I am very lucky that I moved from the UK to the Amalfi Coast and so consider myself as a local – it can be difficult to choose where to go as most places along the Salerno Gulf are very good. L’Antica Cartiera Restaurant at the 4 star Mamorata Hotel, however stands out for many reasons. Firstly the scenery is beautiful. The non assuming and almost hidden hotel from the road side houses a fantastic restaurant which opens up on a beautiful terrace where you have breathtaking views all around you. Uninterrupted sea views, straight ahead, rugged buildings clinging to the right dotted by flowers and to the left mountains leading to Salerno. The restaurant sits on top of the hotel’s swimming pool, which is above the beach bar and steps into crystal clear water below. It is tranquil, peaceful and simply stunning. The restaurant and terrace itself is traditional, dark wood offset my blue and white linen and the waiters are dressed in formal attire and complements the professional, attentive service – the perfect balance of reserved etiquette with warmth and genuine kindness. This can be difficult to find, but Mamorata hits the nail well and truly on the head and one is relaxed and assured as soon as the order is placed, and in actual fact from the moment you step foot from the boat – its lovely to have a shower in the very well equipped changing rooms when you’ve been on the sea the whole morning. Finally that brings me on to the cuisine – I’ve gone to this place 3 times now and each time the food is amazingly tasty. Highlights are the mixed seafood zupetta – the octopus is morbidly soft, as are the chunks of salmon, yet the fried anchovies and mini fish cake add a contrasting crunch and the pesto, balances the dish perfectly and brings the whole thing together. The aubergine croquettes are heavenly with rich, thick creamy fresh local ricotta. The pasta is equally delicious we’ve had the ravioli and gnocchi – but we always come back to the astice linguine, which is perfectly cooked and just sheer indulgence with the deep, strong sauce making an impact but not overpowering the astice (similar to lobster). I’m quite fussy with my zuppe di pesce or any kind of seafood dish – my boyfiend has mastered the art of cooking with these ingredients that are on our doorstep, the key is fresh as you can and take off the heat as soon as it’s only just cooked. Marmorata without question uses the very best and very freshest of ingredients and the chef knows exactly what he is doing so it’s a real treat to have perfectly sautéed clams, muscles, prawns, squid either in just a little white wine or with a sumptuous tomato sauce. Any fish for your main here will be a sensible choice – whether the stuffed squid (my personal favourite) or a grilled whole seabass – the choice is yours but I can’t account for the meat nor the desserts– we have never ordered a meat dish or a pudding so I can’t comment. However I would be confident to say that they will be every bit as satisfying as the fish. With Ravello just on the back of the hotel and the mountains minutes away I can imagine everything being simply super.
Then we come on to the price… as this hotel is on the way to Minori, it is definitely more economical than beach restaurants around Amalfi, Positano and Capri. If you look at the prices then they do not appear particularly cheap, however when you balance it with the quality and quantity of the food then I would say it is exceptional value. Marmorata might be a little more difficult to get to, but in my opinion it is worth the effort – I wouldn’t hesitate to say it is in my top 3 places to eat on the Amalfi Coast – and that is a huge compliment considering the exceptional high standard of food that is in abundance. Bravo Marmorata… Bravo!!
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