A sui generis restaurant, from the kitchen to the location.
Salvatore and Gennaro Aprea, with their work, collaborate to guarantee high quality standards and a wide choice to the customers of the Ristorante da Tonino.
In this second appointment to discover the Ristorante da Tonino, we delve a little more into the cuisine of chef Salvatore Aprea. Salvatore began to collaborate in the family restaurant from an early age and, after graduating in hospitality, accumulated a series of experiences throughout Italy with the aim of improving his skills, to be able to return to the origins and use the acquired knowledge in the family business.
Last time we talked about your cooking style, which blends tradition and modernity. Now we ask you: is there a recipe you feel more attached to?
“Yes, more than one. First of all, the tortello stuffed with cheese and pepper with mussel and lime sauce, a dish that I have never removed from the menu, and which today I believe has become the most representative of the restaurant. Another fixed dish on the menu is rabbit stuffed with aubergines and scamorza cheese; also in this case I combine the rabbit, an ingredient that is part of the island tradition, with Campania ingredients such as aubergines and scamorza, and then I add a curry sauce, an ingredient definitely outside our culinary schemes, but the combination of which creates that “short circuit” of flavors that I want to return.
The fixed presence of these two dishes on the menu is not accidental: I believe it is necessary to offer the customer a sort of “comfort zone” that puts him at ease and, at the same time, offer him novelties that allow him to experiment with new tastes and flavors”.
Let’s talk about the location of the restaurant da Tonino. What are its characteristics and what do you think are its strengths?
“Even our location comes out a little out of the usual island canons: it is not a purely seafaring place, being in a hilly area, on the contrary it is almost closer to the appearance of a mountain hut.
Inside, the capacity is approximately 45 seats; obviously, to ensure the spacing as per legislation, last year it was halved, and this year we still don’t know if and when it will be able to reopen inside. But outside we have two splendid terraces which, together, they reach a capacity of 45/50 seats, which unfortunately drop by about 40% in the covid period. However, even in normal times, we try, in order not to disadvantage the quality, not to occupy all the seats, so as to concentrate on a few customers to offer him an impeccable service”.
An innovative and interesting project collateral to the restaurant’s activity is that of your cellar.
Would you like to tell us?
“Ours is one of the largest wineries on the island in terms of number of labels, today it has around 2300, and has the peculiarity of being dug directly into the rock. It contemplates everything: from great vintages, with bottles from the 80s and even older ones, up to wines from small regional niche producers, from Campania but also from the rest of Italy. There are then distillates such as grappa, whiskey and rum; in short, there is a lot of research behind it, thanks above all to my brother Gennaro. It is the flagship of the restaurant, indeed, we could say that the kitchen and the cellar go hand in hand: in both projects we try to offer a high quality standard and, at the same time, a great variety of proposals. If the restaurant ranges from land cuisine to fish and vegetarian cuisine, in the cellar there is always the right wine to match”.