When one thinks about Neapolitan food, primarily is the traditional stuff that springs to mind: spaghetti, pizza, sfogliatelle and the likes. Nothing wrong with that, and for those like me who emigrated a couple of decades ago, going back home means also eating our classic dishes. Yet on a recent visit, my family took me to a restaurant called Veritas where chef Gianluca D’Agostino uses traditional ingredients with creativity and modern techniques, and I loved it so much I decided it’s worth a blog post.
Located in central Napoli, on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, close to a couple of nice hotels, Veritas is a small, welcoming place with some interesting cityscape inspired ceramic pieces (loved the Vesuvius cones) and a few tables that make the ambiance calm and elegant.
The menu changes often, and ingredients mix local terroir with exotic influences in some of the dishes. The amuse bouche was a marriage of two classics: ricotta and cream of anchovies, with a shaving of seasonal truffle. A great opener.
|Courgette leaves consomme|
My starter was so delicate, light and bursting with fresh flavours: zuppetta di talli e frutti di mare al lime e peperoncino, pretty much courgette leaves with seafood in lime and chili pepper. TroppoBuono had recommended it and she was absolutely right; she opted instead for Mantecato di baccalà con ristretto di polpo e lenticchie di Ventotene, salt cod in braised octopus on Ventotene lentils, striking and equally good.
|Baccala’ and octopus|
After the starters, the chef sent us all a taste of one of their pasta dishes, which looked beautifully green: Linguine with clams and roquette.
It was my turn to try cod: for main I chose salt cod with chard and pinenuts on chickpeas puree, another very balanced and delicate dish created using local produce from the sea and from the land.
|Cod on chickpeas puree|
A lot of the desserts read ‘tradition’. For example, us youngsters at the table did not know what ‘migliaccio’ was: an old fashion cake made with semolina and ricotta. Veritas uses its original recipe with modern tecniques and marries to sour cherries and custard. I chose one of the best desserts I have had in recent years: Pera sciroppata ripiena di ricotta al pepe rosa, briciole di amaretti, ricotta filled poached pears with pink peppercorns. I have read on the web that allegedly Veritas has re-invented the wheel and this dessert is a copy of more famous versions. Frankly, I do not care. I have not tried any other version myself and this was absolutely divine and worth a meal here on its own. The pear holds a soft, creamy ricotta centre, which is not too sweet and which is then incredibly well complemented by the light and aromatic poaching liquid which has pink peppercorns all over, yet is balanced to such level, it’s just perfect.
Veritas wine list is well put together and extensive, with a lot of Campania and southern italian labels, plus there is wide choice of artisan beer.
Service was great, friendly and professional. I loved our evening at Veritas, and will make sure I return on my next visit to my beautiful home town.
Sustainable: most produce is locally sourced, yet fish is heavily used. I did not ask how it is caught as in Italy this is still often an obscure subject.