Ischia has an abundance of casual, beachside restaurants serving beautiful, simply cooked seafood and pasta dishes. As with the rest of Europe, many of the more formal restaurants are associated with hotels, however, Ischia’s finest restaurant, Dani Maison, is located in the family home of Chef Nino di Costanzo.
Stepping through Dani Maison’s gate, it’s clear that this experience will be altogether different than anything else on the island. It’s magical gardens feature an eclectic collection of art, an outdoor bar, and seating for guests to enjoy an aperitivo by candlelight while they peruse the various menus (presented in a beautiful lucite box).
We chose the “Up to You, Chef” menu, which we asked to be customized to be seafood and vegetable focused. The restaurant team happily accommodated our request. Our favorite dishes on the menu were the Passeggiata Napoletana, which featured small bites presented as traditional Neapolitan ingredients, and the Paranza, an assortment of raw fish served on gorgeous, individual fish-shaped plates.
The service was better than we would expect from a three-star restaurant in the United States. As soon as we were seated, we were offered our selection of water from the restaurant’s water menu, featuring dozens of bottled mineral waters. Each dish was perfectly paired with a wine from the restaurant’s extensive cellar. As we finished each bite, each dish was seamlessly whisked away and the next placed in front of us, all without feeling like the staff was hovering.
After nine savory courses, dessert sounded impossible. However, the “Cioccolati in Tavola” and “Andiamo al Sodo…l’Uovo!” were too beautiful to pass up. The former consisted of an abstract painting, directly on the table, composed of various chocolates. The latter resembled a fried egg in a pan, complete with pop rocks to mimic the sizzling of a skillet over high heat.
We were so glad we chose to go to Dani Maison. The service is impeccable, while fun and unpretentious. The food is outstanding, with surely one of the best wine lists on Ischia. It was an amazing experience, and better than any two- or three- Michelin starred restaurants we’ve experienced anywhere in the United States.
Dani Maison, Via Montetignuso, 4, 80077 Ischia NA, Italy