I was on assignment for a travel magazine in Naples in October with a photographer. When I said to her tonight let’s have dinner at Osteria Pisano, it was recommended to me by a Neapolitan friend, she asked “is the osteria operated by someone from Pisa?” Not quite; the Pisano family opened the doors to Antica Osteria Pisano in 1947. Situated in the historical center, bordering the neighborhood of Forcella, the Osteria is frequented by students, professionals and tourists. Simple wooden tables covered with indigo paper tablecloths fill the restaurant and the walls are decorated with photos, paintings and prints of Neapolitan personalities like Eduardo De Filippo, Totò, and Massimo Troisi. Casareccia Neapolitan fare (traditional home style food) is made and served with care. Gennaro welcomed us with a warm smile. He is a true gentiluomo. Gennaro’s mom, Signora Anna, sits at the table next to the kitchen with a red cassa cash register placed firmly in front of her. She has worked at the Osteria for 70 years. Gennaro’s sister Titina is in the kitchen. We immediately felt at home. We peeked into the kitchen and the display case brimming with mozzarella, eggplant, and seafood. We wanted to try everything. We left it to Gennaro to select our antipasti. Amongst our favorites were pillowy meatballs braised in sugo, eggplant parmesan, friarelli (like broccoli rabe) octopus salad, escarole sautéed with olives and raisins, battered fried artichokes, and pasta with peas and pancetta. All was served with a greco di tufo white wine from the region and pane cafone, traditional crusty bread that we used to sop up all leftover sauces. For dessert we devoured an airy whipped cream filled babà (an iconic Neapolitan yeast-levened cake usually soaked in a simple rum syrup). We ended the meal with an amaro made by by Gennaro’s aunt using various herbs. Happy and full, we strolled back to our B&B. The hospitality of the Pisano family and flavors brought me home to my grandmother’s kitchen. We enjoyed it so much that we ate here three times during our stay. When you visit tell Gennaro that Gina sent you. Enjoy!
Antica Osteria Pisano
Piazzetta Crocelle ai Mannesi 1 (at the corner of Via Duomo)
Tel.: +39 081 5548325