Da Paolino, a culinary icon on Capri, is the go-to for anyone in need of traditional Caprese fare that will leave you salivating for more. Tucked up on a hill, off a small street near Marina Grande, this ultra-special restaurant sits under groves of centuries-old lemon trees. Here, under these trees, the De Martino family has been serving locals, international guests and celebrities alike for over 50 years.
The restaurant recently underwent a few renovations, leaving the traditional and beautiful space even more stunning. In the back of the restaurant, near the loaded wine cellar, there is a television room and new bathrooms – which is perfect for parties or events in the restaurant. In fact, the owners took a long while to complete the project as handmade tiles from the nearby Amalfi Coast were delayed.
On a recent night, I dined at the restaurant. I sat under the lemons and ordered some of my favorites. Baked mozzarella in lemon leaves, Branzino from the Mediterranean Sea, a smattering of pasta dishes and, of course, entry into the dessert room.
The food here is undeniably delicious, it just is. But the desserts, enough of them to take-up an entire room, are on another level. You can pour over homemade gelato, fresh strawberries and cream from the countryside, pies, tortes and more.
Da Paolino is a special dining experience, probably one of my favorites in the entire world. And, for those that agree, you can take the experience off dry land. For a fee, the owners will organize a beautiful day trip with the purveyor of the restaurant – a snappy gentleman in his 70s who couldn’t be any nicer.
He will take you around the island in his boat accompanied by wine, fruit, homemade caper spreads and more. It’s an afternoon to remember.
What I love about the De Martino family is how humble they are. Their food and establishment has graced the pages of many magazines and still, they are kind, generous and take nothing for granted.
For anyone on the island of Capri, you must dine and boat with this fantastic family.