Da Adolfo

It was my first time to the Amalfi Coast, let alone Italy.  Kate, Marcia, and I spent countless hours planning this trip and boy, did that work pay off. An absolute must do excursion is a beach day at Da Adolfo, a quaint little club restaurant on an exclusive and yet unpretentious slice of Laurito Beach. Getting a reservation here is something of a herculean feat, so be prepared to put some back into it. They only take reservations in person or by phone… and they never pick up the phone.  I had to plead with our Rome hotel’s concierge to make arrangements for us, which took non-stop efforts for 2 days before we got in.  Grazie Valeria!!!

We arrived in Positano in the late afternoon after a scenic three hour car ride from Rome. We spent the better part of the day on the main public beach.  The beach was marked by breathtaking views, small pebbles that made walking around barefoot absolutely hopeless, and lively American college students drunk off of the culture (or maybe the Prosecco?).

While the public beaches were nice enough, I had my eyes set on a specific private slab in Laurito.  The next morning on our first full day on the Amalfi Coast, we headed down toward the wharf by Spiaggia Grande.

You get to Da Adolfo by way of their private boat.  Once you spot that wonderful red fish, you know you’re in business. The ride is maybe 10 minutes and provides for some pretty incredible views of Positano from the water.

It’s definitely nothing fancy when you approach, but there is something kind of magical about that little beach shack.  We totally lucked out that we just missed peak season in Positano, coming in at the very end of September. We found out from some of the more frequent patrons that the club gets ridiculously overcrowded earlier in the summer.

The beach is low key and has just the right touch of vintage charm. It’s still covered by those pesky little rocks, which after a little too much nerve ending damage, I learned my lesson and wore my sandals the rest of the trip.  If you’re lucky, you can dig through the rubble and find some rainbow colored sea glass or pieces of local ceramic.

The kitchen is impossibly small, carved into the large rocks of Laurito. The menu is updated daily on a small chalk board just under the kitchen. I was overly excited and ordered pretty much everything. The waitstaff, a string of handsome men all loosely related to the owner, sprint down the stone steps, armed with small savory plates.

At either noon or 2, you’re ushered to your table.  At the suggestion of the owner’s son, we ordered a jug of chilled house white wine with fresh peach slices.  Such a refreshing way to start the meal.

Highlights of the menu included the carpaccio di tonno, fresh thick slices of tuna marinated in bright and clean vinaigrette. We also ordered a tartare version which had delicious little morsels of onion and tomato. I couldn’t resist getting a plate of spaghetti con vongole to set the bar for all future spaghetti con vongole to come.  As I expected, it was out of this world delicious.  The grilled polpo was a nice surprise.  I loved that the chef decidedly kept it in its whole form rather than slices.

The most simple and delicious dishes that I hope to replicate at home were the grilled mozzarella on fresh lemon leaves and the melone e prosciutto. I have a feeling it’ll be tough to replicate, but if I close my eyes and imagine hard enough that there are peaceful waves crashing around me, I may come close.

Da Adolfo represents the ultimate casual beach eating.  We loved it so much that we made a reservation for our last day in Positano.

The best part, of course, was the beach all set for your afternoon cat nap.

Da Adolfo
Via Laurito, 40,
Positano, Italy
Reservations required: +39 089 875022

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