Naples – Porto – Piazza Bovio

Piazza Bovio is at one end of Corso Umberto, the long shopping street that leads out of Piazza Garibaldi. The new Universita metro station is here, and the university area is just a short distance away to the north and the waterfront to the south. Technically it’s in the district known as Porto. Google map here.

There’s a famous restaurant, mentioned in several guides, on one of the side streets off the square:

Ristorante Europeo di Mattozzi (Intermediate B-), 4/10 Via Marchese Campodisola (the road running south off Piazza Bovio).

I’ve been here a couple of times, the second experience was better than the first. It has a well-dressed clientele used to paying prices towards the top end of the medium range. For example, Matozzi charges about €4 more for the same bottle of wine you could get at Mimi (see Piazza Garibaldi post) which is a similar formal place.

In 2011 I felt my starter of Mozzarella with Parma ham was great but overpriced (A-).

Parma and mozzarella

I was pretty unimpressed with the Spaghetti Vongole I got (C) and my friend’s Zuppe di Cozze was fine but nothing special (B).

Vongole

I thought the waiters are quite snooty and the only smile we got was when we were handing over our money.

I came back in 2015 when other places I’d wanted to go to nearby were shut. This time I sat in the back room which is a bit more intimate and my waiter was more friendly than on the previous occasion.

Intrigued by the name I had a slab of tasty Pizza Rustica to start (B). It’s basically a warm cheese pie (pizza) in this case made with mozzarella, ricotta and ham. There are many variations as you can see in these example recipes here and here.

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For my pasta course I had Pacchieri di Gragnano alla Pescatore which was very al dente (B+). Gragnano is the nearby Campanian town where the best pasta is made.

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For my main I had Polpette (meatballs) with a tomato ragu which was great (A) but very heavy.

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To drink, a favoured 2014 Greco di Tufo from Benito Ferrara (B+) and a homemade Limoncello to finish (B+).

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So a much better experience this time but I would still go elsewhere in the future if I had a choice.

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