Foreign Travelers & Tourists alike tend to pass a visit to Salerno as it lacks the glam and infamous views as its neighboring Costal towns. Capri’s Blue Grottos, Positano’s cliff side stacked pastel buildings, Ravello’s views & Ceramics. It tends to be more of a jump off point, rather that THE destination a tourist is searching for. And yes, I mean tourist rather than traveler.
We had stayed outside the main city up the hill at a spectacular hotel and visited town during the day, and for dinner.
We can’t seem to recall where we heard of it, but Le Botte Pazza was perhaps, one of the most memorable meal experiences we have ever had.
Let’s start by mentioning that the place is open from 7:3-PM – 1AM. They have refused to cave into serving dinner before the appropriate European time. I applaud the refusal to conform.
With no reservations taken, prior to the day of dining, you must stop by and ask for a table.
Set on a side street, with little signage and typical graffiti metal ‘garage doors’ to secure the business, it is easy to wander past it, without noticing.
We found it fairly easily, easy to do when you pass by on accident 😉 We asked for a reservation, they said yeah no problem, see you then. (In Italian, obviously). They didn’t write our name down, ask for a reservation or anything. They said they’d remember us. After hearing it’s hard to get in here we were a bit nervous but went upon our way.
We came back a few hours later for our reservation, say 9PM. It was busy, but there were definitely open tables.
My husband had read great reviews online (wherever he found this place). The wine is included and dinner for 2 is 39 Euros-ish (I had to recheck this- checked Trip Advisor). The fact wine was included for the price, I was a bit skeptical, but whatever he read was so appealing, there was no way we could pass by the experience.
In my meal price check, I also noticed the place is rated #2 Restaurant in Salerno. For the record, we usually try to skip places that are rated near the top because we have found they are over rated!
The cozy, dimly lit restaurant has a quaint local feeling to it. Iron chandeliers, wooden tables and chairs, the scenery isn’t going to blow you away, but is comfortable, inviting, and relaxing.
Their main offering is family style antipasto, served coursed out.
They served us fried to perfection Cauliflower Fritters, Simple Tomato Bruschetta with the peak of the season tomatoes w/ garlic & basil, seafood aqua pazza, lemon leaf wrapped smoked mozzarella, eggplant parmesan served it its own cazuela, & bite sized meatballs in red sauce.
We were sure glad we came hungry. Everything they served was incredible. The dishes that looked, ok, tasted better than I could have ever expected. I mean, how good does tomato bruschetta look to the naked eye?
Each bite will be better than the last.
And the wine, the wine.
They have a wine list, but serve wine out of the tap at no charge. In fact, you can go refill your jug on the wall. Refills included. Your childhood excitement of free refills at the pop machine may come out and over indulge if you aren’t responsible. There’s red and then there’s white.
What brand you ask? Who knows, it’s free. I maybe saw what kind it was when they were receiving deliveries for the day, but I won’t ruin it for them.
We left full, and happy.