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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Alvor, Algarve, Portugal: Mama Mia, That's A Spicy, Delicious Ragu!

Pizzeria & Trattoria Napoli
EM531 1 5a 8500-013 Alvor Portugal
Phone: 937 696 093
Prices: €€€€
Real Neapolitans, making delicious Italian food in a comfortable setting, what more can you ask for?
They open at 11:00 for lunch, but, when I arrived, there was someone inside, but the door was locked, so I called to double check on their hours. Gianluca, the owner, answered the phone and apologized profusely for being late because he had to take his mother to the hospital, a very valid reason.
My wife is Sicilian, but grew up in Napoli, where I was assigned to the NATO HQ and where we met, so Gianluca and I had much to talk about. They were ready to serve me by 11:30 and Gianluca personally explained the menu and took my order.
Starting with a l'insalata Caprese (€6), it was tastefully presented with six thick slices of tomato topped with fresh mozzarella, dried, not fresh, basil and a stylish drizzle of balsamic vinegar on the side. It was very good, but fresh basil leaves would have been more traditional and the small amount of vinegar mixed with the EVO was not only untraditional, but unnecessary.

I know that restaurants have to cater to mostly British tastes, especially in Alvor and other tourist areas, so I will not ding them for the faux paus. I also noticed that they prepare their spaghetti carbonara with cream, a big no-no in Italia, but you find the same thing in the UK, so no biggie.
For my main, the Cotoletta alla Caprese (€12) looked intriguing, but I did not expect another room-temperature caprese salad on top of the veal cutlet, I thought the tomatoes would be crushed and cooked with melted fresh mozzarella on top. Much to my surprise, it was delicious and a fresh choice on a warm May day. The cutlet normally comes with fries and salad, but I asked if I could have a side of spaghetti with ragu sauce and Gianluca was happy to oblige. The side of pasta was very generous and the sauce was absolutely delicious, one of the best I have ever had with a smidgen of peperoncino, giving it a nice bite with every bite ... YUMMY!
The total came to €22, including the basket of bread and a large bottle of cold, bubbly San Pellegrino water, maybe a tad high for lunch, considering you can get a three-course lunch in a Portuguese cantina for €8 - €10, but I have to assume that the menu is used for both lunch and dinner.
I have to say that it was one of the best, fairly authentic Italian meals I have had in Portugal and we will not hesitate to make the hour drive from Olhão to return very soon ... Mama Mia!

CombatCritic Gives Ristorante & Pizzeria Napoli A Stellar 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!



Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

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Title: Alvor, Algarve, Portugal: Mama Mia, That's A Spicy, Delicious Ragu!

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