Welcome to Aldo’s. Le Sirenuse’s more casual dining option has come on in leaps and bounds since the early 1990s, when Franco Sersale decreed that the hotel should open an informal eating and drinking space, a sort of Positano bistrot and cocktail bar, to run in parallel with our fine dining restaurant La Sponda.
Back then it was called the Champagne Bar – and Franco even designed some rather elegant, wine-red wicker furniture for it with the help of leading Italian outdoor furnishing company Gervasoni.
Having dedicated our new streetside bar to Franco himself after he passed away in 2015, we decided in 2020 to honour another of Le Sirenuse’s four founding siblings by changing the name of the Champagne Bar to Aldo’s Cocktail Bar and Seafood Grill. Uncle Aldo was a great bon viveur who used to organize impromptu lunches for his friends on his boat, the Sant’Antonio. He would dive for sea urchins, prise then open with a pocket-knife, and offer them to his guests.
One thing we love about the bar-bistrot we created in his image is that so many of those who come for a glass of champagne or one of the signature cocktails prepared by our head barman Roberto Pane end up ordering a little something to eat… and a little something else… and find that aperitivi have somehow turned into dinner. That’s exactly how Uncle Aldo himself like to dine, informally among amici, going with the flow of summer evenings in Positano.
Thinking about zio Aldo, though, we realized he would have found that whole ‘cocktail bar and seafood grill’ thing a bit long and rambling. He was an upfront soul who didn’t waste words. So from this season on, we’re shortening the name of our informal dining and imbibing space to just plain Aldo’s.
Working closely with talented chef Antonello Esposito, who oversees the kitchen at Aldo’s, Le Sirenuse’s executive chef Gennaro Russo has taken inspiration from that same frankness and authenticity in the menu he has designed for this romantic bar-bistrot, which is based on the motto ‘fresh and excellent’.
French, Irish and Italian oysters and caviar from Italian specialist Calvisius are a fixture at Aldo’s, just as they were at the original Champagne Bar. They are joined by a range of raw seafood, much of it fished locally, which Francesco and his team offer up in assorted ‘Mediterranean sashimi’ platters or in preparations such as our three popular tartare dishes: red shrimp tartare with green apple, yoghurt and lime; tuna tartare with marinated red onion and avocado purée; and the ‘Tonno e Tonnato’ burger, with tuna tartare, marinated red onion, escarole and tonnato sauce.
Then there are ‘I Classici’, tried and tested Aldo’s classics like beef meatballs served street-food-style in a paper cone with a side of tomato ragù, or that Neapolitan stalwart parmigiana di melanzane, a sapid eggplant, tomato and mozzarella bake that exudes southern flavour.
Another big hit this season is a light but succulent dish that Gennaro created especially for our twice-yearly Dolce Vitallity fitness retreat: zucchini spaghetti in a pesto of basil and toasted almonds. You read that right: not spaghetti withcourgettes, but spaghetti made from courgettes, cut into long strips just waiting to be twirled on a fork.
Joining these evergreen favourites this season is a gourmet burger filled with prized beef from Agerola – a farming village high above the Amalfi Coast – local Provolone del Monaco cheese, and mustard pesto.
Uncle Aldo would have approved – while slowly but surely working his way through the menu, dish by dish…
Aldo’s is open daily from 6pm to midnight. Food is served from 7 to 11pm.
Exterior photos © Brechenmacher & Baumann, Uncle Aldo photo © Massimo Capodanno, food photos © Roberto Salomone
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