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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Naples, Italy: Open On Christmas, But Underwhelming Food And Strange Vibe Put Me Off

Antico Trattoria da Peppino
Via Trinità degli Spagnoli, 8
80132 Naples, Italy
Plebiscito/Centro Storico
Phone number +39 081 407649
Facebook Page
Website: None
Prices: €€€€

One of very few restaurants in Naple's centro storico on Christmas Day Eve, so I cannot complain too much. I saw the lights and banners up a side street in Quartieri Spagnoli from Via Toledo, so I went to have a look. The lights were on, but the place was empty at 7:15PM, not unusual by Italian standards. A guy at the door said: "prego, prego", which means "you're welcome ... come in here and spend your money tourist".

I walked in and they sat me at a table, but the way they were looking at each other, whispering, and people (employees) putting their coats on and leaving, I had the feeling they were closing so I asked if I was still welcome. "Si, si" (yes, yes) I was told, so I waited and waited and waited while employees came and went. I did not feel very welcome and not having seen a sole in 5 minutes, got up to leave, but the cameriere (waiter/server) came back, ensuring I was welcome, so I sat back down.

The Insalata Caprese (€8) sounded good, so I told him I would start with that. A quizzical look came over his face, he turned around, went to the kitchen, and came back saying "la mozzarella e finito" (the mozzarella is finished "gone"), So I ordered the Bruschetta (€2). I am glad it was only €2 because it was one large slice of bread cut in half, grilled, brushed with garlic and topped with chopped cherry tomatoes, oregano, and EVO. Not bad, not great.

I decided to try one of my childhood favorites as my main course, Pasta e Fagioli (€10 - aka Pasta "Fazool" in my family and Neapolitan dialect), but this version had mussels, which I also like but never had in pasta fazool. The serving was massive with every type of leftover pasta in the house and cannellini beans in a broth of tomatoes and olive oil, but I could not find any mussels although I could smell them. I finally found six or seven single shelled mussels, a bit stingy based on the €10 price tag (pasta fazool is a peasant dish and usually very cheap). The flavor was OK, but bland, so I asked for some grated Parmigiano which helped immensely. I used the bread, from a bag again, to "fare la scarpetta" or "make the little shoe", a Neapolitan phrase that means that you use the bread to mop up sauce from the plate or bowl and shove it in your pie hole. 
The 1/2 liter of house wine was €5 (it was €2.50 at a trattoria down the street the night before) and the carafe was not even full, and the "coperto" (cover) was €2, bringing the total to €20.50, not a terrific bargain for what I got and what I got was not all that impressive. I did not feel very welcome here, but will give them an extra Bomb for being open on Christmas ... grazie mille!
CombatCritic Gives Antico Trattoria da Peppino 6 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Six Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "Good To Go"

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Title: Naples, Italy, Antico Trattoria da Peppino, antico, trattoria, Peppino, Trinità, Spagnoli, Naples, Italy, Centro Storico, CombatCritic, TravelValue, travel, value, restaurant, menu, review, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook

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