3 restaurants and a funeral (or really, really bad pizzeria)

Well, over the three weeks of holiday, there were, notably, 4 new restaurants. 3 excellent and 1 which served the most dire pizza that I’ve ever tasted – and that includes all those not in Italy!

But, first, lets cheer ourselves up with the good ones.

The first was in Carrara, called Il ReBacco just off the central square. A bit expensive but the food was very good. But, when it came to the sweet I chose, well, it was to die for. It was a chocolate mouse but so divine. Best Mate, who was with me, really liked it. If I had known how much, I would have given her mine and had her cheesecake. After all, she doesn’t come that often and I can always go back there!

And I would go back – if only for the chocolate mouse!

We had an antipasto, main course, wine and water and, of course, dessert – it came out around €50 per head. We ate outside as the weather was so good so I don’t actually know what it was like to eat inside but, from the entrance, it looked nice.

The second was in a place called Partaccia which is the next “village” to F’s “village”, so really close and easy to get to. We were taken there by T, the local vet who also has a place on the beach near us. Since her son is a chef who has moved to London, the talk between us, on the beach is often about food and restaurants. And so, she suggested going to a couple of places. Agilulfo Osteria was the first place she took us to. This is in the middle of a holiday area but this restaurant, just off the main road is anything but some kind of seaside food joint. It wouldn’t be amiss in the middle of some of the trendiest areas in Milan. With prices to match, of course.

The food and the presentation were divine. I should have had the Agnello di Zeri but I didn’t because I thought we were going to eat it later in the week. Actually, I can’t remember what I had, sorry. However, the place was pretty, the tables arranged into some sort of constructed court.

My only criticism would be the portion size. It was OK as I wasn’t hungry (for the whole time of my holiday) but, if I had been hungry, it might have left me needing more. But the quality made up for the quantity, for sure.

Thirdly, again with T, we went to Castagnetola and a real trattoria – Trattoria Da Emma. This couldn’t be further from Agilulfo Osteria if it tried. This is “home” cooking from Emma herself a lady who looks like someone’s grandma. This is NOT expensive but the food is wonderful. We had gnocchi fritti to start with – lightly fried squares of pastry which expand (like Yorkshire Puddings) so, when you cut into them, they create a kind of envelope. We filled this with some delicious prosciutto and eat it with your hands. I had the pasta with beans and everyone else had the ravioli (tordelli, here) which I also tried and it was all delicious. F had the Fritto Misto – deep fried fish (sardines, prawns, squid, etc.) whilst I had a pork chop. We also had chips which were, quite obviously, hand made – like everything else.

Such a lovely place and such nice food. We had the table just before the entrance, in a small corner, under grape vines. It made it all very special. Worth the trip. Apparently, apart from the gnocchi fritti and the tordelli, the other dish “not to be missed” are the deep fried sardines. If they have them, you can have a plate of those instead of what F had.

Unfortunately, the title of “worst pizza, probably in the world” goes to a restaurant/pizzeria that I don’t know the name of. I will try and hunt out the receipt to get the name of it. I didn’t pick up a card as it was really so dreadful. The base was soggy and they used so much oil that there was hardly any taste except that. This was a place in Sarzzana. It’s in the Piazza Matteoletti, right at the top end, where it narrows, on the right hand side. Dreadful, dreadful, dreadful. The waitress was lovely and we thought (Best Mate and I) that it would be good as there was a queue of people waiting – it was so full – but either we were unlucky with our choice or these people were just visitors who knew nothing!

And it is proof that you really can get crappy pizza in Italy. Avoid this place like the plague!

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