After walking around in the Aragonese Castle I was dying to eat some fresh seafood, all you can smell around here is the salty sea and I assumed that the seafood must be fresh….I also noticed in Ischia that you can’t really get bad food. All of the cooks here know that this island is visited by italians, not tourists, so they can’t really fool anyone. I ate at 3-4 different places while I was here and they were all delicious and inexpensive.
Photo above of the view from our seat at Ristorante Da Ciccio’s on Via Porto in Ischia. I ate at this restaurant twice while I was here.
Photo below OF the restaurant.
First dish, Alici Marinate, in english this means marinated anchovies. These are actually fresh anchovies but they were marinated in lemon. The acid from the lemon cooks the anchovies, what you get is a slightly salty and tangy bite of fish. The whole dish is very simple, olive oil, lemon, some salt and parsley. So delicious.
Some kind of bruschetta, tomatoes also taste different here, sweeter, juicier. The crusty bread is dressed with wet tomatoes, olive oil, arugula, parmesan cheese and salt.
I finally started to appreciate the simplicity of eating bread soaked in olive oil and fresh tomato juice.
Alici Fritti, (fried anchovies). These were fresh anchovies so they weren’t salty at all. One thing I noticed about the cooking in South Italy is that they don’t fry calamari or any other seafood in a heavy batter, the batter is very light, almost like it isn’t there.
Freshly grilled squid, again only 4 components, no actual cooking besides grilling th squid… lemon, oil, salt, and parsley.
Fresh octopus salad, tomatoes, arugula, salt, oil and vinegar.
Pot of gnocchi. This was the first time I had gnocchi from italy’s southern region and it tasted different from the starchy, pillowy, slightly mushy texture of gnocchi. This gnocchi was firm, chewy and smaller. Not starchy or pillowy at all. I have to say I like this version better.
BABA! Baba is actually derived from a classic brioche bread recipe, and BABA actually came from france, it was brought to Naples by french cooks which is why its popular here. I mentioned this before but the whole thing is drenched in rum and either filled or topped with cream. Despite being drenched in alcohol it doesn’t ever get mushy.
On this stained table cloth you can see my last drink, in Italy it is common to finish off your meal with GRAPPA.
After this first try I stopped ordering it because it has way too much alcohol (35%-60% alcohol). Grappa literally means GRAPE STALK and it is made by distilling grape residue (skins seeds and stems) leftover from wine making. This was made to prevent waste from wine making season.