Tucked away on a quaint cobblestone street just off La Piazzetta in Capri’s center lies a family-owned restaurant, La Capannina, which has been pleasing diner’s palates with fresh and seasonal Italian cuisine since 1931. Antonio De Angelis, the current owner, inherited the restaurant from his father and has fond memories of helping the family run the business since he was just out of grade school. La Capannina has earned a stellar reputation on the island amongst locals and visitors as a place to sit, soak-in the ambiance of white and pink hues amplified by candlelight and enjoy a fantastic meal.
The restaurant staff members work like a family together, because many of them are. They welcome you into their space with open arms and help you find your seat. The low ceilings and walls filled with racks of Italian wines make the space cozy. The pink napkins and white tablecloths are the perfect backdrop to well-presented food, which streams out from the kitchen effortlessly.
I was in the mood for a true Italian dinner seeing that it was my first night on the island. I didn’t want “international cuisine”, but dishes that were representative of the southern Italian region. To start, my server brought me a small piece of friend mozzarella, which was enhanced with a homemade tomato sauce. My appetizer was out next, a simple but incredible salad constructed with fresh buffalo mozzarella and the sweetest tomatoes. Drizzled with olive oil, you could easily call it a little plate of heaven. Next was a pasta dish, a special of the evening. Small ravioli stuffed with a local cheese and covered lightly with a tomato sauce – instantly melted in my mouth. I could have eaten a truckload. My main course was absolutely indicative of the island, a fresh sea bass roasted lightly with olive oil and herbs – delicious. When I was visiting, the island was experiencing the end of their wild strawberry season. I ordered, for dessert, the wild strawberries. I’ve never experienced strawberries anywhere else that were as sweet and flavorful as these. Each tiny berry held such flavor that I was literally rendered speechless.
Throughout my dinner at La Capannina I was looked after very well. The owner and several servers came by often to talk, refill my red wine glass and regale me of stories from seasons past. I really did feel a part of their inner circle, if only for the two hours I was there. In fact, I spoke with a couple dining at the table next to mine and they shared that they had been on the island four days and returned to La Capannina twice because they were so impressed with the food and service. After my meal, I understood their sentiments.
As a visitor to Capri you must know that most businesses operate seasonally. La Capannina is in high demand so it’s important to make your reservation in advance, especially during the peak summer months. The owners also have a beautiful store just opposite the restaurant filled with local wines, limoncello, candy and other treats from the island. Between the excellent food and service, I promise La Capannina will soon become one of your favorites on the island paradise of Capri.