Don Alfonso 1890-from Italy to US
The tiny hillside town of Sant’Agata dui Due Golfi in Italy, which sits overlooking Salerno and Naples’ bays, hides a big secret: a legendary Michelin-starred restaurant Don Alfonso 1890 known for its menus of elevated and yet authentic regional cuisine. Using ingredients from the restaurant’s own nearby organic farm and orchards, the allure is more than the food-the owners make you feel like you are a family. Welcoming Iaccarinos—husband-and-wife Alfonso and Livia, who founded the restaurant in 1973, and sons Ernesto (the executive chef) and Mario (the restaurateur) will give you the pleasure of enjoying the food as well as feeling at home.
About 25 years ago, the family opened a consulting arm and has since launched permanent and pop-up restaurants in such spots as New Zealand, Morocco, Canada, and Macau.
Although the US was never a destination they reached for, on March 21, Don Alfonso introduces its first US outpost—Casa Don Alfonso—in the recently-opened Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.
The design of a 140-seat restaurant will welcome you to enjoy the option of sitting in the main dining room or in a relaxed lounge, or if you prefer, at a counter surrounding the open-kitchen and wood-burning pizza oven. Colorful hand-painted tiles by Italian ceramicist Giovanni de Maio line the kitchen, while Mediterranean-inspired paintings by Italian artist Anna Russo—a friend of the Iaccarinos—are hung throughout, along with photos of the family back home. The light purple accents and cascading glass wisteria chandelier, meanwhile, are nods to the lavender fields of Sant’Agata.
“We are making the classics in a simple and healthier way, which goes back to the roots of the Mediterranean diet,” Iaccarino explains. “I can say the menu is similar to what the Don Alfonso 1890 menu looked like for its first 15 years—all these simple things that are part of our tradition, and a preservation of our history. But at the same time,” he adds, “I am totally convinced that traditional food is also the food of the future. I really think it’s what the world will be expecting to enjoy when sitting at the table for the next 50 years.”
The original recipes and tasteful meals are not the only things to enjoy in the new outpost- the Iaccarinos wish is their hospitality to be imported in the US. And we are sure that you will feel at home.
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