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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Naples, Italy: Good Food And Fair Prices, But Lukewarm Food And Undercooked Pasta Left Me Bewildered

La Taverna del Buongustaio
Via Basilio Puoti 8
80134 Naples, Italy
Centro Storico
Phone number: +39 081 5512626
Prices: €€€€

A small taverna just off Via Toledo halfway between the Dante and Toledo Metro stations, Buongustaio (translated "gourmet" in one case) does not quite live up to its name, but I was pleasantly surprised by the food and value.

At €6.50 ($7.67) for a primo (pasta) or secondo (meat dish), the prices are quite reasonable and €4 for a half liter of vino della casa (house wine) ain't bad neither (how's that for lousy English?).

The small place (10-12 tables) was packed save one table for two tucked in the corner, so we grabbed it. The service was quite friendly and efficient, my top-2 priorities, and we were quickly brought our drinks (wine and water) and a basket of fresh Neapolitan bread.
My wife's Penne alla Genovese (a dish you would probably associate with Genoa, but will rarely find outside Naples), comes in a sauce with onion, mostly onion, carrots, celery, and white wine, then simmered with beef and was very tasty. Unfortunately, the kitchen served it just a tad too "al dente" (1 Bomb deduction #1), a mistake you rarely see in any Italian restaurant or home for that matter. It was too chewy, but hot and tasty nonetheless.
My Bucatini alla Siciliana, a thick, hollow spaghetti tubes baked in a tomato sauce with eggplant, mozzarella, and pieces of meatball, was also delicious, but obviously cut straight from a pan and not nearly hot enough, call it lukewarm (1 Bomb deduction #2).

For secondi, my wife had the Provola alla Piastra, a gooey slice of smoked, grilled cheese that was also delicious but nearly cold (1 Bomb deduction #3). The highlight of the meal was my Braciola al Ragù, a nice portion of thinly sliced beef rolled around herbs and pine nuts, then smothered in marinara sauce. I was perfectly heated and seasoned, much like my nonna (grandmother) and Zia (aunt) Gina used to make ... one of my favorite dishes.
Good food and fair prices, although €36 in not a €€€€ meal, this trattoria needs to pay a little closer attention-to-detail, ensuring dishes are served at the right temperature and pasta cooked "al dente", not break the dente.
CombatCritic Gives La Taverna Buongustaio 7 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Seven Bombs Equates To:

"Shits & Grins"

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Title: Naples, Italy: Good Food And Fair Prices, But Lukewarm Entrees And Undercooked Pasta Left Me Bewildered

Key Words: La Taverna del Buongustaio, la, taverna, buongustaio, Napoli, Naples, Italy, trattoria, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, Via Toledo, pasta, review, Yelp, Zomato

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