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Octopus salad is part of the diverse seafood menu at Trattoria Del Mare restaurant in Pozzuoli, Italy.
Octopus salad is part of the diverse seafood menu at Trattoria Del Mare restaurant in Pozzuoli, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Octopus salad is part of the diverse seafood menu at Trattoria Del Mare restaurant in Pozzuoli, Italy.
Octopus salad is part of the diverse seafood menu at Trattoria Del Mare restaurant in Pozzuoli, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Almond and honey jumbo shrimp is one of the dishes served at Trattoria del Mare, a seafood restaurant with no-frills decor but sophisticated preparation in Pozzuoli, Italy.
Almond and honey jumbo shrimp is one of the dishes served at Trattoria del Mare, a seafood restaurant with no-frills decor but sophisticated preparation in Pozzuoli, Italy. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Trattoria del Mare's covered patio is still busy at 10 on a week night in Pozzuoli, Italy. The restaurant serves a variety of seafood that is popular among local residents.
Trattoria del Mare's covered patio is still busy at 10 on a week night in Pozzuoli, Italy. The restaurant serves a variety of seafood that is popular among local residents. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)
Trattoria del Mare's one-page menu has a surprising selection of seafood, from familiar items such as fried calamari to blueberry-marinated fish.
Trattoria del Mare's one-page menu has a surprising selection of seafood, from familiar items such as fried calamari to blueberry-marinated fish. (Scott Wyland/Stars and Stripes)

From the outside, Trattoria del Mare looks humble, with its wooden porch-like patio and tables with paper place mats. It hardly stands out amid a busy restaurant district in the town of Pozzuoli.

But around 10 p.m., the patio of this seafood restaurant is abuzz with patrons who fill almost every table. Inside is more elegant, with tablecloths and a relaxed ambiance. This evening, however, most people dined on the patio to enjoy Italy’s mild, early-fall weather.

Del Mare means “of the sea” in Italian. This restaurant serves only seafood. The single-page, bilingual menu is packed with offerings, with most dishes priced between 2 euros and 12 euros ($2.35 and $14).

The dishes are tasty, the portions ample and the preparation more sophisticated than you might expect.

Blueberry marinated fish (8 euros), julienne cuttlefish (8 euros), seared tuna with apple cider vinegar (11 euros) and grilled octopus in balsamic vinegar (12 euros) are among the menu items.

I ordered an octopus potato salad, a jumbo honey-and-almond shrimp and a cone-shaped bag of fried anchovies that I could take home. Fried anchovies are a delicacy in Italy, and not to be mistaken for the over-salty American version.

I got a decanter of southern Italian red wine called Aglianico, which was light and flavorful. The entire meal cost 26 euros, plus a good tip for friendly service.

For those feeling adventurous, the chef prepares two pastas and a surprise seafood dish that changes daily to keep patrons guessing. I passed on the mystery meal this time because trying a new restaurant in Italy seemed adventure enough.

Wyland.scott@stripes.com @wylandstripes

Location: Via Campi Flegrei 58, Pozzuoli 80078

Hours: 6:30 p.m.-midnight Tuesday through Thursday; 7 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-4 p.m., 7 p.m.-midnight Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday.

Dress: Casual

Parking: Streetside and parking garage next to restaurant.

Phone: +39 081 341 6055

Web:trattoriadelmarepozzuoli.it; on Facebook at tinyurl.com/y7dsc2b

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