Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A day at the beach

I've decided that all I really need in life is a swim in the Mediterranean, a lounge chair, a view of the Li Galli islands where the mythical Sirens are said to have lived, and a bowl of zuppa di cozze (mussel soup). Is that too much to ask?

Fortunately, I found all those things here, at Da Adolfo. If this isn't proof that there's a God, or at least a higher power with a finely honed taste for the good life, then I don't know what is. Da Adolfo is a find, if you can find it. It's tucked into the rocks on the shore of Positano, Italy, and you reach it by boat, which has a charming, red fish "logo" that promises an afternoon of bathing in the Mediterranean and then dinner.

The boat - likely captained by a sweaty guy in a dirty white t-shirt named Ricardo - takes you to a small inlet, where you disembark on a small pier. The beach is waiting for you, along with some lounge chairs, and a canopied platform. Welcome to Da Adolfo.

The menu is written on a chalkboard. Of course.

The signature dish is fresh mozzarella grilled on a lemon leaf, and there's also a squid and potato stew, salt and pepper shrimp (which were caught 50 yards away) and lots of pasta, one in particular with zucchini and cherry tomatoes that may seem awfully mundane except for the fact that vegetables that grow around Mt. Vesuvius reap the benefits of the volcanic soil and taste other worldly.

And then there's the beach. After your meal, you take a beach chair, along with a carafe of the local white wine garnished with chunks of fresh peaches grown in the Vesuvius soil, and become Sophia Loren (or Marcello Mastroianni) for a day. And what could be wrong with that?

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