Sometimes there are meals that defy words. A meal that is an experience beyond your imagination and yet rooted in something you love, food and wine. That was my experience at Daní Maison, a two-star Michelin restaurant on the island of Ischia in Southern Italy.
While traveling around Campagna, I headed out to Ischia for a couple days of relaxation. I had heard about the thermal baths and thought that I would just lay low for a couple days. But while at dinner at the one star Michelin restaurant Il Buco in Sorrento, Chef Beppe Aversa told me I must check out Daní Maison. Of course, when I heard it was a two Michelin star restaurant, I figured the chance of me getting in only two days later was more than unlikely.
However, I was wrong. Perhaps it was because I was looking at a Sunday night, just after the last weekend of summer and most people were starting to head home to get back to work. But I went online while sitting at dinner my first night in Ischia to read a bit more about the restaurant and see if I might find an email to inquire about a last-minute spot. I entered my name and email and said I was looking for one seat the following night. Unexpectedly, and promptly, I received an email confirming a seat! I was excited! I hesitated for a moment, thinking about what the evening might cost me, but then thought, why not? I was on vacation. This might be my only chance. And, if I was able to get a reservation with only one day's notice, perhaps it was meant to be.
When it comes time to splurging on a meal, n/naka is the place to do it. From ambiance to presentation to flavors, Chef Niki Nakayama offers a traditional Kaiseki menu that will capture your attention.
Kaiseki is the traditional multi-course Japanese culinary which consists of a sequence of small dishes, each artistically arranged. At n/naka, Chef Nakayama uses the freshest seasonal ingredients, including vegetables from her own organic garden and presents them in their most natural and purest states.
There is a level of formality to n/naka. The restaurant is in a nondescript building that looks like it was a former house. Reservations are required and when you walk in, the rooms are sparse with simple settings.