Review: Torre del Saracino.

One of our contributing chefs at In Situ was chef Gennaro Esposito of two Michelin starred restaurant, Torre del Saracino.

Located in the small coastal town of Vico Equense, about 20 minutes north of Sorrento, lies this idyllic restaurant located in a 1,300 year old watchtower overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. It originally opened in 1992 and while the outdoor surroundings might be ancient, the interior of the restaurant is anything but with its modern and elegant touches.

Chef Gennaro Esposito offers three tasting menus at various price points as well as à la carte where he focuses on the terroir and seasonal ingredients bringing together the land and sea. Of course, Tommy and I had to ball out and get the longest tasting menu as we wanted the full experience. Are you surprised though?

Right Before the Sunset.

The menu started with an assortment of amuse bouches back to back. Each bite was an explosion of flavor with various textures, temperatures, and tastes.

Amuse Bouche: Peanut Gelato with Bottarga, Olive, and Pea Sauce.

Amuse Bouche: Seeded Crackers with Butter and Anchovy.

Amuse Bouche: Tomato Soup with Ricotta Cheese and Citrus.

Amuse Bouche: Bluefish with Bread and Sour Cream.

Amuse Bouche: Raw Tuna Tartare with Peach on Fried Bread.

Amuse Bouche: Tomato and Onion Tarlettes.

Grissini and Bread. 

An “Unusual” Seafood Salad (7.5-8/10).

After the amuse bouches, we had a creative cold seafood salad where a thin veil of seafood flavored gelée encompassed pieces of raw and perfectly cooked pieces of various seafood (oyster, shrimp, octopus, mussel, and cuttlefish).

Smoked Bonito with Kumquat and Goat Cheese (8/10).

The seared bonito fish was still rare in the middle and the slight smoke was a nice touch. Small dollops of sunchoke mousse with sunchoke chips, tart kumquat, and creamy goat cheese accompanied the fish.

Red Mullet “Livornese Style” (8-8.5/10).

Crispy red mullet was served with numerous sauces from a pungent seafood sauce, a light creamy tomato sauce, a Neapolitan pumpkin sauce, and a zucchini flower sauce.

Lake Fusaro Lacquered Eel (9/10).

Immaculately prepared eel was lacquered in a sticky fig molasses where the eel skin was crispy and the meat was especially tender. The creamy subtle eggplant purée complimented the intense flavored eel and the orange added brightness to the dish. Superb.

Yellow Bell Pepper Risotto (9/10).

Another delectable dish was this yellow bell pepper risotto with “cod essence” and caper powder. The risotto was perfectly cooked, creamy yet the rice was still al dente as it should be. The “cod essence” wasn’t overpowering and just gave enough of that seafood flavor. The lime zest on top added a nice pop of flavor and color.

Second Round of Grissini and Bread.

Zucchini Tortelli (8/10).

Beautiful morsels of zucchini stuffed torelli were served with a walnut pesto and wild herbs.

Grouper with Turmeric and Sea Urchin (8/10).

The sauce made from grouper, turmeric, and sea urchin was the star of this dish as it really elevated the mild fish and the vegetables.

Nocerino Spring Onion with Papacella Pepper (9/10).

I love when a vegetable dish packs so much flavor that you don’t even notice that there’s no protein. This tender spring onion, cooked under ashes, was served with papacella napolenta peppers and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. So much umami.

Laticauda Lamb Prepared Three Ways (8.5-9/10).

A wonderful end to the savory dishes was the lamb prepared multiple ways with celery root, spicy ‘nduja, peppery ginger, and sour cream.

Pre-Dessert: Coconut and Caprino Cheese (9/10).

A tasty bite before heading into the desserts which were both stellar.

Parfait of Vesuvius Apricots (9/10).

An exquisite apricot dessert with creamy gelato, macadamia nuts, honey jelly, and rosemary.

Caramel Parfait with Creamy Chocolate (9/10).

Another great dessert with gelato, chocolate, elderberry, coffee, and caramel.

Petit Fours.

With Chef Gennaro Esposito.

We both throughly enjoyed our dinner at Torre del Saracino. From the delicious yet gorgeous food to the stunning ocean views and the impeccable service, our experience from start to finish was one to remember. Therefore, my rating is an 8.5/10.

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