In a beautiful place like Positano on the Italian Amalfi Coast where every corner provides you with a new picture postcard view, Donna Rosa is in the minority. It offers no sea views and is located far enough up the cliff away from the main town that you need to catch a taxi there, or if you want a fantastic experience, try the local bus as MTV boyfriend and I did. However, what Donna Rosa lacks in location and panoramic views it makes up for in the food department.
The team of chefs in the kitchen appears to comprise entirely a group of Italian nonnas and the wait staff are mainly family members. The staff are very welcoming and service is attentive.
MTV boyfriend and I took advantage of the balmy evening to sit out on the balcony and began our meal with an entree of parma ham and melon. The melon was fresh and provided a refreshing contrast to the salty taste of the parma ham.
As we ate I noticed that two of the other tables in the restaurant were drinking wines served from elegant decanters. I assumed that they were drinking expensive wine as the extensive wine list included a section with bottles for 300 euros. However, it was with some amusement that I watched as our modestly priced bottle of Chianti (30 euros) was wheeled to the table by the sommelier on a trolley and then tasted and decanted in an elaborate ritual. A bit over the top perhaps, but the wine was delicious for the price and complemented the pasta feast that was to follow.
MTV boyfriend and I had ordered the “fantasy pasta” for two, which may have lost something in the translation as it was not quite as exciting as it sounded and essentially meant the chef’s selection. The pasta was served on rather kitsch plates divided into three portions, but there was no doubting the taste of the pasta. I began with the fettuccine with prawns and cherry tomatoes with a hint of sauce. This was probably the highlight for me as it was so simple and summery. Then there was ravioli of spinach and cheese in a rich napoli sauce. The ravioli was light as a feather but incredibly rich and filling. Finally there was linguine with mushrooms and shaved truffles. The delicate flavour of the truffles was somewhat lost and this was really the only portion of the “fantasy” that disappointed.
Desserts were a traditional selection and we both opted for the chocolate souffle as we were still finishing our Chianti and in my mind there is no greater flavour combination than red wine and chocolate. The souffle was a textural experience: a crispy exterior, light and fluffy inside and oozing pools of rich chocolate sauce.
After the souffle we could have almost rolled down the hill back to Positano. It was one of those evenings when you should have worn something with an elasticated waist if it was not for the fact that you were in Italy and trying to not totally disgrace yourself around the super stylish Italians.
Details: Via Montepertuoso 97/99, Positano. Telephone: +39 089 811 806