Spirited service and a taste of Old Southern Italy

 

By Cheryl Mandell

 

Stepping into Limoncello is like stepping back in time to the beautiful seaside Italian village of Positano. Adorning every wall in the main dining area are hand-painted Italian street scenes straight out of the mid-20th century. And don’t forget to look up – the beautiful, cheerful lemon chandelier was purchased in Positano and shipped to the restaurant.

Owners Cosimo and Ashleigh Picci bring their love of the Amalfi coast into everything they do at Limoncello – from the fresh seafood to the nightly local live music to the jovial staff that treats you like the neighbor next door.

Thanks to mild temperatures and the beautiful landscape, the small village of Positano has been a holiday resort since the time of the Roman Empire. Lemon, orange and olive groves grow prominently across the picturesque cliffside town.

 “I was super lucky to be born in Positano,” said Picci. “In the off season, there are only 4,000 people. But it is probably one of the most visited cities in Italy after Rome and Venice.”

Picci has been in the restaurant business nearly his entire life. His vibrant and charming personality makes him a natural in his profession.

“My family has been in the hospitality business all over the coast, in Positano and Sorrento,” said Picci, who himself managed a small bed and breakfast in Positano at the age of 23.

Picci left the hills and seaside of southern Italy to start a new chapter of his life in America with his wife Ashleigh, whom he met in Positano while she was traveling.

 Picci was the former general manager of Burn by Rocky Patel in Naples for five years before purchasing Limoncello from the original Italian owners in February 2022. Along with Chef Matteo Hanaman, who was born and raised in Calabria to a family of restaurateurs, Picci and Hanaman prepare an authentic taste of Italy in every dish created at Limoncello.

The food is made with simple and fresh ingredients, just as you’d find in traditional southern Italian dishes. Some menu items pay homage to Italian-American cuisine, as well. 

There are ample starters, or antipasti, to whet your appetite, from Carpaccio Di Manzo – a thinly sliced filet with arugula, shaved parmigiano and truffle oil that is a staple in Italy – to Parmigiana di Melanzane, breaded and baked eggplant with mozzarella, tomato sauce and garlic crostini. Choose from beautifully crafted salads, pizzas and pastas to start your evening, but be sure to save room for one of the impressive main courses such as Cioppino di Pesce, featuring shrimp, calamari, clams, salmon, cod, tomato broth and garlic crostini. Or try the Carre’ di Agnello, an Australian rack of lamb, escarole, kalamata olives, capers and roasted potatoes in a blueberry Barolo wine sauce. Every selection will make you say, “molto bene!”

Not to be outdone is the extensive drink menu, with choice upon choice of wines from around the world, as well as classic Italian cocktails like the Aperol Spritz, specialty martinis, and refreshing beverages such as the Uncle Paesano Margarita. If you lean toward the classic, there is a dizzying selection of spirits and after-dinner liqueurs.

Limoncello offers a variety of daily food and drink specials, including 50 percent off signature cocktails at the bar every Thursday. An early dining menu is available daily from 4-5:30 p.m. for $23.95, along with live music at the bar 6-9 p.m. every day from local musicians Nikola Vukovic on guitar and Naples pianist Peter G.  

Take the trip to Limoncello in north Naples and be whisked away to a simpler time and place where the food is fresh from the land and sea, and everyone is famiglia.

 

OUR FAVORITES:

 

Insalate de Mare

Insalate de Mare

 

 

 

Insalate de Mare – Cooked to perfection and served cold, this appetizer features calamari, octopus, shrimp and mussels on mixed greens with tomatoes in an orange supreme lemon dressing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Polipo Alla Griglia

Polipo Alla Griglia

 

 

Polipo Alla Griglia – Perfectly grilled octopus on a bed of roasted potato slices in salmoriglio (lemon and olive oil sauce). Octopus is a southern Italian classic and is found in many dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pappardelle Brasate

Pappardelle Brasate

 

 

 

Pappardelle Brasate— Housemade pappardelle pasta and braised short ribs smothered in a delicious red wine sauce. Our lovely and witty server Daniela’s favorite dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cernia al Limone

Cernia al Limone

 

 

 

Cernia al Limone — Fresh grouper, garlic and risotto in a creamy lemon-butter sauce offer a simply spectacular main course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vitello Alla Griglia

Vitello Alla Griglia

 

 

 

Vitello Alla Griglia — 14 oz. grilled bone-in veal chop served with soft sliced potatoes and gently roasted asparagus in a crimini mushroom and truffle cream sauce. Divine!

 

 

 

 

 

Caprese al Cioccolato

Caprese al Cioccolato

 

 

Caprese al Cioccolato — Homemade chocolate almond cake, courtesy of Mama Picci’s recipe, and vanilla gelato. Pairs perfectly with sweet and smooth sips of the celebrated Italian limoncello liqueur.

 

 

 

 

 

Limoncello

13800 Tamiami Trail North

Naples, FL 34110

239.260.7478

limoncellonaples.com

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