Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ligurian Foods Of Our Trip

I want to share everything about our Cinque Terre Easter weekend trip, but there is just too much for one post. So, to break it up, I am going to share about the food first!

A great trip always has great food. So far, Rob and I have always been disappointed with Italian food in Italy. But the Cinque Terre has changed our minds! We knew great food existed, but we were never able to find it before. I did some extensive research on places to eat in the 5 towns and we ate a the top 3 places I wanted to try.

It's Italy - We must eat Brushchetta 

Dinner on Friday night ~ Trattoria dal Billy in Manarola.

This place was only 3 doors down from our apartment and we couldn't resist getting there a little earlier then everyone else since we did not make reservations. The waiter brought us a small free cherry aspertif and insisted that we order one on the specials. The special was fresh fish brought in from the boat that day baked with potatoes. When we ordered it, he brought us up the stairway to a big platter of ice with different fish on it. He made us pick one out and we got it served to us just 20 minutes later! It cannot get any fresher then that! We ordered a local wine and tried a Cinque Terre specialty of sardines with lemon. When the whole fish was served to us he plopped down a big bottle of olive oil with it. He insisted we eat the fish with the oil and he was right. It tasted fantastic!

Dinner on Saturday night ~ L'Ancora della Tortuga in Monterosso

I found this place from a NYTimes travel article on how to spend 3 days in the Cinque Terre. We had made reservations early in the day and got a great table for two on the balcony that hung out from the walkway and overlooked the water. There was only enough room for two tables of two and 3 chairs. The restaurant brought out pillows for the bench wall to create a fourth chair for Rob. It looked a little awkward but the view and spot was amazing! This restaurant is actually built in an old war bunker on the side of the hill if you sit on the inside. It was beautiful weather so we braved not having jackets into the evening and sat outside anyways. The food was very good and we had lots of seafood. Rob even ate a Tuna Tartar which is the first raw fish he's had in Europe.

Our amazing table to the right under the one umbrella.

At L'Ancora Della Tortuga. My dish of seafood pasta was perfect. 

At L'Ancora della Tortuga

Fresh Medditarenean Fish (Caught that day!) and Potatoes

Dinner on Sunday night ~ Il Pirata in Vernazza.

This place is recommended by two different sources. One being Rick Steves who made the Cinque Terre popular and brought A LOT of tourists in. And the other being trip advisor. Rick Steves recommends breakfast, and trip advisor recommends dinner. We went with dinner and made reservations the day before. The place is more casual then the last two dinners but the atmosphere was a lot of fun. Two Sicilian brothers run the place and they are a hoot. The place is mostly American tourists who read about it on one of the two sources I listed above. We had yummy pesto dishes and followed with amazing desserts. If you travel to the Cinque Terre - the Cannelloni's they make are fantastic! They have a ton of different pastries and cookies for breakfasttime. When we were leaving, one of the brother packed us a few pastries for breakfast since he knew we were staying in a different town then Vernazza. One of the brothers talked to us about living in Switzerland and his feelings towards the Swiss. He, as an Italian man, has always felt how stuck up they were and and felt their coldness. He also told us that 60 years ago in Switzerland there would be signs on the doors of restaurants that would say "No Italians". He has never been himself, but would like to go one day to the Geneva Car Show!

Lunches ~ Foccaciaria!

Everyday we ate focaccia for lunch. It was quick, easy, cheap, and you could take it to a viewpoint and enjoy. In total, we ate at 6 different places all over the Cinque Terre. (A few of these were snack not lunch!) The best places were in Levanto when we first arrived. They had a fresh sun-dried tomato and lettuce one that had a ton of olive oil. They also had a fresh Caprese one which was actually hard to find in the other foccaciaria's. The other great one was the in hillside town on Corniglia. The only unfortunate thing about this place was the French! The french were trying to cut us in line! Argh! Besides them, the focaccia was yummy and we tried the Farinita. (see pictures below).

Onion Foccacia - (There were a ton of different types but this was our favorite)

Farinta - A local fried bread chickpea snack. Yummy! 1 Euro!

In Monterosso Al Mare - we stopped for a glass of wine. 

Crisp Local Cinque Terre White Wine and Local Dessert Wine Called "Sciacchetra"


Jessica April 15, 2009 at 2:30 AM  

Please.... let's be straight up here... we don't want to miss out on ANY details. So make sure you blog about ALL parts of your trip! I cannot wait! Cinque Terra is on my list of places to go next. I am so excited to see what you did and where you went. And I love that you started with the food. YUM! Thanks for a great post.

Jessica April 15, 2009 at 2:33 AM  

Oh and I want to know how you got there..... train? plane? and make sure you do not skimp on how long it took. That is one of my concerns - how much time do I need to schedule to get there!

Thanks! :) I am so excited to read more!

steph.kelley April 15, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

Ooh, I'm jealous. Thanks for the scrumptious pics, Tina! Keep having fun!

About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

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