The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Tasty Genovese pasta @ Pizzeria El Portico, Portofino (Italy)

The first thing we did upon arrival in Portofino last summer was not sight-seeing, but eating! Getting to Portofino from Levanto on land took longer than anticipated, and it was almost noon by the time we got off the bus. I had a pasta craving to satisfy (I was 5-months pregnant at the time after all!), and online reviews for Pizzeria El Portico were good enough. The pizzeria was easy to locate, as it is on the main street heading towards the harbour. El Portico was just beginning its lunch service when we arrived.

Dining is on porch (hence the name), and there were only two tables indoors:

It's a very casual affair, and the food was quite reasonably priced considering that this is Portofino, 'resort for the rich and famous'. Our waitress was an amicable and outgoing girl who spoke quite fluently in English which made ordering a cinch. She was helpful with making recommendations and taking allergy requests. The food was tasty, in a rustic homemade sort of manner.

Muscoli alla Parmigiana (9&euro) - literally translates to "muscles parmigiana-style" - a play on words, perhaps? Pretty good:

Antipasto Misto di Pesce (15&euro) - mixed seafood antipasto. Delicious:

Torta e Verdure Ripiene (10&euro) and Torta di Carciofi (7.50&euro) - vegetable-stuffed 'cake' and artichoke 'cake' respectively. Apparently such savoury 'cakes' originated from the Ligurian and Genovese regions:

Lasagna al Pesto (10&euro), because pesto was born in this region. It does not make a pretty plate, but it was really good. This was a good dish to order for pesto appreciation:

Gnocchi Gamberi e Zucchine (14&euro) - gnocchi with prawn and zucchini. Nicely creamy, and prawn and zucchini made a surprisingly good pairing:

Tiramisu (6&euro), the closest version yet to the best tiramisu we had in Venice. It's similarly custard-style without the boozy cake base:

Good food, unpretentious atmosphere, friendly service - Pizzeria El Portico is a great affordable option in this expensive village.

Pizzeria El Portico
Via Roma, 21
16034 Portofino
Genova, Italy
Tel. +39 0185 269239

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