently picante and had a nice briny chew to them. As is often the case at vegan spots, the risotto lacked that unctuous, rich, luxurious kiss of parmesan cheese and butter. The flavours were all on point but it ate more like a savoury rice-porridge than a risotto.
More an interesting meal than a memorable one, it just goes to show that there are vegan options in Naples tho they don't yet hold a candle to the carnivore options in this monstrous food city. I love mixing it up and giving the vegan places a go but having tried two and not been wowed, I'll stick to my cheese and seafood options since I only have a few days left.
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"