For 24 years customers have been returning regularly to a family restaurant in Broadstairs that delivers a true taste of Naples.
Posillipo in Albion Street is the first of three restaurants created by friends Vincenzo Esposito and Espedito Tammaro. It is named after the residential quarter of Naples, southern Italy, where the duo went to catering college.
The Broadstairs restaurant, which has recently been refurbished, celebrates 24 years of trading this month, with the Canterbury business now running for 14 years and Faversham’s for eight years.
The coastal location of Broadstairs is perfect for the Neapolitan specialities of seafood such as mussels and clams as well as the famous authentic pizzas and pasta dishes.
Aleksandra Barscevska, who is assistant manager in Faversham and heads up the Posillipo social media accounts, said: “They (Vincenzo and Espedito) both went to catering college in Posillipo and it was always their dream to open their own place.
“After 6 years working in the UK at 5 star hotels and restaurants they were ready to open up their own business and this is still run by them today.”
The staples of the menu are largely unchanged with the signature Posillipo Linguine one of the first meals served and still one of the most popular with its abundance of seafood ingredients, including mussels and clams.
Authentic, rustic pizza is also a mainstay – but don’t ask for a pineapple topping because you won’t get it! Aleksandra explained: “We want to deliver the proper experience of Neapolitan pizza. One of our chefs says: “Pizza is like love, it takes time.”
“We take pride in cooking fresh and from scratch, the best food is simple. The menu is traditional, rustic and authentic recipes from the family, from the mothers and grandmothers. We are probably the most authentic Italian in Kent, the people cooking in our kitchens are from Naples and it is said that the best pizza comes from Naples!”
Italian wines are also a big part of the experience with the restaurant stocking ‘Super Tuscans’ supplied by Felice Evola who set up in business at the same time as the cousins and has worked and socialised with them ever since.
The restaurant has a selection of fine wines with around 300 rare labels from Tuscany including Tignanello 1987, Sassicaia 1993, Solaia 2002 and the special IL Sodaccio di Montevertine 1994, which is particularly rare as the vineyard no longer exists.
There are also some recent editions to the menu with new vegetarian and vegan offerings which have proved so popular a facebook post asking for opinions on the dishes went viral reaching more than 65,000 people.
The menu isn’t the only constant at Posillipo’s, the staff and the customers are also loyal, with many diners having eaten at the venue since the day it opened.
Aleksandra said: “There are people who were here for the opening who still come in every single week. We have a very friendly relationship with our customers who support us so much. When we are looking to do something new we talk to the people who have been with us for so many years as it is important to get their opinion.
“And 70% of our staff have been here years. This industry is hard, it is a fast environment and many places will have staff for maybe only one year. But our staff stay because they are very well looked after by the owners and always feel appreciated.”
Long term staff include Broadstairs manager Alessio Scorza and his counterparts at Canterbury, Marian Pandos and at Faversham, Amedeo Grosso.
Vincenzo and Espedito also pitch in on a daily basis, visiting the restaurants but also cooking, kitchen portering and hosting whenever the need arises to feed thousands of customers each week.
They also work with a learning disability organisation in Faversham with members able to gain work experience in the restaurant and plans to treat groups to a ‘full restaurant experience.’
And the secret to success? Aleksandra said: “A good relationship with staff, great owners who can fill any gap from baking the bread to cooking or talking to customers and a love for food and for people.”
Posillipo in Broadstairs is at 14 Albion Street.