It’s a rare thing to be recommended to another restaurant by your waiter. However, if they had worked at the previous institute for many years, they probably know what they’re talking about. Such is the case with our waiter at Il Leone Rosso, who recommended PIzzeria Aurora, located at the heart of Piazza Tasso. Considering Il Leone Rosso already had excellent food, it couldn’t hurt to check this out, right? Well, it certainly was a very good bet. Pizzeria Aurora has excellent food that rivals any restaurant in the area.
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Located at the heart of Piazza Tasso, Pizzeria Aurora is one of the easiest places to find in Sorrento. It’s huge logo adorns the side of the wall coming up the main street, and the overhang proudly displays its name. There is quite a bit of outdoor seating available, but it does fill up rather quickly with both tourists and locals alike. However, the interior is cozy, air conditioned, and usually has a lot of space to sit down, no matter what the time is. We quickly ordered and awaited our food.
The appetizer offerings are few, but are very good indeed. There is the classic parma ham and melon again delivers, as expected of the time and season. The sweetness of the melon is unparalleled, and should really be tasted in the summer. However, the best appetizer was not even on the menu, but was the daily special – mussel soup. Filled to the brim with fresh mussels and cooked in a garlic and tomato broth, The sauce is light, yet flavorful, and adds to the natural sweetness of the mussels. I was somewhat annoyed by the few mussels that were still closed (and hence I couldn’t eat them), but that was a small price to pay for the overall excellence of the dish. Be sure to ask for it if you visit Pizzeria Aurora; they’ll never put it on the menu, but it’s definitely a local favorite if the catching is good.
Pizzeria Aurora, for all its name, does offer a lot of pasta-based dishes. The first is the Pappardelle di Mare, with utilizes a wide variety of shellfish, including prawns, clams, and mussels. This, in my opinion, is the weakest of the pasta dishes. The preparation of the shellfish is very simplistic; the shellfish does have a lot of latent flavor, but I think there could have been more done to give more spice to the dish. A better pasta is the tagliatelle with king prawns. This dish again utilizes homemade noodles, but uses a much stronger sauce that is based on using garlic and some shrimp to make a rich brown gravy that is tasty in its own right. The king prawn is not seasoned with much more than salt, but the meaty texture adds to the gravy. The dish utilizes each part to create a much stronger and more complete dish.
The spaghetti with tomato sauce dish is a simple dish, but has a stronger, richer taste than the pappardelle. Furthermore, the pasta is cooked slightly better because it isn’t nearly as substantial as the pappardelle. The tomatoes are fresh and sweet, and that’s all you really need out of this one. A similar dish is the scialatelli, which is an even simpler preparation that uses slices of cherry tomatoes and olive oil to season the home-made pasta. Its taste is very similar to the spaghetti, but each bite has the satisfaction of crunching into a fresh and ripe tomato. They are vegetarian dishes at best, but offer a lot of taste.
At its heart, however, Pizzeria Aurora does what it does best: make pizzas. Aurora No. 1 is its most well known dish, and it’s certainly worth it. This is not the typical pizza, but is known as a ‘white pizza’ – no tomato sauce here. A bed of mozzarella slices is the foundation for prosciutto, bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, and onions. This is easily one of the most flavorful pizzas I have ever tasted. The proscuitto is strong, but the classic combination with mozzarella continues to shine. The bell peppers and onions are roasted to perfection as well, and the sliced tomatoes are as good as ever. To be honest, the pizza is the better dish on the menu, and this one is worth a try when you show up.
Pizzeria Aurora offers a very good selection of classic Italian dishes that are a blend of Sorrento flavors and just typical Italian goodness. I think that it’s a little more pricey than Il Leono Rosso, but it’s well worth the price of admission. As far as I can see it, there are two very good options in Sorrento; feel free to choose one of them, but you won’t be disappointed by either.
**Classic pizzas offer a lot of taste
**Uses seafood very well in its dishes
**Hidden local menu!
**Pricey due to location
**Desserts are less than spectacular
Piazza Tasso 10
Tel. +39 0818781248