Don Alfonso 1890

Alfonso Iaccarino
Alfonso Iaccarino
Country: Italy
City: 80064 Sant’Agata sui due Golfi
Address: Corso Sant’Agata,11
(+39) 0818780026
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays, and from Jan 7 to Mar 15
Price: 80 €
Tasting menu:: 105, 115 €

  • Orecchiette e broccoli con tartufi di mare pane raffermo colatura di alici e pom
  • Orecchiette e broccoli con tartufi di mare pane raffermo colatura di alici e pomodori essiccati al sole
  • Il peperone ed il baccalà
  • Il peperone ed il baccalà

The most important restaurant in southern Italy by far, maintained by the efforts of an exemplary family that historically has flown the flag of gastronomic luxury. The parents, Alfonso and Livia, and their sons, Ernesto and Mario, work with dedication, wisdom, intelligence, meticulousness… for a high-class, noble project that represents a symbiosis of two ways of life. On one side, a passionate, even instinctual love for the land, Campania, as is characteristic of all inhabitants of the region; on the other, a very French concept of the restaurant, eminently academic and always infused with the best know-how. The result conveys a great professional value: the setting, the service, the friendliness, the wine list… in short, a temple to the good, sumptuous life.

In the cuisine, as befits the spirit of the Iaccarino family, two visions of classicism coexist—an undeniably evolving tradition, stimulating with recipes that reflect Italian idiosyncrasy. Whether they be on the conventional side, like the rigatoni Vesuvio, which reveres and symbolizes all of the region’s ingredients, values and aesthetics—rigatoni with an exquisite tomato sauce, fragrant with the most aromatic of basils and stuffed with delicious mozzarella, with small pork meatballs—or more modern, like the extremely refined translucent ravioli, guarding ricotta and nettles in their insides and swimming in an immaculate, light and startling nettle broth. Two masterful testaments to pasta, which is prepared here with consummate erudition and talent to offer dozens of enticing possibilities. Another range of accomplished dishes lies in the risottos. One enriched with ground pork sausage, fried artichokes and black truffles represents two constants here: tempered succulence and opulence in the basics. Because at Don Alfonso 1890, they do not skimp on anything, and much less on ingredients—they are always stellar, the best available, with special mention to the fish. The white tuna, pink on the inside and crusted on the outside, with bean puree and red onion sauce, pink pepper and ginger crocant, is a delicate and complex starter. Also splendid in and of itself and for its doneness is the cernia (dusky grouper), though its preparation is too conventional in concept and flavor: perfumed with vanilla and served with raspberry sauce, beans and pumpkin croquette. The classical, always well-executed, is repeated in meats, like the marinated wild boar with chestnut puree, fried polenta and cranberry sauce, where the primary qualities of the elements are not revered; rather, the main ingredient, its adornment and sides are served in purely orthodox fashion.

For an outstanding rating, which could be given to this Relais & Châteaux by the Michelin, it would need to fit more into the contemporary spirit of this guide, which advocates greater creativity and more innovative flavors.