Eating the Amalfi coast- beautiful Positano ! Cake for breakfast, Limoncello…. ( oh and colourful italian cocks ) ;)

Beautiful Postano…clinging on for dear life to the Amalfi coast.

Now this is one of those posts I should have written ages ago, but time just slips me by sometimes & the moments lost. We have been to the Amalfi coast in Italy 3 times now & have fallen in love with this part of the world, especially Positano…which looks like it is clinging for dear life to the mountain sides over looking the sea. It’s fairly small as are most of the towns along this winding rocky coast, but it is packed full of the most amazing restaurants, cafes & bakeries. & is pretty famous for LEMONS ! yes big fat ones, used in the regions most famous dessert, the torta caprese al limone,  a very basic lemon and almond cake.

And you can’t forget what this region is also famous for, LIMONCELLO..a lemon alcoholic beverage with the kick of an Italian stallion, mainly served at the end of a gorgeous Italian Lunch or dinner.

Now there are very fat lemons…huge in fact, these have little flavour though & are used as decoration or the rind is crystallised & dipped in chocolate. The smaller lemons are the ones used for cooking and flavour, & grow everywhere you look.

Fat ones small ones, some as big as yer head…Amalfi coast lemons.

Now myself & my Partner Terry went back to Positano on May 2012 for our third time along this marvelous coast, & I was determined to write about the marvelous food on offer & our favourite restaurants, so here goes.

We stayed this time in Hotel Poseidon where we have stayed before, just so we could be in familiar surroundings, dump our cases and head to the terrace with the pool, the staff, who like most people in this town, are very friendly and the hotel is just stunning inside.

As part of the vast breakfast buffet at the Poseidon…theres a nice selection of cakes …wonderful ! 🙂

I love the breakfast buffet here…especially the tarts and cakes, cakes for breakfast…thats the ticket !

Our first stop was our favourite restaurant, Da Vincenzo, which is family run, we have been 4 times now & have had the most amazing food, the son has a vast knowledge of local wines and can always recommend the best to suit your meal (and who is also easy on the eye ;)).

The mother greets everyone, and when we were there once, she found out I was a pastry chef from London, & bought me out a dessert to try she was working on, which of course was delicious.

Da Vincenzo…homely with stunning food, built right into the Positano rocks.

Da Vincenzo lemon cheesecake..it didn’t last long on that plate I can tell you.

Like most restaurants around this region it serves mainly fish, The fish pasta are mouth-watering ( this restaurant is recommended by Rick Stein ) And at the end of your dinner or lunch, mama will come up to your table with a huge tray of desserts to choose from, its hard not to pick them all. But I held back this time & and just had a simple but beautiful Lemon cheese cake, made with ricotta I think.

Positano is filled with many shops selling art, crafts & linen clothing ( with slightly scary mannequins) & ceramics galore..I was partial to the colourful cockerels…yes you can’t beat a proud italian cock (cymbal crash) 🙂

One of the many cockerels on show in the colourful ceramic shops 🙂

One of the tempting patisserie windows…Its hard to resist.

Limoncello..nectar of the gods.

There are also many Limoncello shops, this is powerful stuff, and the colourful pretty shops selling this explosive citrus drink belie the true potency of this local delicacy..we love it after a lunch by the beach.

Don’t you just want to dive into this slab of nougat

There are a lot of coffee shops selling luxurious pattisserie, giant Cannolli’s  filled with chocolate and cream, bricks of nougat, and dizzy array of tarts and. tortas

One of our favourite places to visit is La Zagara, a nice restaurant where you sit outside under vines, & like most places in this region has been around since the 1950’s. It’s famous for its desserts, cakes and pastries, served with a nice cold beer or smooth Italian coffee, or a cheeky shot of Limoncello, ( yes I’m obsessed I know) Some evenings they have music, we went one year and got very drunk with some American ladies, & ended up dancing with everyone. For those who fancy something savoury there is a nice selection of pizza, small individual or by the slice.

Our chosen cake from La Zagara – biscotto all’ amerena.

We settled for “Biscotti all’ amerena”  which looked like a “strudel” version of a bakewell, moist chocolate almond filling wrapped in pastry and iced with fondant, marvelous :).

Now Positano goes right up into the heights of the rocky hills…where the clouds settle sometimes, (which is an amazing sight on a cloudy day).

And high up are three restaurants that are highly rated…but unlike most of positano they are not so fine dining but good old rustic italian food, believe me the steaks are huge…more meat then I can handle I can tell you 😉

We have been to all three now, and they are all different, but good value and you will not leave with your belt done up. The fact they are so high up above the town means as well as having the most amazing views, they also provide transport that will take you from your hotel to each restaurant, either by cab, mini bus or in one case a member of the family that owns one of the restaurants, which is a nice touch I feel.

On our last night we went to the last of the three restaurants we had to visit up there, La Tagliata. We went with new-found friends. So all six of us went there, Gloria, a fab lady we made friends with who was local and knew the staff, reserved our table. We were told there was no menu and that they bought out courses they chose to cook that day, we were a little concerned that it wouldn’t be enough, but boy oh boy we were given a banquet, washed down with the house red which was just perfect, and ending with a big plate of cakes and desserts to pick at..and being a cake-shaker, my favourite bit 🙂

One of the selection of many plates that seemed to come out of the kitchen in a continuous stream from La Tagliato’s busy kitchens.

And of course…the selection of cakes from La Tagliato wasnt a disappointment I’m pleased to say

And was it all finished off with Limoncello ?? No ! but a new delight our new friend Celine introduced to us..an apple version…and wow..we had so many, I don’t know how we made our flight the next day.

Well that’s my three-year long overdue post about our favourite place, with its friendly people and, fine food and wine and tempting cakes, there are many more restaurants, cakes and other delights I can mention, but that will have to wait for another post…sorry about going on a bit, but this category isn’t called ” the ramblings of the cake shaker”  for nothing :).

© The cake-shaker

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