Sunday, October 9, 2016

Further along the coast

Genoa, October 7, 2016—
LUNCH TODAY in Noli, where we began with small plates of the local Slow Food Presidio specialty cicciarelli, very small anchovy-like fish fried and eaten whole, a tasty palate-awakener and, I think, the best course of the meal.

Hans and I went on to a risotto di fruttti da mare, having been assured it lacked crustacea. The dish was nicely done, with lots of squid, mussels, and clams, and a tiny octopus here and there, in a tomato-inflected risotto. 

It wasn't the best restaurant of the trip; the risotto seemed routinely good. We were the only diners in the large, comfortable room. But I liked the food, the service, and the room, and I'd not hesitate to return. 

Bianco frizzante, Fresco di Vigna (Farigliano, nv)

Ristorante Ines, via Vignolo 12, Noli; 019748086
Then we drove to Genoa, where I tried to book into the top-listed Slow Food restaurant Rosmarino only to find it already fully booked. Okay; let's settle for the next place on the list.

Here I began with a fine, simple tartare of Piedmontese beef, decorated only with one curled-up anchovy and a spot of green green olive oil. The sweet fresh beef was all the flavor, and it was enough, though I did lubricate it further with olive oil. 

From there I went on to ravioli — large ones — filled with a nice dense pesto, light on the garlic as it seems always to be here in Liguria (at least to my taste) but nicely flavored with pine nuts. There were dots of bechamel easing the density of the pasta, altogether a fine serving.
Dessert: a marvelous ricotta semifreddo especially recommended in Osterie d'Italia, a house specialty called Cassatina di Chinotto. The body was really good, really interesting, a little grainy with bits of pine nut and candied chinotto, and it was sprinkled with a crumble of further pine nuts and pistachios, and garnished with candied chinotto peel. I hope our little tree gives us some this winter!

Nebbiolo, Monferrato Rosso, Novaretto, 2013: biodynamic, characteristic, delicious.

La Forchetta Curiosa, Piazza Negri 5, Genova; 010 2511289

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