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July 17, 2018 | Rome, Italy
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Il Grill

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Via Domiziana km. 35
Castel Volturno, IT-CE 81030 Italy
081.509.5150

Hidden between a forest of umbrella pines and the sea, this resort restaurant just north of Naples on the Domitian Riviera is an oasis away from chaos. Popular with Europeans (mostly Italian, British, and French during my visit), Americans come, too, for the golf course, tennis courts, and the lovely pool. Even when days are hot, evening dining outside is pleasant. The raw shrimp tails on a fruit salad of melon, pineapple, and kiwi had a kick from peppercorns (€18). Pescatrice (frog fish) with pumpkin gnocchi stayed light cooked in a fish broth.

If you don’t see what you want on the menu, ask: you don’t have to feel sheepish if a spaghetti Bolognese is really what you crave. The cool white 2006 Alois Pallagrello wine was fine with its hint of minerals and crisp finish. The champagnes (€65-180) and Italian sparkling wines (€35) were tempting. Watermelon was the perfect finish for this diner, but the dessert cart offers many temptations. A daily economical menu (€25) offers primo, secondo, and dessert. Here isolation is a plus: the funky Domiziana Road strip just to the north on one side looks like a Nigerian shantytown, but the opposite side is lined with some of the earth’s best mozzarella shops. Come here for lunch, then stock up on the “white gold” on the miracle-mile of mozzarella less than a kilometer to the north. Or come for dinner, relax and play all weekend in the compound.

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