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“A Once in a Lifetime Experience- Creative and Exquisite Local Dishes” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890

Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890
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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$0 - US$165
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Miami
Level Contributor
324 reviews
222 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“A Once in a Lifetime Experience- Creative and Exquisite Local Dishes”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

I made reservations here after reading about it in "1000 Places to See Before You Die" since I was going to be in Sorrento, it seemed a shame not to visit. The restaurant is not actually in Sorrento, but in Saint Agata and it was a rather expensive cab ride from our hotel on the hill in Sorrento, even though it wasn't that far away. At any rate, from the moment you walk in service is immaculate (but not intrusive) and the pink wall and crystal chandeliers make for a very romantic setting. I was, however, with my son but we seemed to be surrounded by people on a romantic date or celebrating a special occasion, as it is this type of place. I ordered the tasting menu, with five courses, my son ordered an entrée and I shared all of my tasting menu with him. While I don't know if this was ok, the waiters and staff certainly didn't make me feel as if it was a problem. From what I remember, there was a traditional tasting menu and a modern one. I opted for the traditional (for 145 Euro). We ordered a bottle of wine (45 Euro) to go along with it. They first brought an amuse bouche, which may have been my favorite, with potato chips, fava beans, baby shrimp, squid and some red crunchy things- very nice blend of flavors and textures. Next up fried lobster with sweet and sour sauce (my son's favorite), followed by an egg yolk on creamy mozzarella with shaved truffles (yum), pumpkin gnocchi with truffles and a pistachio cookie, lamb with herbs, different kinds of cheeses, honey, almonds and dried fruit on a cheese plate and a variety of little desserts (nougat, meringue, cannoli, chocolate) presented with much flair on top of a plate with dry ice that was delicious. There was also a little ice cream pop covered in nuts. I ordered the lemon melody for dessert, being in Sorrento with all the lemons. It was good, lemon profiteroles with lemon mousse and spun sugar, but I was so full by that point (even though the dishes were all smallish), but not my favorite. But wait... the experience wasn't over yet. We started at 8, it was probably 10 and we were asked if we wanted to see the wine cellar (of course), so a charming lady took us over to the hotel part and showed us a film about the restaurant, it's cooking philosophy and menu while we sipped grappa. After that, we were ushered into the wine cellar, built by the Etruscans before Christ (B.C.) Amazing, but we were both tired and ready for bed by this point. Dinner with wine was $345- definitely a splurge, but an incredible experience. While it wasn't the best meal of my life, the food was very good and it will be a meal I will always remember.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Glee47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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911 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Abu Dhabi
Level Contributor
103 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Not for those strapped with cash...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2014

Wonderful experience, worth every penny. Simply delicious, innovative, organic, beautiful food. exquisite service in a delight setting. Pure Elegance. Thanks to Mrs Livia Iaccarino for your warm welcome, Mario Iaccarino for your excellent service and Ernesto Iaccarino for your beautiful food. Will Highly recommend this place!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank gattalinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
214 reviews
136 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Just sublime”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

I am just afraid I will not be able to put into words how overwhelmed we were on our first visit for lunch. The first thing that hits you is the sheer elegance of the grand buildings and the surrounding gardens. As you get nearer you see the 16 chefs working in their grand kitchen, all dressed in immaculate whites and looking amazingly understressed. We were warmly welcomed by the staff (albeit we were really early and the place was deserted) We chose to have the 'traditional' menu simply because we thought we could manage the lesser number of courses as opposed to the degustation menu. The sommelier was a sight for sore eyes. Very grand and imposing with a long black leather (yes leather) apron worn with full dinner suit - and totally charming. He recommended a suitable wine for us from the local area of Italy and it was just perfect. All this before the food arrived! Then lunch was served, too many highlights to go through them all but for me the deep fried lobster in a light tempura batter with the sweet and sour dressing was out of this world. The petit-fours served in a dish with smoking nitrogen was an eye-catcher. During the meal, at suitable intervals, the proprietor and, I assume, chef visited each table and was genuine and relaxed with everyone and no hint of his worldwide acclaim. Mario and his mother appeared separately and were equally engaging. Again I assume Mario runs the place and his mother the grand dame. We were invited to see the vast wine-cellar of 25,000 bottles contained in the Tufa rock vaults under the hotel. So impressive. I guess this will go down as one of the best meals I have had anywhere in the world and well worth every the expense - just scrimp and scrape every penny and go there - at least once in your lifetime, that's my advice.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RestingEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sorrento, Italy
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Incredible”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014

Don Alfonso is a gorgeous restaurant, with every detail attended to. The service is impeccable, the food is artistry, the wine is just incredible!

We enjoyed a leisurley dinner in the elegant main room, followed by drinks in the courtyard, and ended with a tour of the wine cellar.

Don Alfonso is a MUST for those who enjoy the finer things in life!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank KatherineMaryMurphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wexford, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
58 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“The Full Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2014 via mobile

Had the privilege of dining at Don Alfonso during a recent trip to Italy. I was skeptical because I had a hard time imaging paying north or $250 for a meal per person. This experience changed my mind. The food is very creative. The portion sizes are appropriate for the richness of the food. We were there for 4 hours all in. Amazing food and wine. A tour of the wine cellar is a must. Over 25,000 bottles in a winding, underground tunnel that predates Christ. I would have paid money just for that little part of the evening. The only aspect I was disappointed in was that the dining room doesn't look over the hillside to the Bay of Naples. A breathtaking view would have added to the experience but I guess you can't have it all.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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