Last week I went to Osteria Donna Teresa in Vomero, a neighborhood where all too often posh eateries build there reputations on the wealth of their patrons rather than the substance of their cuisine. In contrast, this 8-table osteria is in the business of serving quick, simple, seasonal meals to a loyal clientele.
When I got to Donna Teresa, it was 1pm, still early for lunch in Naples. I headed back into the kitchen to inspect the daily specials. Meatballs were frying in deep, black pans filled with oil, sauce was simmering on the back burner, and gatteau di patate (potato cake) was just being removed from the oven. I checked out the contorni (vegetable side dishes) displayed in a glass case near the stove: fried peppers, sweet and sour zucchini, sauteed carrots, caponata, and more. Everything looked amazing so I asked for a sampling of veggies to go with my gatteau and meatballs.
As I took my seat, local businessmen entered in pairs and groups, filling the remaining tables, loosening their ties and shouting out their orders in the Neapolitan dialect. I sipped a glass of house wine and savored my simple delectable meal as the lunch rush scene unfolded.
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