Don Alfonso 1890 is situated in the town of Sant’Agata sui due Golfi, on the Sorrentino peninsula in the hinterland of the Amalfi Coast. It has three forks from Gambero Rosso and two Michelin stars. On the photo you see me with the owner and host, and her son, who is the chef.
The dining room has a colorful look. There are two tasting menus: La Tradizione (6 courses for 150 euros) and La Degustazione (7 courses for 180 euros). We opted for the latter. The wine pairing is a hefty 150 euros, but this includes a generous glass (1/4 bottle or so) of Ornellaia 2001 (a ‘Super Tuscan’) and other expensive wines.
The small appetizers were all very nice. A puffed squid ink cracker with uni (ricci di mare), a battered and fried prawn, a truffle tartlet and veal tartare.
The first course of the menu: eel ice cream with caviar, rose petals pasta, green sauce, and egg yolk. The eel ice cream had a very elegant flavor and was very creamy and delicious. The only complaint is that I would have liked more of it. It was paired very well with a rosé champagne. 10/10
Duck breast that was cooked very rare with a balsamic reduction and apple sauce, paired nicely with cherry-infused Aglianico, served on the rocks. The combination worked very well. The duck was not super tender. 8/10
I forgot to take a photo of the ricotta nudi (naked ravioli, so without pasta) with lemon zest and nettles. This was paired with a Riesling from Molise. That is an unusual climate for a Riesling and so it was an unusual Riesling that had more bitter notes than the usual acidic notes. The pairing did work and the lemon zest made added some nice complexity to the dish. 9/10
Next spaghetti aglio, olio, peperoncino with mackerel in carpione, breadcrumbs, caramelized onions and a tuna sauce. The mackerel was outstanding, very tender and creamy and not fishy at all. “In carpione” stands for a classic way to prepare carp. 10/10 Paired adequately with a white wine from Slovenia.
Fried cod steak with citrus coulis, yogurt, and green peperoncini. The fish was perfectly cooked and had a very nice texture. The peperoncino was a very nice touch. Paired well with an orange wine from Greece. 9/10
Beef fillet in a crust of breadcrumbs and filled with mozzarella and guanciale, with spicy tomato and salsa verde. The beef was perfectly medium rare and worked very well with the Ornellaia 2001. This is a ‘super Tuscan’, a Bordeaux blend from Bolgheri and a famous wine. Applause to Don Alfonso for serving this wine at the proper age and for including it in a wine pairing. 9/10 for the dish, but 10/10 for the wine.
A lemon sorbet with pistachios as a palate cleanser.
You can choose any dessert from the menu. I picked something with orange, pistachios from Bronte, buffalo ricotta and Amarelli licorice, which was paired very well with a Ben Ryè Passito di Pantelleria. 9/10
Very nice friandises to conclude.
After dinner we visited the cellar below the restaurant, with thousands of bottles.
It goes very deep with a lot of steps.
The food at Don Alfonso is very good. They have their own organic farm where they produce all the fruit and vegetables, and olive oil. The dishes clearly showcase the high quality of the ingredients and are of a fairly constant high level. 9.5/10 for the food.
The wine pairings were all fine. Some of the wine choices were unnecessarily exotic and there was not a single wine from Campania. The Ornellaia was very nice though. 9/10 for the wine.
The service was very good, although the wine was sometimes a bit late. It is really nice that the owner is present in the dining room and clearly shows her passion for the food as well as for entertaining. 8.5/10 for the service.
We had a very nice meal at Don Alfonso and it is certainly worth the two Michelin stars that it has. We will certainly return the next time we are in the area.
8 thoughts on “Dining in Italy: Don Alfonso 1890**”
I still remember the rose pasta and eel ice cream. That was my favorite dish.
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Questo ristorante è molto famoso
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My apologies for a childish ‘wow’ ! Love the look of the place and the menu ! Sadly for most ‘if you have to ask the price, you cannot afford it’ . . . Love the idea of eel ice cream and would really have loved to taste the pasta dish con mackerel . . . of all the visits during your holiday would have chosen this first . . .
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Judging solely from the pics, I don’t think this food is outstanding 😦