The Italian Riviera Restaurants

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The Italian Riviera Restaurant Reviews

Ligurian cuisine might surprise you. As you'd expect given the long coastline, it employs all sorts of seafood, but the real claim to fame is the exemplary use of vegetables and herbs.

Basil is practically revered in Genoa (the word is derived from the Greek basileus, meaning "king"), and the city is considered the birthplace of pesto, the basil-rich pasta sauce. This and other herbs—laurel, fennel, and marjoram—are cultivated but also grow wild on the sun-kissed hillsides. Naturally, seafood plays a prominent role on the menu, appearing in soups, salads, and pasta dishes. Especially bountiful are anchovies, sea bass, squid, and octopus. Vegetables—particularly artichokes, eggplant, and zucchini—are abundant, usually prepared with liberal amounts of olive oil and garlic.

Like much of Italy, Liguria has a full range of eating establishments from cafeteria-like tavole calde to family-run trattorias to sophisticated ristoranti. Lunch is served between 12:30 and 2:30 and dinner between 7:30 and 11. Also popular, especially in Genoa, are enoteche (wine bars), which serve simply prepared light meals late into the night.

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