We knew it wouldn't be easy. Sergio and the staff run Da Adolfo like the custodians of a royal vault. A royal vault filled with... unexpected treasures. Like the decades-old rusted outdoor shower hose (it was the first running water on this little stretch of beach, built by Sergio's father-- 'Adolfo' himself). Or the various phallic statues, a gift from a loyal adoring customer to Sergio (allegedly to commemorate... something else that his father bequeathed him!).
Last but not least: the infamous Da Adolfo t-shirt with their iconic red fish logo. The staff all wear it with pride, and it somehow improves with sun, sweat, and grease stains.
But the Bella family of 'Da Adolfo' and the Sersale family of Le Sirenuse go way back together and a nice warm introduction between friends of friends soon followed. Thanks to Le Sirenuse, the wheels were set in motion...
Da Adolfo was a dream to work with. A handshake was plenty. Collaborating with them felt as effortless and carefree as the atmosphere of the restaurant itself.
This air of unpretentiousness is part of the secret sauce at Da Adolfo (as is the recipe for their unparalleled 'Pesto Da Adolfo!'). It's as if you've stumbled upon a large family gathering and pulled up a chair. (Never mind that this is a family gathering you can only stumble upon by rickety boat and treacherous dock!).
The servers are unapologetically themselves and they're so at home that you can't help but match the sentiment. They may be laid-back, but they have serious conviction about what you should order -- and what you should wash it down with too (a pitcher of white wine with sliced peaches).
It's Da Adolfo's timeless ease and playfulness that we wanted to capture in the shirt. We took cues from their iconic logo as well as the paper silverware encasements that they toss on every place setting. We also wanted the shirt to curb your appetite with an extra helping of fish in the pocket for later!
It had to be a cabana shirt, a common sight on beaches across the coasts of the USA and Europe right around the time that Da Adolfo opened on the idyllic and unassuming beach of Laurito in 1966. And terrycloth was the natural choice for the fabric. The shirt can double as the towel you use after a swim while you wait for your boat ride home (and triples as a very expensive napkin for tomato sauce!).
When the day finally came to share the shirts with everyone at Da Adolfo, we were ecstatic to climb aboard their famous boat and begin the trip. First up was Da Adolfo's intrepid captain, who assured us he would be two sizes smaller by the end of the summer. Sure, the food was irresistible, but he would be swimming out to dock the boat every day and that would make all the difference! We thought he couldn't possibly look better.
Have a gander at the video of various members of the Da Adolfo family trying on their shirts for the very first time.