It has been about 6 years since I’ve dined at Hotel Eden’s Il Giardino except then I had apertivo at their handsome bar. This particular lunch was special since the hotel had a collaboration with the famed Capri restaurant Da Paolino. The dining room was transformed to feature lavish plant and lemon centerpieces, aromatic herbs like basil and rosemary, and handcrafted ceramic décor to reflect the beauty of Capri in summertime. The island’s flavors, aromas and ingredients take center stage in an extensive cocktail and dining menu exclusively created for Paolino Capri x Hotel Eden. This collaboration ran from March 16, 2023 to May 15, 2023.
The food was delicious and it definitely makes me think of an Italian summer even though it was a pleasant springtime temperature (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius). The drinks were definitely boozy (alcohol-forward) when my friend and I had our limoncello spritzer and the Sunset Martini but it’s balanced regarding flavors and it’s not too sweet.
The appetizer of grilled lemon with mozzarella definitely made me think of a summer in Capri for those bright, slightly sweet, tart, tangy and smoky grilled lemon slice. The lemon fettuccine with red prawn carpaccio (shown at the top of this post) was the highlight of the meal. Fresh pasta that’s cooked al dente and very lemon-forward that you would mix with the sweet prawn. It’s refreshing and I rarely say that for a pasta dish. The seafood risotto is a heartier dish but it’s cooked very nicely and it’s laden with lots of clams, mussels and shrimp. The other interesting dish to note was the amberjack tartare with green coconut, lime and mint which sounded vaguely Southeast Asian inspired but it really played up on the flavors of lime and mint. The coconut flavor was very delicate but the tartare was delicious overall.
It was a very good lunch. You would come to Hotel Eden for the scene – for the people, lovely atmosphere and the views of The Eternal City. (I did see Sir Anthony Hopkins dining with his friends that afternoon at the back of the restaurant and also when you do go to use their bathroom, the stairway to it has walls filled with autographed portraits of mentioned famous actor and many celebrities who stayed at this hotel.) You would linger for the delicious drinks and food. The front of the house staff is friendly and they give you space. An older gentleman, who is probably the maître d’, surprised us with a plate of petit fours before we decided to leave which was a warm moment even though we felt really full from lunch.