O sole mio | Rock Candy

Monday, November 2, 2009

O sole mio

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 1:37 AM


Nothing Arkansas about this except the eaters, pair of Arkies the only English speakers in a joyous Neapolitan restaurant filled with families enjoying a Sunday evening repast. And I do mean evening. The restaurant did not even open until 8 p.m.

But what a way to end a trip in Naples -- an old school restaurant.

It was our best pizza in Naples, far better than the guidebook picks. The crust was blistered in the hot oven, but crisp on the bottom all over, no soggy center. The toppings were chopped tomatoes, a lavish amount of mozzarella, basil, fresh mushrooms and thinly sliced ham, cooked to the crispness of bacon. It was popular all over the restaurant Sunday evening.


I had the house special linguine, with shrimp, clams and fish in a red sauce atop firm strands of pasta. Garlicky, but not too much. Salty, but not too much.

In the background of the photo, you can also see remanants of a platter of battered and fried vegetables, including squash blossoms, cheese and fritters made variously with rice, potatoes and ham. The frying was impeccably crisp. A platter for one, 10 euros, was enough for about 4.

The house red from the region, Campana,washed everything down in fine fashion.

We were sorry we couldn't get around to more seafood. The fish, fresh from vendors on the boat dock across the street, was arrayed on ice in the middle of the restaurant, glistening and fresh. It smelled only of the sea. The shellfish wiggled when the waiter held them up for inspection.

I was stuffed, but I had a slice of baba, the rum-soaked Neapolitan sponge cake. We also had coffee and a shot of grappa.

All this, plus entertainment from a strolling guitar player and friendly service from veteran waiters clad in white jackets and black bow ties for $100. That covered everything -- food, drink, tax, tip, entertainment.

I'd do it again and again. Ciro's Mergellina. Go there if you find yourself in this sprawling, fascinating and, yes, somewhat gritty, place. There's a Ciro's cafe for just coffee, desserts and pizza on the waterfront, but the real thing is set back about a block from the water. Think of it as Gallatoire's Naples-style, but cheaper.


Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Fayetteville has a City Council opening thanks to Alan Long's resignation

    Alan Long has resigned from the Fayetteville City Council with more than three years remaining on his term and the Council itself must decide at its meeting Tuesday whether to fill the seat itself or call a special election.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • John Goodson and others add lawyers for hearing on forum shopping

    Lawyers facing federal court sanctions for forum shopping a class action insurance case have brought in new legal guns from out of state to fight potential sanctions.
    • May 26, 2016
  • Lawyers plead for mercy in Fort Smith forum shopping case

    Twelve of the lawyers facing punishment by federal Judge P.K. Holmes in Fort Smith for moving a class action case against an insurance company out of his court to a state court where it was speedily settled have filed their argument against sanctions.
    • Jun 16, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation