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Your suggestions for dinner in Manarola and/or Riomaggiore

Your suggestions for dinner in Manarola and/or Riomaggiore

Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Your suggestions for dinner in Manarola and/or Riomaggiore

We are staying in Manarola 2 nights but are happy to walk to Riomagiore (assuming the gate on the Via dell'amore doesn't get locked before 10 pm or so). I've read the reviews on TA (Trattoria da Billy, etc.), but would rather have personal recommendatons from Fodorites.

What would you suggest? We would love outside seating with a great view, but authentic Italian food (particularly seafood) is most important. We are a family of 4, with daughters 18 and 22, and they have very sophistocated palates. We don't need a menu in English, but I suppose in Cinque Terre they all do.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 09:57 PM
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Anyone?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2010, 11:16 PM
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Enzian, there is a current thread from bikerscott who has been posting from Manarola. There are some restaurant ideas that might help you.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 04:14 AM
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enzian:

We just got back from 9 days in Manarola. We ate dinner at four of the five main restaurants in Manaraola and they are all good. (We just never made it to Aristide's for dinner but that was our morning breakfast hangout). Bikerscott has covered some of them as well as indicated and we agree with them that Il Porticciolo was a favourite (I liked the Trofie in Pesto there). Their front area was covered when we were there so there is no seaside view.

If view + good food is what you're after - Trattoria da Billy is the one. We ate dinner there three times. You have to make reservations and if they don't ask you have to specify outdoor seating. It is tucked a bit farther up the Ravine in the village but the view is beautiful at sunset. We had the lobster pasta for 2 one night - a wonderful sauced pasta with a whole lobster was excelent (though as bikerscott and his wife pointed out, you have to fight with it a bit). There is usually a variety of fresh fish and seafood sold by weight and we splurged all three meals - it was all awesome - simply prepared and perfectly cooked. They will recommend. Semifreddo with limone was most excellent as a dessert. Everything was good all three nights we ate there. Complementary grappa or Amaro usually ended the meal.

I should mention that the restaurant with the greater number of seaside seats is Marina Piccolo by the harbour - and we also loved the food there as well. Again - reservations are a must. (Instead of calling, I would usually swing by in the afternoon and make the reservations).

There are no bad restaurants in Manarola - some are just a bit more packed with tourists thanks to Mr. Steves.

Dave
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 06:16 AM
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Thanks! It looks like we have at least 2 good options, and that's all we need. I was a bit worried about the "Mr. Steves" aspect of the places, but it sounds like the Manarola restaurants are still good, despite the influx of tourists.

I've read some of the reviews in Italian on TA and they aren't all as glowing as the ones written by English-speakers.

Maudie--it was bikerscott's thread that prompted me to ask my question. I know he mentioned da Billy and the battle of the shellfish, but couldn't find where he named the place they went the first night. Or was that also da Billy?

And making our reservations earlier in the same day is far enough ahead?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Trattoria Billy's was recommended to me by several people. Our favorite restaurant of the Cinque Terre towns was in Vernazza, Belforte. Very cool interior, outside seating high above the harbor and an incredible risotto.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Thanks, cmcfong. Belforte sounds perfect for our lunch in Vernazza.

I'm reading mixed things about which sections of the Blue path are now open, but we are happy to take the higher path if need be. One way or another, we'll get to Vernazza.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 12:47 PM
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I loved the risotto there. My companion had the sea bass which she said was splendid. Also very high marks to the house white.
The only portion of the blue path open during my stay was the Riomaggiore to Manorala walk. There were many other options with spectacular views available. I know you are strong hikers and you will be spoiled for choice.
I hope to get my trip report up soon.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2010, 12:58 PM
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enzian, it is likely everything will be open when you are there--and as others said, there are more trails other than the main village to village one (and it would be great if they have more shade, but I dunno). As of Saturday, only Monterosso to Vernazza was still closed.
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 02:39 PM
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I must be the only person on the planet who not only did not enjoy Il Porticciolo, but also found the trofie in pesto nearly inedible (last month). I have been traveling in Italy for decades, and I rarely have anything but raves for the food (even "fast food"); but Il P was a huge disappointment, both times we went there (in 2008 and 2010).

Other than that, you basically can't go wrong eating in Manarola or Riomaggiore, imo!
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Old Jun 5th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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Italy is such a food nation that any bad food places would be out of business very quickly. The food is fantastic everywhere. Even a train station may have some delicious sandwiches.
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Old Jun 6th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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I agree about the train station, krgystn. Unfortunately, I think there ARE places in the highly-touristed areas that manage to succeed despite their mediocrity.
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Old Jun 6th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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good point, Lucie
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 08:19 PM
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LucieV---not Il Porticciolo---say it isn't so! I had pretty much decided to try there and Marina Piccalo, after seeing Trattoria da Billy seriously panned on TA. I guess we'll have to re-calculate.
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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enzian, I am clearly in the minority about Il P.
In any case, I assure you: you will eat well in Manarola (and Riomaggiore). Don't worry about it!
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