Tomorrow we head home…and while I’m reluctant to leave, I know I need to as I’m looking (and feeling) like a stuffed porchetta (that’s italian for pig). I’ve stuffed my face with too much good food and wine…I can tell you that starting next week I’m on a severe regime of vegetables, water and slogging away at the gym!
Here’s an overview of some of the great restaurants that we ate at while staying in Fanghetto, Italy.
U Veciu Defusi, Ariole – our first night in Fanghetto we ended up at this nearby restaurant. There was a Vespa rally going on, so the town was buzzing, literally, with cute Italian boys and the older, fatter Italian men, both who love their Vespas. This was my first time eating zucchini flower risotto – very delicate and totally yummy!
Marco Polo, Ventimiglia – a beachside restaurant…G had a fantastic spaghetti frutti di mare (seafood pasta). Unfortunately my seafood soup was not that great, but as I’m pretty adept at sneaking bites off his plate when he’s not looking (which he hates), I didn’t do too badly!
Mirazur, Menton – our big splurge for the trip. I visited this restaurant for lunch back in May, and immediately made a reservation for dinner for this trip. It was perfect…the setting, the food, everything.
The chef is originally from Argentina, and his food reflects this, which makes a nice change from ‘normal’ French cuisine. I had a food first here – orange mushrooms (see photo below – unfortunately I’d already eaten half of it before I realised I should be taking a pic for the records)! Just tried to find reference to them on the internet, but no luck – and as we didn’t spend the night in the loo or hospital, they must be OK! As for the chargrilled octopus, it tasted like something I’d cook on the BBQ (haha – not quite…but it’s definitely something I aspire to cook).
La Pousa, Collabassa – on top of the world with incredible views into the surrounding mountains. We were the only people for lunch, except for the owners and their plumber. Pila, who is Catalan and the chef, served us a variety of different local meats, salad and her homemade desserts. Her husband, Carlo, makes his own wine and limoncello…which was the best we have ever drunk (it wasn’t syrupy sweet like the usual stuff). We got to chatting with Carlo and his plumber, and as a result the limoncello kept on coming (as did a sample of his homemade red wine…as we had only tried the white with lunch). We liked this area of Italy as with its proximity to France, all the locals speak both languages, making it a lot easier to communicate.
Restaurant Bel Aqua, Sospel – in France, this town is at the end of some very windy roads, high up in the mountains. Stunning location. Apparently the chef trained under Joel Robuchon and Alain Ducasse. Food was excellent – G stuck with a healthy Salade Nicoise, while I went with the rabbit terrine, which was so full of flavour. Before coming to France, I never used to eat rabbit for two reasons; 1) when I was a kid, I had a pet black rabbit (called Minty) who met with an unfortunate death which traumatised me for a long time, and 2) my maiden name is Hare and, for some strange reason, I felt that it was sacrilege to eat a cousin of my namesake (yeah…weird, I know!) Anyway, since moving to France, I have got over that hang-up, and let’s just say I haven’t looked back.
As for dessert…yeah, no wonder I’m feeling like a porchetta huh?