“Only after having studied, deepened and respected the tradition does one have the right to put it aside, but always with the awareness that we owe it, at least, for having helped to clarify our ideas. Of course, if we remain anchored in the past, life that continues becomes life that stops, but if we use tradition as a springboard, it is obvious that we will jump much higher.”
― Eduardo De Filippo
Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design
St. Louis, Missouri
It all started with Don Alfonso 1890 – the beautiful 2 Michelin Starred restaurant on the lush Amalfi coast and home to the Iaccarino Family, one of the most famous culinary families in Italy. Originally opened in 1890 by Alfonso Costanzo Iaccarino, exquisite hospitality and fine food has been handed down for generations. La Peracciole, the family farm a few miles away on the coast facing the island of Capri provides the kitchen with daily fresh produce. Alfonso, grandson of the founder, now tends to the garden and provides honey, olive oil, lemons and a host of fresh ingredients used in the restaurant. The Don Alfonso philosophy is to innovate, but always respect local culture and the thousand-year-old food tradition of the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast. Innovation is essential to stay fresh and modern, but they maintain their identity by staying tied to their land and history.
The design concept in bringing Don Alfonso 1890 to St. Louis was done in similar fashion to the family’s philosophy. We wanted to preserve the family tradition, the soul of the restaurant, and the essence of the Sorrento Peninsula, but make it an innovative, modern space that also reflects St. Louis. Using traditional materials and authentic finishes in an original way, Casa Don Alfonso transports guests to the Mediterranean but also keeps one foot in its home at The Ritz Carlton. By keeping the forms and traditional architecture of the Ritz Carlton as a background, we have married the two worlds. Echoing the white walls, brightly colored tiles and local artwork of the original Don Alfonso, added to warm materials and an energetic open kitchen creates a comfortable space that welcomes guests into the Italian Casa.