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
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