Eating Light in Italy

You know you’re in trouble when you start feeling full a few days in to your trip in Italy. While it doesn’t have to be the case (there are other options), your time in this beautiful country usually consists of carbs on carbs on carbs.

Trying to have a lighter meal before my birthday dinner, we were recommended Aurora Light. HA. Birthed from the Terminiello family, this restaurant is part of three owned by the family. For over a hundred years, they have also run the kitchen of the historic Ristorante ‘ O Canonico 1898 and Pizzeria Aurora in the same Piazza Tasso!

My dad kept to eating light with an insalata de barbabietole, arance e finocchi salad — a beet, fennel and orange salad.

My mom and my form of eating lighter was only having one main course, a plate of pasta versus the 3 to 4 course meals we had had until that point.

The pesto was very light, fresh and delicious. It made us feel like we were ‘eating less’. If only we knew what was to occur later that evening at Terrazza.

Grand Hotel La Favorita

If someone were to ask me which of the cities I enjoyed most while in Italy, I would have to put Sorrento at the top of my list. Nestled on the southwestern coast of the country, we were right on the water. Naples and Mount Vesuvius was at our backyard.

Walking into Grand Hotel La Favorita, we were engulfed with the powerful but beautiful smell of jasmine plants. Surrounded by these flowers were trees upon trees of lemons we became part of a lush Mediterranean garden. The lemon is very pervasive in the southern part of Italy. Another thing one would see everywhere was the limoncello in every storefront of the town center.

As we arrived to our rooms, each floor had a different tile scheme. Ours was beautiful hues of blue and yellow with birds being the focal point.

My favorite part of the hotel, aside from the beautiful views, was the buffet breakfast. It was the only place to have a dedicated man doing eggs, anything from scrambled to omelets.

I also wouldn’t leave without a drink on the rooftop or light reading by the pool. It is absolutely breathtaking.

TAKE ME BACK.

Terrazza Bosquet

This past year, I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday in Sorrento. It was particularly special because unlike the past few years, I was able to celebrate with my parents this time around.

We dined at Michelin Star restaurant Terrazza Bosquet within the Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. It is an exquisite hotel in the center of town. Built in 1835, everything ornamental embodied the classical period. Down a staircase, one walked out to a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Naples. Cotton candy hues hugging Mount Vesuvius set the scene for the Michelin star restaurant.

Table was set classically, white against white with a rose equidistant from the plates. Beautiful presentation commenced from the moment they left the condiments for the bread. Butters which could have passed for bon bons where placed alongside a small porcelain jug of olive oil.

As an amuse-bouche, we were presented with a striking lobster carpaccio with chicken skin, edible greens and dusted with coffee.

Being on the coast, I took advantage of ordering some fresh fish. To begin, I had the tuna fish with San Marzano tomato mouse, capers mayonnaise and olives tapenade. The combination of the tuna with the mouse, mayonnaise and roasted tomato was exquisite.

My father had the smoked bream with a salty cinnamon brioche and yoghurt sauce and dill. This dish was so unique. I had had many other types of smoked meat but never fish.

More in the mood for a soup, my mother got a chicken consommé based dish. Upon arriving she was in shock as there was no liquid. I knew what was to occur but she had no idea. Before a freak out occurred, the server poured the consommé over the asparagus and ricotta dumplings.

Risotto, a favorite dish of my mothers, was a hard dish to pass on for her main course.

I could not decide between a monkfish or lamb dish. My dad had the same dilemma so we shared the two.

Monkfish roulade with mediterranean herbs with shelfish and tomato confit.

Tender lamb filet in breadcrumbs with fragrant fresh lavender served with baby vegetables and star anise.

Life would not be complete without dessert, particularly one one’s birthday. The dessert which intrigued me was the chocolate passion. I ordered it but little did I know what I had in store for me. I ordered the Chocolate Passion, a chocolate tartlet creamy with sechuan pepper, cinammon ganache and chocolate icecream alongside tonka bean sponge cake.

Once dessert was over, chef sent out a few pastries for us ranging from coffee truffles to mini fruit tartlets. 

The bill towards the end was taking a while and I soon found out that they had ALSO made me a tiramisu birthday cake. I was so full but there is always room for something sweet.

If this dinner was a testament of the year to come, I cannot wait.

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