24 Aug,2017 By Jagabond
The Amalfi Coast sirens were singing, and I was finally listening. My lack of coastal excursions this summer is primarily for three reasons: 1) I don’t like crowds; 2) I’ve already experienced San Diego beaches and the ones in Europe are never as good; and 3) The Amalfi coastal drive is said to be frighteningly dangerous.
For primarily the third reason I settled on Ravello, which instead of being on the coast merely overlooks it. You can thus take an alternate route to get there, and avoid the narrow and winding coastal road.
The first words that came to mind while walking through town were posh and fancy. Ravello may not have many distinguished sights, but instead predominates with upscale shopping and restaurants. I settled on dinner reservations at two highly rated establishments, Rossellini’s and Confalone. For dramatic flair I decided to compare them on a variety of attributes – atmosphere, views, wine, first course, second course, and dessert.
When you get to this level of restaurant, you’re basically comparing beautiful to gorgeous. Finding anything to identify a clear winner can be difficult. In this case, I preferred Rossellini’s. Confalone was a restaurant you take a first date if you really want to impress them, whereas Rossellini’s is where you propose to your long-time girlfriend. The romantic dim light blended well with the seductive playing of the guitarist duo.
To finish it off, Rossellini’s had an adjoined lounge bar with an extensive drink menu and live piano music. Perfect for a relaxing, post-dinner experience. Is there anything classier than the song from ‘Casablanca’?
This ended in a draw, because I couldn’t choose. Both restaurants boast an amazing table-side view of the Amalfi coast. You tell me, which is better?
Rossellini’s had a much longer wine list, and a sommelier present to go over options with you. He helped me select a truly memorable white wine, the Fiano by Di Prisco. It was such an upscale feeling…I almost felt like I belonged! Rossellini’s wins this round.
Where Rossellini’s underwhelmed with their caprese salad, Confalone blew my mind with these amazing raviolis filled with shrimp, mozzarella and beets. The presentation was also outstanding, with the pasta nicely arranged and garnished with an eyeballing shrimp.
Confalone wins again. Rossellini’s seemed to go too risky with their food. I ordered a small cod fillet topped with mozzarella foam, which was only average. I compared this with the cod at Confalone, served slightly breaded with peppers and olives. The latter tasted better and was less pretentious.
This also ended in a draw. I’m not a dessert person, so it takes a lot to convince me. Rossellini’s nearly won based on presentation alone, but the dessert at Confalone was compliments of the house, which balanced the scales.
Bottom line: The competition ended in a tie. Looking at the categories more deeply, I would highly recommend both restaurants for different reasons. For the best culinary experience choose Confalone, but if you want romance and a movie-like atmosphere, go with Rossellini’s. Prices at both restaurants are on the high side, but Rossellini’s is definitely the more expensive of the two.
How to get there: You could take the dangerous coastal road but why bother? Ravello is easily accessible via the back way heading towards Nocera Inferiore.