Sorrento 2013 – the restaurants

A set of hints and tips based on our holiday in Sorrento in June 2013, what we liked a lot and what we liked less

Here’s a quick critique of restaurants we visited:

Da Filippo

Via San Renato, 29. Tel: 081.8073796.
Phone (or get hotel to phone) for a free shuttle to/from the restaurant.

seafood starter20130619_194048Superb seafood, meat, pizzas and (surprisingly for Italy IMO) desserts.  These moules and prawns are starters. but could have made a couple of decent lunchtime meals.

The plate of fish and chips Sorrento style were fresh, tasty and a well cooked dish.  And fun to eat if you like dissecting fish – which I do. Mrs RichardElliottBlog had lamb for her main course which was a generous portion of really nice barbecued meat, and a side of parmigiana – slices of aubergine layered with cheese and tomato sauce then baked. And you can see the raw meat and fish in the display fridges before they get cooked if you want to check it out.
Our desserts (all homemade, we were assured) were a selection of ice cream and a fruit tart with wild strawberries, raspberries, creme anglais and cream all in a nice crisp pastry.

Da Filippo was recommended by our hotel receptionist – it’s where she goes for special occasions, and from what we could tell there were a lot of other locals there too.  80€ for three really nice courses, drinks and coffee.

Syrenuse bar ristorante

Via Sant’ Antonio 1. Tel: 081.08075582
Overlooking Piazza Tasso
Swordfish pasta
Best Spaghetti Carbonara of the holiday and a nice Spaghetti with swordfish. 2 pasta dishes, drinks and coffee  ~40€

Ristorante Aurora Light

Piazza Tasso, 10/11. Tel. 081 8772631
Had a nice lunch here.
Aubergine Parmigiana for Mrs RichardElliottBlog and Spaghetti con vongole for me.

And Illy coffee in stunning cups designed by Tobias Rehberger.

Cup by Tobias Rehberger

Cup by Tobias Rehberger

Ristorante L’Abate

Piazza S. Antonino, 24. Tel: 081.8072304

The 200 steps to harbour start near here.  Wander down the alley to the right of this restaurant and the steps will become apparent
Nice lunchtime spot and not too busy.  Decent food (should be as it’s also a cookery school) we had pasta and pizza both of which were good.

Ristorante Bar 2000

Via S. Cesareo, 70.  Opposite the Società Operaia
Old town.  Live music.  Nice food and atmosphere.  Good for a leisurely evening meal whilst watching the world go by.

Pizzeria da Franco

pizza franco
Corso Italia 265. Eat in or take out (like this one).

A double size pizza for two

A double size pizza for two

Wooden benches and open pizza kitchen at the back. Great pizzas, clean, friendly, no-frills service. Keeping it calm, keeping it casual.  Recommended by the taxi driver that brought us from Naples airport. Cash only

Bar Kontatto Aerregi

Corso Italia.  Pictures of food on the menus should have warned us to be careful.  We had a reasonable lasagne with excellent chips and mayo one night, but when we went for a chip-fix another night the service was so slow that we went elsewhere.

Navigating by the livery of buses

A few years ago, if you were dropped into a random location in the UK, as long as you were on a on a bus route you could pretty much work out where you were just by the colours of the buses passing by.  This wouldn’t be as easy these days with buses carrying all-over advertisements, or corporate liveries such as the First bus “Barbie” pink and violet – which you can find everywhere from Aberdeen to Penzance.

When I was a youngster in the mid-20th century we used to have family trips to visit my grandparents in the Midlands.  Of course, this was before the M1 was built (it reached Leeds in 1968, for those who were wondering) so we would travel down through the industrial West Riding on the A61, or further west through Halifax, Huddersfield and the Peak District before picking up a series of B-roads south of Derby.

I lived in Rawdon, near Leeds at the time, and the buses I knew were either blue (Samuel Ledgard) or red (West Yorkshire).  Travelling down to the Midlands, however, was a different matter.  The first change in colours was when the Leeds City Transport dark green livery started appearing from Horsforth onwards and, sometimes, a Farsley Omnibus Daimler, with its red and yellow bodywork.  If we were travelling through the towns we would then start to see the lighter green and cream livery of “West Riding” buses as we got south of Leeds.  When I caught sight of the elegant cream and dark blue I knew that Sheffield was getting close, and when I was straining to look at the twisted spire in Chesterfield, there was often a mid-green and cream Chesterfield bus nearby.

The other route south was more colourful.  Mid-blue buses meant Bradford – and of course the added interest of trolleybuses and the spiders web of overhead wires at the roundabouts.  Then the dramatic green, orange and cream livery of Halifax appeared – a particular favourite of mine.  I remember being surprised to find out later that Glasgow Corporation had copied this colour scheme – or was it the other way round?  Onwards through Huddersfield meant that the colours were now red and cream, with the curved design of the paintwork meaning the front of the buses were nearly all in cream.  No buses in the Peak District, or the minor roads we took after this, but it was easy to spot when we were nearing our destination, of course.  Midlands?  Midland Red.

You can verbalise any noun. (But it doesn’t always happen)

The evolution of words is an intriguing study, and the mutation of nouns into verbs is a constant participant in that process. I guess it’s a form of shorthand: I’m going to [send a] text [to] my friend. [Use the] Hoover [to clean] the floor. Will you [send a] fax [of] that document to me?
But what determines which nouns become verbs? (ans: I don’t know). I don’t oven my meal, although I may microwave it. I may bicycle to work, but I never car there. If I want my likeness created someone could paint me, or photograph me but I’d never be pencilled or crayoned.
And what will be the next nouns to submit to this verbification? I’ll report back when I spot them entering the dictionary.