Pietra Ligure October 5, 2016—
WE TRIED REPEATEDLY to find a recommended restaurant. I used Waze; I used Google Maps; I used Apple Maps. I called the place a number of times. I asked people on the street. I'm sure it's there, but in the dark, on the one-way streets, in the parking area whose gates would not open for me even after pushing the button. So we stepped into one of the many port side restaurants we had found, easily.
Three or four local citizens were sitting on a bench outside, They said Yes, you'll eat well. Inside, five men sat at one of twenty or so tables; a couple sat at another. It was early in the evening by Italian standards, a little past eight o'clock.
One man in the open kitchen, another in the dining room. He welcomed and seated us, brought plastic-covered single-page menus, and pointed at the evening's menu on the blackboard — which, alas, was written in a hand none of us could decipher.
Our friends settled on pizzas; my companion and I opted for fritto misto di pesce. It came almost immediately, a huge heap of fried small fish, slices of squid, little octopodes, and julienned potato and zucchini. Some of the fish were really quite tiny, too small even to taste; others were big enough to hold in your two hands and eat sideways, like an ear of corn, dragging flesh from backbone with the teeth.
It is not a plate for the fearless, I think. (I had warned our host I could not eat crustacea.) One's never sure how much of the fish has been removed before frying: in the case of the smallest, none at all, I'm sure. But it was a delicious dinner.
Dessert? The host trundled the carello over to our table, and I pointed to the crostata di marmellata: I do love jam tart. No doubt it came from an ordinary local bakery. The crust was short and tasty, a pate sablee; the jam was apricot, and delicious.
Pigato, Ca dei Caruggi, 2015
Osteria A Modo Mia Miramare, Lungomare Garassini 1, Loano; 019 67.56.78