E' Curti is the kind of trattoria I dream about, in the region of Campania, outside Naples, on the slopes of Vesuvius. Its name is dialect for "short guys"--two Lilliputian midgets, retired circus impresarios, who opened this trattoria in 1924. Their niece Angela had to stand on a stool to help out in the kitchen She's still there, preparing home-style traditional food with super local ingredients. Her daughter Sonia and husband Carmine take care of the dining room. The potato croquettes are worth a voyage. "Garbage-pail" pasta with nuts, tomatoes, olives, raisins, chunky soups like bean and mushroom or the wintery minestra maritata, milk-fed local lamb are favorites... Don't even try to resist Angela's ricotta tart. The wine list includes lots of local gems.
Angela's son Enzo makes the world's greatest nucillo walnut liqueur. He knows everything about Campania's walnuts, takes the local microclimates into consideration, making cru nucillo from Positano, Capri, Ischia and Vesuvius. His nucillo and chocolate ganache-filled, chocolate coated ingots are my idea of a perfect treat.
Visitors to E' Curti should plan to see the extensive, incredible Madonna dell'Arco ex-voto collection (earliest from 16th century) in the sanctuary and the museum. The Museo degli Ex-Voto is located at Via Romani 1, Madonna dell'Arco in Sant'Anastasia. Tel: 081 -899-9281.
E' Curti, via Padre Michele Abete 6, 80048, Sant'Anastasia Napoli tel. 081-897-2821.
-April 2009 link to the article published in The Atlantic Magazine