La Cicala, Bordighera Alta 2

December 29, 2008

The old town of Bordighera has remained well-preserved on its hill above the new town which sprawls along the beach, the highway and the railway.  It has been a favorite vacation spot ever since the railroad came through in the 1870s. Claude Monet loved it and painted this view of Bordighera Alta.

The Art Institute of Chicago.

This was the view we saw on December 18, 2008, as we walked up from the parking lot into the old town after shopping at the nearby Ventimiglia market.

On a little square in the center we found La Cicala decked out for Christmas.

The day’s menu was displayed on a small slate. In addition, one could ask for fish or veal to be prepared in any way as a “secondo.”

We ordered a bottle of the house Pigato d’Albenga, the local white wine; it was perfect.

A basket with fresh sesame/puff pastry grissini and grilled focaccia was put on the table.lcb

Then came a plate of panissas, hot fingers of fried chick pea flour, a local specialty.
These were very light and cooked so quickly in hot oil that it did not soak into the panissa.

Linda’s first course was
Capesante Gratinate

This is listed as an “antipasto,” but it is quite substantial. With the seared scallops were a salad made from raw, thinly sliced, spiny artichokes which are a local winter specialty found nowhere else. There was also a garnish of unidentified seafood in the upper left. Very good. 

My first course was
Carpaccio di dentice reale

The raw daurade was fresh and elegant, but eventually boring.

Linda went on to
Tagliatelle pesto

Here in Liguria we are in the home of pesto, where it is usually served with trofie, pasta twists made of potato gnocchi dough, or with a mix of half tagliatelle, one fourth sliced boiled potatoes and one fourth fresh green beans. But today it was served with fresh tagliettelle and shards of fish, an unusual creation of the chef that worked well. It is ironic that it takes a restaurant whose regional authenticity cannot be challenged to be very casual about it.

My main course was
Tonnarelli cozze e vongole piccanti
The tonnarelli were made from a dough using more eggs than water. They were square cut on a chitarra, or a wire strung wooden frame that resembles a guitar. The mussel, clam and fresh tomato sauce tasted of the sea and was not as spicy as the menu title would suggest. Excellent.

We had already seen another table receive their mignardises so we just ordered our espressos. The iced dark chocolate bonbons were filled with a sabayon cream and another cream which I didn’t understand, but was also delicious. The little sweet cakes were fresh and good.

We had a lovely meal in a very simpatico ambience. We’ll be back.

To see Gary and Varian’s blogpost on La Cicala from last May click here.

La Cicala
Via Lunga, 16
Bordighera Alta
(39) 0184 261815

One Response to “La Cicala, Bordighera Alta 2”

  1. Laurent Says:

    On behalf of Ioana and myself, happy new year 2009 to you Mike and Linda. Hope to see you in Asia sometime in ’09 or ’10.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.