What a wonderful city to visit. I have avoided Naples for years after hearing how dirty and dangerous it was and how difficult the Neapolitans can be. That was my mistake. Other than one cab driver who tried to charge me 10 euro for 5 minute ride from via Partenope to Da Dora (I told him 'bullshit," handed him a 5 and got out - case closed) there was no hustling I would not get on the streets of any other big, bustling city in Europe, the States or Asia.
And the food - wonderful.
We got to:
Il Commandante (Salvatore Bianco's Romeo Hotel gem).
All the meals were excellent and, now that I look at the list, it appears we (accidentally) managed to eat in an ascending order of excellence. Naples is the last place in Italy I would have expected to "go fancy" and hit up a Michelin starred establishment but we were staying at the Romeo and the seafood tasting menu proved irresistible. And it was. Such a delightful and elegant meal to cap off the trip. There were many fine dishes I doubt it will be the same from any one night to the next. The spaghetti with eel and a Buffalo Mozzarella "yogurt" sauce (I cant remember what that sauce was served with, perhaps a crudo) were the highlights of a meal filled with them. If you are up for a Naples splurge - GO!
Da Dora was no surprise. Excellent Linguine alla pescatore and superb grilled fish.
Mattozi Europeo was more of a surprise. Not much on chowhound about it but someone at Serious Eats wrote about it glowingly, so we went and found perfect place for a lunchtime meal - warm and friendly with exceptionally fine and simple, well made food. The people-watching at lunch was just amazing. Pizza looked great but we didn't try it.
There was one more meal at a trattoria near the hotel who name escapes me that served a great simple lunch of pizza Margherita DOC, ensalada nizardo (my terminology for an Italian Niciose, not theirs) and fritto misto.
Also the Romeo Hotel may have the finest gym in Europe - someone spent a ton of time and money putting it together. The rooms were OK, the views marred by the port and ships, but the price for 5 stars was quite good.
A great visit.
Grazzie to the many previous posters on Napoli eats who helped me.
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