I had always wondered about this tiny restaurant along the marina in Amalfi each time I had passed. Now, thanks to guest writer Laura Thayer, at Ciao Amalfi, I know it’s definitely worthy of more than a passing glance.
Amalfi’s pretty harbor is lined with many fine restaurants, but the one that I return to again and again is the Ristorante Lo Smeraldino. It’s located on the water next to the Molo Foraneo, the large pier that defines the western edge of Amalfi’s port. Just beyond the restaurant, simple fishing boats—their hulls coated with brightly colored paint year after year—bob up and down next to luxurious private yachts. Somehow, Amalfi has maintained a delicate balance between it’s two different sides – a traditional seaside village and a world famous resort. Lo Smeraldino’s elegant décor and delicious home cooking strike that very same balance.
While the restaurant has ample seating indoors, the outdoor terrace is the place to be. The restaurant is set just far enough away from the center of town to provide a gorgeous view over the harbor looking back toward Amalfi. Even with this magical setting, you’ll find mostly locals in this part of town in the evenings. Just outside Lo Smeraldino is an area popular with families, their voices and laughter filling the air with a happy sounds. The walk along the port to and from Lo Smeraldino after dinner is the classic Amalfitan passeggiata.
Lo Smeraldino serves a range of local specialties, with an emphasis on seafood. It’s often hard for me to decide between the Spaghetti con Vongole (clams) or the Linguine con Scampi (prawns), two of my favorites that they do very well. You might be tempted by their decadent local specialty Penne al Limone that has the delicate flavors of the Amalfi Coast’s famous lemons in a rich, creamy sauce. Lo Smeraldino is also one of the most popular spots in town for pizza. And you sure can’t beat the view!
Laura Thayer is an art historian and freelance writer living on the Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy. She writes about travel for MNUI travel insurance and blogs about life on the Amalfi Coast at her own site Ciao Amalfi.