Antica Trattoria Garibaldi, Bordighera Alta
December 20, 2011
On September 22, 2011, Linda and I returned to the upper, old part of Bordighera after shopping in the market in Ventimiglia. We had planned to lunch at La Cicala, but it was exceptionally closed when we arrived, so we went around the corner to the Antica Trattoria Garibaldi.
This restaurant has been run for the last forty-three years by the Muzzana family. Piero is the patron, supervising everything and making sure that his guests are having a good time. His wife, Elvira is the cook, assisted by her sister, Rosa. Their daughter, Maddalena, and son, Antonello, run the dining room and serve with panache.
On this lovely day we were seated in the courtyard in back of the restaurant. It is covered with umbrellas and has a cozy atmosphere.
We looked at the menu and the tray of fresh fish of the day. There was a branzino, or loup de mer, on top, a rascasse on the bottom, and our choice, an orata, or daurade, in the middle.
Bread, grissini and a bottle of the local, traditionally stone-ground, olive oil were put on the table. We ordered a bottle of the local white wine, Pigato. It goes beautifully with fish and seafood.
Linda’s first course was
Trofie al pesto
The trofie, freshly made from gnocchi dough, were mixed with a few green beans. This is a local custom, but the beans were overcooked. The pesto and trofie were superb.
My first course was
Spaghetti Cozze e Vongole
The flavor from the mussel and clam juices was excellent. It was mixed with a lot of garlic, parsley, some fresh tomato chunks and a few hot red pepper flakes. This was a very good example of a fairly common regional dish.
Our main course was
Pescato fresco del giorno
The daurade we had selected had been grilled. The skin was crisp, but the inside was still moist. It was boned and served by Maddalena alongside our table. (You can see the boning half done, when she had just plated Linda’s portion, in the middle photo.) The bottom photo was just taken before I squeezed on some lemon and poured on some olive oil, which enhanced the good flavor and made it real Ligurian cuisine. The crisp skin is underneath. Excellent.
Linda’s dessert was a baked peach with cherry crumble on top, served with vanilla ice cream and peach sauce.
My dessert was a panna cotta with chocolate sauce.
Good, not too sweet.
I finished with a good Italian espresso.
On the way out Linda chatted with the daughter, Maddalena; you can see the son, Antonello, in the back.
Our meal had been very enjoyable. The cuisine was traditionally prepared local specialties with good, fresh local ingredients. Just as important was the warm, traditional Italian family ambience. Bravissimo.