Pesto sauce originated in Genoa. It is used in many dishes such as pasta and pizza. Check out the many versions of Focaccerias.
Popular Restaurants in Genoa:
The cuisine of the two story Trattoria Da Maria in the Old City near Piazza delle Fontane Marose draws a crowd of neighborhood residents and tourists of all nationalities. Patrons sit side by side at long tables covered with red- or blue-checked tablecloths. The staff hurries around them and shouts orders up and down the shaft of a dumbwaiter. Menu features include minestrone alla Genovese, risotto buonissimo alla Genovese (rice stirred with a sauce;, zuppe da pesce (a rich fish soup that's definitely worth trying), and such simple main courses as a filet of fish sautéed in white wine or grilled sausages. No frills here with the menu listed on sheets of paper on the shiny pale green walls. The pasta with pesto sauce is especially delicious, as is pansotti, small ravioli covered with a walnut-cream sauce. Prices range from $7-$14. Open for lunch and dinner. Trattoria Da Maria is located Close to Piazza de Ferrari, at Vico Testadoro 14 r, Genoa. The phone number is +39 010 581080. No reservations needed.
Enrico Reboscio has turned this old pie and farinata shop into an oasis of good food named La Berlocca. The seasonal Ligurian menu marrying sea and garden is delicious. Selections include piccagge matte al pesto (chestnut pasta with pesto), taglierini neri con gamberi (black pasta with crayfish and ginger), stoccafisso accomodato alla genovese (stockfish with potatoes, onions, pine nuts, and tomato sauce), and filetto con mele, curry, e calvados (a beef filet in a curry made with apples and Calvados liqueur). There's a decent wine selection also. Prices range from $12-$27. Major credit cards are accepted. Hours Tues–Fri noon–3pm; Tues–Sun 7–11pm. Closed last week of July to the 3rd week of August. La Berlocca is located at via ai Macelli di Soziglia 45r. The phone number is +39 010 4075555.
Five Belloni brothers share chef duties at Zeffirino. The establishment is full of odd combinations such as the decor that has both rustic wood and modern metallic pieces. Try the passutelli (ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese, herbs, and fruit) or any of the homemade pasta dishes. Ristorante Zeffirino was allegedly one of Frank Sinatra's favourite restaurants (apparently he had them send him regular supplies of their pesto). Prices are upscale. Credit cards are accepted. Reservations are essential. Jackets are required. Zeffirino is located at Via XX Settembre 20, Portoria, Genoa, 16121. The phone number is 010/591990.
EDITOR NOTE: Genoa is a gateway port for Milan. For your convenience, we are providing restaurant recommendations for Milan in addition to Genoa.
Cuisine in Milan has some unique differences from other areas of Italy. In the Lombardia region, use of rice actually exceeds that of pasta. Risotto alla Zafferano (risotto with saffron), is quite popular. Cololetta alla Milanese, breaded fried calf rib, is another local specialty. Panettone, a dome shaped bread, is especially prepared during the Christmas season. On those cold days that do come in winter, you may also want to order La Barbajada, which is concocted from hot chocolate, coffee, milk, and whipped cream. We suspect you're going to love dining in this town!
Popular Restaurants in Milan:
Al Pont de Ferr, located at Ripa di Porta Ticinese 55, Milan, offers that wonderful ambiance no one has to dreamily refer to as "Italianesque" because it IS Italian... bistro furniture on flagstone, and a menu that refers you on from one course to another. Ideas of dishes to try there include paste e fagioli, the ricotta-stuffed ravioli, tocchetti di coniglio (oven-roasted rabbit with potatoes), and porchetta. This restaurant offers wine by the half bottle at reasonable prices. Entrees tend to range from 11€ to 25€, with prices a bit lower at lunch. Hours are from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, and from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM. American Express, Visa, and Mastercard are accepted. Reservations are recommended, and you can contact them at 02-8940-6277.
Latteria, at Via San Marco 24, Milan, offers a changing menu of great home style Milanese fare, including minestrone soup and a nice variety of risotto entrees. It's a cozy little place with roses gracing the walls, where no reservations are taken. That said, you want to get there early. Their prices range from 8€ to15€. Hours open are 12:30 to 2:30 PM, and 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM Mondaus through Fridays. They can be contacted at 02-659-7653
Trattoria Milanese, at Via Santa Marta 11, Milan, has been a restaurant for over 70 years. You'll find it nestled in a lane west of the Duomo. This trattoria has the local reputation of offering some of the best of Milanese traditional fare. Thus, we suggest the Risotto alla Milanese, the minestrone, the polenta, and the Costoletta alla Milanese! Prices range from 19 to 39 Euros for entrees, and the Milanese does accept American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Reservations are necessary, and you can call them at 02-8645-1991. Their hours are Wednesday through Monday from noon to 3:00 PM, and from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM.