Set in a 16th-century palazzo among contemporary lighting and modern art, everything was bright when Vespasia's understated gourmet cuisine earned its first Michelin star just before the 2016 earthquake. We all know what happened next. But Napoletano chef Valentino Palmisano returned to Italy from a lengthy stint in Kyoto not only to conduct a gastronomic experience, but for social good as well.
Highlights of his menu, heavy on ingredients procured from within 5km of the restaurant, include knockout dishes like lenticchie soup with 36-month aged Parmesan foam, a spaghetti pomodoro that Palmisano tinkered with for six months (and contemplated for six years) and a reinvented pastiera napoletana – a flavour-bomb laced with orange and jasmine to finish things off. Herbs come from its own garden. In warmer months, dine in the garden to jazz or blues.