Ristorante da Paolino | When Paolino Gives You Lemons

Ristorante da Paolino

Location: Via Palazzo a Mare, 3/4, 80076 Marina Grande NA, Italy | Capri

Ristorante da Paolino on the island of Capri is known for being a picturesque, romantic spot featuring fine dining in a grove of lemon trees and the occasional celebrity sighting. You bet it was on my bucket list I shared with my husband as we headed South from a whirlwind three days in Naples to see what the coast had to offer.

Nothing makes me feel more like a jet-setting celebrity than being on the Amalfi Coast in the summer. The sweet scent of citrus invades my nostrils and I always pack my favorite swimsuit: a bright yellow bikini I ordered from For Love and Lemons.

We booked a charming sailboat tour through our Sorrento hotel, Belair, for a day and night of sightseeing on Capri.  We sailed around for a bit and then visited the Blue Grotto, where we took an inviting and refreshing dip. Then we went skyward, taking a chairlift to to the top of Mount Solaro. We cooled off indoors with a visit of the Villa San Michele, a feat of 19th century architecture. Then a late afternoon nap on the boat was obviously in order.

Feeling reinvigorated, we dressed for the evening and started with a walk around Capri’s piazzetta before heading to our 8PM reservation at Da Paolino. The location is breathtaking. No photo prepares you for the experience of being seated beneath lemon trees, the fruit hanging overhead, the scent enveloping you. It was a moment for us to simply exist with our senses. We started the evening with Limoncello Spritz cocktails, because when life hands you lemons: make limoncello! We ordered deep-fried zucchini fritters and an octopus salad. The starters were delicious and inspired us to check out the extensive wine list to accompany this gastronomical feast. We chose a Pallagrello Bianco from the Campania region to keep things light and lemon-themed.

For our main courses, I had the lemon pasta I spent most of the afternoon reading about in reviews. My husband ordered the grilled seabass with a side of grilled vegetables. This is the kind of meal that somehow makes you feel lighter even as it fulfills your appetite. The quality of the ingredients is so high you feel like you could eat forever.

Well, almost forever. You see, at the end of the meal the staff introduces you to a buffet of exquisite homemade sweets. In a perfect world, I would have tasted every single one, but this is when I realized I was full. I tried the chocolate mousse, while my husband stayed on theme with a lemon meringue. Tutto squisito!