Italy without Pasta

Hello Darlings, LaDiva here.

Just got back from the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France.  Didn’t have time for much eating in French restaurants due to our schedule.  However, our hotel did have a frig, so bread, jam, guacamole, scones and hummus kept us going.

Front sign Taveran “Il Giardino dell’Eden

We did get to drive to Italy, about 90 minutes from where we were outside of Nice.  We went to see some sites, but couldn’t figure out how to get there and ended up in a small town in Italy.  We went to Italy just to be able to say, we left France after breakfast and ate lunch in Italy.

The town we landed in was Calice Ligure in Savona.  It is just up from the coast.   We were starving at this point, 2pm.  Everything was closing for the afternoon break.  Bathrooms were also important.  I saw a sign for a taverna and hoped it would be open.

Tucked away on a small street was Taverna Il Giardino dell’Eden.

Taverna “Il Gardino dell’Eden” entry

The last guests were just leaving.  We asked if they were open and they seemed glad to see us.  After dredging up French, from my days as a street musician in Paris, for 3-4 days during our time in Cannes, it was a relief to find someone speaking English.  The place was clean with charming dining rooms and tucked away seating areas. These rooms were off a main dining room large enough for tables and a grand piano.

Miranda, the owner, told us that they didn’t carry pasta because everyone else does.  That made sense, but we were HUNGRY and wanted real food.

Our host, Miranda

We were seated in a well lit room where Seamus and I started snapping photos.  She said she didn’t have many folks who didn’t eat no cholesterol foods, but she could make a big, fresh salad, bruschetta and a pizza.

I was a little skeptical, but wanted a salad almost more than a glass of wine.  That was another surprise.  She suggested the house rosé.  I am not a rosé girl, but she promised it was dry.  We tried that and the house red.  The red was bone dry, like a foch or chaunac.  The rosé was dry, but had a good finish. We got a bottle.  AND it was local.  Well, that is right up my alley.

The salad was excellent – greens, tomatoes, corn [?] and olives.  She gave us oil and condiments to dress it as we wanted.

The owner bringing the FAB rose

My friend, Seamus is 13 and not a green salad fan.  He ate the whole thing and said how terrific it was.  Fresh is best!

I could not believe how great the bruschetta was.  The tomatoes tasted like REAL tomatoes.  The bread was fantastic. The proportion of basil, garlic and tomatoes was just like mom never made.

The pizza was also great.  It really showed how fresh ingredients make the meal.  When you have excellent produce

The onion, garlic pizza before it was devoured

you just get out of the way and let them do their magic.

We ate everything and Miranda asked if we would like another bruschetta.  Of course, we readily agreed.

This one was an olive tapenade.  Luckily, we had eaten some food before it arrived or there would have been a fight for the last piece.

Miranda told us that the taverna had been opened about 10 days.  She was still working on the menu.  A group of cyclists had been there that week and were thrilled to have anything but pasta.  She probably would have more plant foods if the clientele requested it.  So, Darlings, go to Italy and visit her.

Cute, cozy corner

We asked about the grand piano in the main dining area.  She said she wanted to have live music.  I just got an email from her today that they started the live music last night.  This would be a great place to listen to music and have a coffee or glass of wine.

Our bill was very reasonable.  Miranda was great.  Before we left France, Seamus asked where we would eat in Italy and what we were going to do.  I told him sometimes the best plans are no plans.  The eatery certainly worked out.

Since we had about an hour before going back, we decided to explore the town.

We thought we would check out the church.  What a find!   The ceiling was amazing.

Ceiling over the altar

The painting was just wonderful.  I’m no Italian religious expert, but this was certainly worth the walk.  I have more photos that will get on to Marty’s FB pages of the church.

Thanks to Seamus for sharing his photos for this entry.  LUVed traveling, testing my language skills, eating in new places, having a glass of wine at 4am on the beach on the French mediterranean, but really glad to sleep in my own bed.

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