FAMILY TRAVEL – VIAGGI
A Delicious Night in Naples, Italy
As we gear up for the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, I can’t help but think of the seafood I ate at ‘A Figlia d’o Marenaro in Naples, Italy. The shellfish could not have been more perfect. And my son’s pizza Margherita was one of the best I’ve had in Naples. While the food was sublime, the flashing cameras and line down the block was the most memorable part of the evening.
‘A Figlia d’o Marenaro Uses Social Media to Its Advantage
With 154,000 followers on Facebook, ‘A Figlia d’o Marenaro restaurant knows how to maximize its social media presence. In fact, its use of video is more than admirable. The restaurant’s name means “daughter of the fisherman.” Indeed, the face of the restaurant is a blond woman who presumably is a daughter of a fisherman. Whether that’s real or not, she plays the role perfectly. Her quintessentially Neapolitan dialect and accent only enhance the branding of the place.
Her presence in the videos that you can find on the site has made her somewhat of a celebrity. In one, she and others go fishing before dawn to get the ingredients that will appear on the dinner menu that same night. By the end of the introduction, they broke into Neapolitan song.
When we walked outside after our dinner at Marenaro, the “figlia” was taking photos with guests as they were coming in. She stood for a photo with us, too. My native Italian friends fawn over her and the photo quickly became a treasured souvenir.
Old-Fashioned Home Cooking
Still, the best part of the meal had to be the food. As promised on the website, the dishes are influenced by the home cooking of yesteryear. But they include modern twists. Even the simplest menu items were beautifully presented and a delight for the taste buds. For example, I ordered grilled calamari salad. The calamari was grilled to perfection. It melted in your mouth. A light dressing of olive oil and lemon left a refreshing taste in your mouth.
Mountain of Shellfish
This type of “shellfish soup” is typical of what you’ll find in and around Naples, Italy. What made this remarkable were the fresh ingredients, savory sauce, and crunchy taralle. Usually, restaurants serve this with grilled Italian bread. The idea is to have a toasted bread to soak in the sauce. Using taralle, a typical Neapolitan snack, was novel and welcome.
A Sweet Ending
This giant profiterole was the dessert for the table. The four of us dug into it with verve. And we were not disappointed. Now, I’m not a huge chocolate dessert fan. But I will make an exception for this one. It was a yummy ending to both our delightful meal in Naples but also my annual trip to Italy. Certainly, this meal perfectly fit into my dolce vita.
Di Meglio is the author of Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press, 2012). She also has written the Our Paesani column for ItaliansRus.com since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10.