22 July 2014

The quest for the best!

What is travel without the food. To me the number one thing that I look forward to when travelling is the food. Last trip to Italy was a huge food galore to us. The boys were looking forward to some homemade fresh pasta, fresh cheeses and the best quality of olive oil. One of the twins had ravioli most of his meals and the other went on a gnocchi rampage throughout the vacation. Captain, a coffee lover, was rating his every coffee as either 'a poetry', 'easily forgettable' or 'pass me the pasta' (coffee that was almost like water). I on the other hand went on a quest to look for the best saute clams or mussels throughout the trip! I am salivating just thinking about all of them! If any of you are not sure what I am talking about, take a scroll below and you will see.  Mind you the presentation of the food might not be of Michelin starred but the quality and the taste of the food was divine! 

The dish above was the first I tried on the trip.  It was in a beach side restaurant in Ostia, Rome called Salus. It was good, one of the best I've tasted throughout the trip and  what better when you can enjoy it with a view like below. What spoiled my whole experience was that I was freezing! The ocean breeze was a bit too chilly and we were not equipped with proper clothing. Talk about bad planning...

View from our table in Salus, Ostia

This one above was from lunch at a restaurant called Tre Abruzzi in Fiuggi. The balcony table we had was gorgeous and breezy, not too cold, not too warm and the food was good too. The mussels were great but I would prefer it with slightly thinner sauce. This dish didn't come close to the top of my tried list because of that and because the grumpy 'old timer' waiter that just put me off. He was grumpy even after the generous tip we gave him!  I guess some people are happy being grumpy..

This one above was from a restaurant in Sant' Agata called Villa Caprile. Despite the great setting of the restaurant and fabulous view, this dish failed to shine. A little too dry and the portion was horribly small for a hungry tourist like me ;) Besides that, overall the restaurant was good. The chef came up with a little medley of appetizers, on the house for us and the owner was friendly too! 

This little restaurant above in Massa Lubrense called Nastro D' Oro had a gorgeous view of Capri Island. It was raining earlier in the evening we had dinner there and sunset view on the slightly cloudy day was breathtaking.  The dish of saute mussels was good too, so good that I told Captain that I didn't mind coming back again for another portion the next day! Service was excellent and our waiter Francesco was charming and not grumpy at all!

Capri Island in the distance

An elegant setting at rooftop restaurant  of Hotel Forum in Rome. The mussels from the 30 euro per person buffet failed to impressed me :(

So, which dish of sautee mussels/clams topped the list? From the most humble little restaurant in the deep mountain of Lazio to the elegant Hotel Forum in the middle of Rome, the best dish had to be from one quiet restaurant at the foot of Vesuvius called La Roccia Al Vesuvio.  We stopped there by chance, as we thought it would be a great idea to have lunch and fuel ourselves before we tracked up the volcano. The dish of mix mussels and clam was heavenly! So good that I forgot to take a picture of it. Yes, I went digging in immediately! The portion was right, the gravy was enough and was mopped with the crunchy bread by the boys in minutes! When the bill arrived we were shocked! 4 dishes of pasta, my sautee clams and a salad dish with mozzarella di bufala plus drinks came up to slightly more than 40 Euro when we spent on average per meal around 80 Euro elsewhere. On top of that the service was fantastic, even the kitchen staff came out to see if we were fine. What else could we ask to top that? 

La Roccia Al Vesuvio

Now, a month after the vacation, I am craving for some sautee mussels. I am planning to re-create the dish sometimes next week and if you are interested to try it out, come back soon as I will share the recipe here on the blog! Until then, have a great week and enjoy the summer!

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  1. oooooh!!! FOOOD GLORIOUS FOOD! i was thinking of exploring and getting lost because I am such a frugal traveller, but one day with the right budget, I will travel just for food. I love mussels and clams, this just made this pregnant woman very hungry! Loved this post Mrs C! :)

  2. I love mussels. Seeing this post is really making me hungry and craving for some mussels! Food is something that I look forward to as well when on vacation. It adds to the entire experience.

  3. amazing xoxo


    This week's (Oh So Floral) ootd is up on my blog ,
    come & drop me some love sweetie ,,


    P.S. Follow me on insta & i will instantly follow back @nanyslife

  4. Looks sooo yummy!! I love mussels too~! :)
    xo, Jane

  5. Beautiful place! I have to admit, I've never tried mussels but I guess I should! ;)

  6. Yes, totally agree - food is the best part about traveling! I love mussels.. and all seafood really :)

  7. I love eating local food when I travel too. All those mussels and the view looks great!


  8. [stopping over via #TravelTuesday]
    I've never tried mussels, lucky that you found the perfect ones! When we travel we usually do it on a budget so we ate a lot of pizza and pasta while in Italy! :)

  9. Love this. Need to get advice from you when I am ready to travel to Italy.

  10. Seafood charms me every time! Love the wonderful views you had and I can really believe that Italy would be the best for a foodie like yourself!

  11. ñaaaam!! im hungry now hahaha

    Un Rincón Para Mis Botas blog

  12. Goodness! I am drooling by just looking at these photos!

  13. I hope you didn't encounter too many "pass the pastas" type coffees. I'd expect "poetry" from Italy since coffee is Italian isn't it? And food presentation throughout Europe isn't as fanatical as it is where I live but it's almost always incredibly delicious so I'm never too bothered. I love finding those unpretentious restaurants where you eat really well and incredibly cheaply. This post is making me miss Europe now. And it's awesome food.

    Thanks for sharing lovely,

  14. Mrs C, I'm dying over the mussels!! So delish! I'm looking forward to my Europe trip soon too. You're right, trips are meant for indulging in good food!

    xo Jo


  15. I love reading about your clams/mussels quest! Seeing the photos, now I'm craving for my mother's simple clams version. Sorry to hear about some of the grumpy service experience you had. If they're not happy with their job even after a generous tip, they shouldn't be in the service industry.

  16. Looks so good... I'm getting hungry looking at your perfect pictures. A great idea to compare similar dishes in various restaurants.

  17. I have been furiously taking notes through this post. Thank you again for the brilliant advice!

  18. che cozze buone!!
    Nonna Laura

  19. tramonti indimenticabili ||||||||||

  20. Great photos. Italy is the place to be for good food. As far as I know, but I am very European orientated.
    That little beard looks very good on your husband. (Is he Italian?).

    1. Yes Greetje, my husband is an Italian :)

    2. Isn't it a pity he cannot fly an Italian airline......It is hot enough in Italie.

  21. Couldn't agree more. When it comes to travel, the local cuisine means everything (that's why Tokyo is one of my favorite cities). Don't dare to visit Italy as I'll most likely gain 1000kgs:)

    1. Haha! Maybe you can just go on a wine trip ;)

  22. Mrs. C. your food and travel posts are awesome. I do miss seeing what you are wearing though. The mussels and salad from this post look yummy and it's lunch-time here.

    Hope all is well. <3 Ada.

  23. Yummy! This looks so fun. I'm always jealous of your adventures :)

  24. Looks like you had some beautiful meals! I'm so jealous... I miss Italy! :)


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