Da Mariano Ristorante – Procida, Italy

Step into one of the best restaurants in all of Italy.  Your taste buds will be melting, your eyes will be drooling, and your stomach and wallet will be full!



 

 

 

The Hidden Gem


 

 

Tucked away on the little remote island of Procida is one of the best restaurants in all of Italy.  Da Mariano Ristorante has been around for a few decades, but the quality of food and its service hasn’t wavered in all that time.

Run by a husband and wife team, the restaurant is listed on TripAdvisor as the number one restaurant out of all 52 located on the island. Not too shabby for a place that can fit maybe about 40 people – if you squeeze them together. The restaurant may have a terribly small menu, but literally everything that you order will bring tears to your eyes – in a good way.  The tastes are indescribable, and most of the creations are innovative and ingenious.

Take for example one of their starters. The cod croquettes.  Essentially, they are like a sophisticated version of fish sticks. But oh my, are they tasty.  However, there is nothing on the antipasto list that compares to their Sformentina di Melanzane.  Cake-like in appearance, the little appetizer has flavors unlike any other on the island, and beyond.

But the real showstopper, if the appetizers weren’t enough is their signature Ravioli.  Stuffed with eggplant and Provolone cheese, the pasta is then topped with tomato sauce and baby shrimp.  Oh my God.  There is nothing you can do to prevent yourself from licking the plate clean.  It is literally the best ravioli I’ve not just had in all of Italy, but probably in my whole life, anywhere in the world.

This is the reason you need to come into the restaurant – to try the ravioli.

But, don’t pass up the opportunity to have some dessert.  At the behest of the owner’s wife, who is also the cook, she insisted I try their lemon cake with almonds. Yes.  Yes, and yes. I had wanted something with chocolate that evening, but am so glad I went with the alternative.  The lemon cake here is also the best you will ever try.  I won’t say the whole world, but it’s possible.

 

With smiling staff, very, very reasonable prices and a location to die for, there is simply no reason not to come here.  Da Mariano is cozy, laid-back and in one of the most notable areas of the island.  Far from the city center (about 15-20 minutes with the local bus), you are far from the noise of the tourists.  Situated right in front of the marina, your view is serene and peaceful, but also very nautical.

Located right by one of the many flats that Gioia Apartments offers, the restaurant is conveniently located for those who want a (literal) breath of fresh air, and some fine dining at affordable prices.

So don’t hesitate.  Stop in at Da Mariano today and let them know that Lisa sent you!