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Head of Development and Entertainment

Each town on the Amalfi coast is beautiful in its own way, but we spent most of our time in Praiano. There were four restaurants on Praiano’s pebbled beach, but the one that stood out the most is called il Pirata. When we arrived, there were two native Italians, probably in their eighties, who were smiling and waving to people as they entered. I walked further into a cave to see a fluorescent bar top where I met the bartender, Danilo. I later learned he has over 20 years of experience in mixology. I had to ask Danilo where we were and who the couple was! They were Casimiro and Pasqualina, and I was in the cave they had created using sticks of dynamite.

That first stick went off in 1950 to begin a 13-year journey of creation. The bartender went on to tell me that the pair shared their dream with the public in 1963. Given the location they were determined to use, it was obviously not an easy process. Outside of the bar, they created a luxurious fine dining restaurant with tables spanning three tiered terraces, all hovering over the bright blue waters of the Mediterranean. We had two fantastic entrées while we were there. Kennedy ordered homemade pasta with shellfish, calamari, shrimp, and fresh tomatoes; I got spaghetti with fresh clams. The drinks we had (over the span of a few days!) were just fantastic. JUMP TO DRINKS!

We spent a lot of time at il Parata, and it urged me to hear from the owners. I was fortunate enough to sit down one-on-one with Pasqualina for a moment. I recorded what she said to me and later found a local who was kind enough to help me translate. She shared with me that this dream was not easy. She said they did not find this spot, they built it. She and her husband made sacrifice after sacrifice to erect “Il posto più bello del mondo”, which translates to “the most beautiful spot in the world.” Now, she gets to sit back with Casimiro and wave to people as they come in while they watch their daughters steer the business forward.

Obviously, the food, the drinks, and the scenery are all fantastic, but something has to be said about the people. They encompass it all, and they are more than willing to share it with anyone who asks.

For those of you who are interested in the drinks:

  • “The Wrong Beer” served in a small beer mug, made with lemon vodka, mango syrup, and ginger mousse.
  • “Pirata Passion” served in a cold martini glass made with passion fruit, tequila, and lemon juice.
  • “Espresso Pop Martini” was a popcorn and hazelnut twist to a smooth espresso martini.
  • “Zen” was made with gin, lavender, lime, and ginger.
  • My favorite was made with a wine barrel aged rum, a spicy red wine syrup, and peach liqueur called “Vesuvia”—Perfect for where we were.

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