Where to Go Next: Naples
Da Pellone The best Neapolitan pizzerias are often devoid of decor, with menus limited to a handful of pizzas and fried starters, like the traditional crispy potato crocché; (croquettes) that are eaten while the pie is being prepared. The De Luca brothers’ shop is one of those classics, off the tourist track and frequented by local government officials. Besides the exceptional pies like Margherita and marinara (topped with wild oregano), Da Pellone’s specialities include the crisp-crusted pizza fritta, a large calzone stuffed with ricotta and ham and deep-fried. Via Nazionale 93; 011-39-081-553-8614.
L'Ebbrezza di Noè At night, this wood-paneled wine bar and restaurant is packed with chic Neapolitans who dig into handmade salumi and satisfying dishes like gnocchi with melted buffalo mozzarella. But what’s truly astounding is the wine selection. The Di Leva brothers, who own L'Ebbrezza, spent six years researching Italy’s best bottles, focusing on Campania’s rare grape varieties, such as Pallagrello Nero. Vico Vetriera 9; 011-39-081-400-104.
Palazzo Petrucci The most exciting new restaurant in Naples, opened just six months ago, also has an amazing location in one of the city’s favorite piazzas. The dining spaces range from the large vaulted dining room in the former stables to the gallery, where you can watch the cooks. Chef Lino Scarallo works well with simple Campanian ingredients: chickpea soup garnished with green friarielli peppers and anchovy oil, and tubular paccheri pasta, stuffed with delicate ricotta, Neapolitan ragù and grated pecorino. Piazza San Domenico Maggiore 4; 011-39-081-552-4068.
La Locanda di Bu In 2004, chef Antonio Pisaniello and his sommelier wife, Jenny Auriemma, opened this 25-seater in Nusco, a beautifully restored medieval village an hour from Naples. Pisaniello’s cucina povera pastas are remarkable: maccheronara, made from just flour and water, is served with a zucchini or cherry tomato sauce. He also applies his light touch to local meats, serving baby pork with regional Annurca apples and vanilla-scented oil. Vicolo dello Spagnuolo 1, Nusco; 011-39-082-764-619.
Palazzo Torre del Saracino Gennaro Esposito is one of Italy’s most talented chefs, especially when it comes to cooking the Mediterranean seafood—octopus, Sorrento anchovies—that local fishermen bring to his kitchen door. Meals here invariably start with crudo, often seasoned with little more than olive oil and salt, before proceeding to cooked dishes, like a delicate lasagnette made with shrimp and squid. The restaurant is about an hour from Naples by car if there isn’t too much traffic. Via Torretta 9, Marina d’ Equa, Vico Equense; 011-39-081-802-8555.