Two years ago I read about a hidden restaurant called Da Adolfo along the Amalfi Coast accessible only by boat. I planned my entire next trip to Italy around dining here. Fate had other ideas for me that trip, as storm after storm rolled in making travel by boat impossible.
I would not be deterred. The following year, after hours of calling to try and make a reservation and countless weather checks, I made my way to this foodie mecca. I felt like Christmas morning as I was helped onto the boat and I could not stop smiling until I was belly up to the bar with menu in hand.
For those on a quick trip to the Amalfi Coast with a to-do list as long as your arm, this is not the place for you. Travelers willing to sacrifice an entire afternoon enjoying the dolce far niente (sweetness of doing nothing) by soaking up the atmosphere in sun chairs while listening to the masters prepare the food, this should be a priority.
Tips for reserving a table at Da Adolfo
The hardest part about getting here is getting someone to answer the phone and take your reservation. Don’t even try to email them, your message will be deleted. I try to call weeks ahead around 11 am Italian time and even then I strike out more than I get lucky. If you are staying in the area, I recommend begging your accommodation to help out. Ask for a sunning chair with your lunch reservation to ensure you have a place to lounge. Chairs can be purchased on arrival but fill fast.
How to get to Da Adolfo
Once you’ve secured a reservation, the rest is easy. The restaurant is about 10 minutes away by their private boat. This distinctive boat can’t be missed, just look for the bright red fish with their name on the mast. The boat picks up patrons on the only dock in Positano, a concrete slab on the north side of the beach. I witnessed people panic and try to push their way to the front of the makeshift line, worried they wouldn’t make it. Let them push if they must, the boats will be back in moments as they shuttle people back and forth non-stop.
What to order at Da Adolfo
The biggest question is what not to order.
I started the meal with a bucket of fresh mussels and mozzarella grilled in lemon leaves.
Fish is a must, and I went with my waiter’s recommendation and then watched in awe as he masterfully prepared the fish at our table.
For me, no meal on the coast is complete without grilled octopus and Da Adolfo served up the best I’ve ever had.
We washed the meal down with local wine and started commiserating the next visit.
Services at Da Adolfo
The restaurant is in an isolated cove, so you will need to bring your own neccesities like sunscreen, towels and bathing suits. I recommend a good book as well. The restaurant has a shower, rustic restrooms and all the food and drink you can handle.
Location and contact information for Da Adolfo
The restaurant is along the Amalfi Coast in a hidden cove, just south of Positano. Access is 100% weather dependent.
Website: Da Adolfo
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