I’m walking along the main road in Positano and come across an interesting restaurant. It seems attractive and welcoming so I walk over and inquire about a table for one. Well, don’t even think of asking for outside seating without a reservation. Not. Gonna. Happen. Not only is getting a table outside impossible, the entire restaurant was completely booked – its 10 PM. Luckily, I am resourceful and was able to persuade the host that (1) I eat fast and (2) I am only a table for one.
I was seated, inside, at a lovely table adorned in white. White plates, white napkin, white table cloth. Everything was white outside as well – racks and racks of wine cases that lined the white walls. As I continued to span my surroundings I came across the following sign “life is too short for bad wines.” Right then and there I knew I was in the right place – I’m going to like Next2.
After being seated I was presented with their signature drink – a bellini served in a champagne glass. First sip, bubbly. Second sip…I was in heaven. As I enjoy my cocktail the waiter comes back with the wine list and the menu. Service is good and attentive. I peruse the menu. It’s light and fresh. I decided to start with the grilled octopus and for my entree I ordered grilled shrimp. Hey, one can’t be by the sea and not order seafood!
After placing my order I was presented with a gift from the chef which was diced tomatoes on crostini (bruschetta). The tomatoes were not the typical salsa consistency one may get at other restaurants. This was fresh. The tomatoes were diced finely but not to the point where they loose their form. There were minced pieces of basil and a hint on garlic and onion. Not sure if it was because I was hungry or of this was that good, but I scarfed it down in 2 bites. So tasty.
The wine list is extensive, good and not too expensive. From Amarones to Barolos to Chianti; you have your pick of the best Italian reds. The white wine list looked good as well but I’m really partial to red.
My appetizer arrives and the grilled polpo (octopus) is absolutely delightful and plate licking delicious. The polpo is cleaned correctly and is succulent with just the right amount of char. It’s served with a green bean parsley mashed potato that adds the right amount of balance to the creaminess of the polpo. Normally, I am one who reaches for the salt shaker, but I find myself satiated and noting to myself that this dish is close to being perfect. Just the right amount of seasoning – no extra salting needed here. The green beans are dressed in a cold tomato “sauce” that is not heavy but adds a nice tangy freshness to the dish. You get the extra greenery and freshness from the springs of chive used to dress the plate.
After I lovingly devoured my appetizer, I struck up a conversation with the table next to me, a couple from Australia. They too were reveling about their meal thus far and had many positive things to say about their experience.
The entree arrives and it’s too beautiful to eat. I take a few minutes just to look at it. The plating here is artistry in motion. I turn the plate to the left to get a look at it from that angle. I turn the plate to the right to get another look at it. Everything looked to be perfectly aligned by height. It was a wonder to look at but I was getting hungry so I took my fork and with a deep breath pulled one shrimp from the side and tasted it. Delicious. Just delicious. The shrimp was tender and perfectly cooked. As if the first shrimp gave me permission to finish the rest of the meal I worked my way through the plate thoroughly enjoying myself. This dish was delightful by sight and taste.
Do I recommend Next2? Yes, this is the perfect place for a romantic date, girls night out or if you want a really nice place to take a group of people. If you find yourself in Positano or have friends traveling to the Amalfi coast, send them to Next2 – they will not be disappointed. Just make sure to make a reservation.
Viale Pasitea, 242, Positano SA