Planning a trip to the beautiful Amalfi Coast? If you’re planning on passing through this breathtaking coast during your next trip to Italy, the Ristorante Marina Grande (located at Viale della Regione, 4, as soon as you cross the Amalfi proper border) should be a must-stop place to add to your itinerary. This place has the most spectacular seafood in the area. There is no need to just take my word for it though; boasting recognition from important entities such as The New York Times, The Lonely Planet, and the Michelin Guide. Also frequently having celebrities as patrons, Marina Grande’s product speaks for itself as the best seafood in Amalfi.
Run by the Esposito family who have kept it going for 3 generations, Marina Grande was founded in 1918 as a seaside bar by Nicola Esposito and then moved to its current location in 1935. By the late 50s, it had evolved into a gourmet restaurant. It overlooks the picturesque waters of the coast in the historical center of Amalfi. It’s ran by Arturo Esposito and his wife Melina. They have since passed down the restauranteur culture to their sons Gianpaolo, Enzo, and Nicola. The new generation continues to achieve excellence with every meal served, dedicating their life’s work to constantly providing a top quality product.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Gianpaolo (one of the Esposito brothers currently running things) and ask him some questions about how the menu is decided. He told me that the menu is changed seasonally. Marina Grande’s closed for about 4 months during the Winter. However every Spring, Summer, and Fall, certain menu items rotate based on the ingredients and the fishes available. This varies depending on whatever season it is. All ingredients are strictly from Italy and when possible, they only use local products from the Amalfi region.
He went on to explain that all their dishes are a fusion of traditional Italian cuisine and the desire to create constantly evolving, contemporary interpretations of this food. The aim of each dish is to not only be contemporary, but also aesthetically pleasing. They respect the tradition of the Amalfi cuisine, a cuisine based on “mari e monti”. This means that it’s a mix of both land and sea. In short, each dish is a work of art that’s satisfying to the mouth and eyes.
What to Order
While you can’t go wrong no matter what you order, for a wonderfully tasty introduction to your main course, from their seasonal Spring menu, be sure to try the “Polpo in Tre” appetizer, a sensational dish of octopus prepared 3 ways: grilled, carpaccio, and tempura and for your “primo” or main course, I highly recommend their classic year round dish, “Linguine allo Scoglio,” which is linguine pasta with calamari, squid, jumbo prawns, scampi, a variety of shellfish and cherry tomatoes: spectacular! Though the majority of the menu’s geared around seafood, the menu caters to all tastes. There’s also dishes for those who are not so keen on fish such as “Spaghetti Gentile IGP ai 3 Pomodori”. It contains San Marzano tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, caciotta cheese, and basil pesto. All in all, a dish that is absolutely fantastic!
Their dedication to providing the best local food they can offer, and they print it as a philosophy on every menu. They promise to create delicacies in a sustainable way. They respect the earth and Mother Nature, while melding it together with their “…passion to create healthy, savory meals, using the freshest ingredients gathered at peak season from their favorite local producers… Their focus is flavor, freshness, and taste.” In my opinion, they definitely hit this mark. If you find yourself on the beautiful Amalfi Coast, stop by and taste for yourself. Happy eating!
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