For our first dinner in Naples, Italy we had originally planned on dining at another highly rated restaurant. However, we did not make reservations ahead of time, and so we were turned away. Disappointed and hungry, we walked back towards our hotel and along the way saw another modern restaurant called Il Bacco del Gusto, and luckily were able to get a table there.
The decor was contemporary and the menu seemed to match. There was a shelf of wines behind us that seemed promising. We decided upon a white wine from Campania, a 2013 Petilia, Fiano di Avellino. It was a dry, easy to drink, blind choice and a reasonable price at around 15 Euros.
As an amuse bouche, we were presented with fried eggplant fritters. They were pretty tasty and would make a great bar snack.
For appetizers, we shared the Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp served with a herbal citrus puree. The bacon was a lightly cooked, but the shrimp was excellent. I would have preferred a larger portion.
We also shared the Fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms. Stuffed with ricotta cheese and served with an eggplant puree - these bites were decadent and great with our wine. We would soon learn that eggplant and zucchini are practically on every menu in Naples and other parts of the Italy. I'm not sure if it was a seasonal or regional thing, but luckily I am a huge fan of both vegetables so didn't mind eating either repeatedly.
For my main dish, I ordered the Squid Ink Gnocchi tossed in a simple cherry tomato sauce and topped with arugula. Even though the dough can be a bit heavy, this rendition was very summery and light. The flavor was a it bland and could have used some salt.
Keith ordered Handmade Pasta with Squid and Eggplant. It, too, was tossed in a simple cherry tomato sauce but was topped with lots of salty cheese. His dish had a bit more depth in flavor from the seafood.
All in all, we had a decent first dinner in Naples. However, being such a touristic city, I highly recommend you research and make reservations ahead of time so you are not left scrambling or settling for eating something sub par. Not that this dinner was bad - believe me we could have had a lot worse - but it was not great, either. And, having traveled so far, I wanted to ensure we ate much higher quality foods for the rest of our trip.
Total Rating: 3.58
Food: 3, Price: 5, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 4.5