How to manage a degustation while jetlagged
Pre-warning: make sure you go to this restaurant with an empty stomach and do not fill up on bread before the mains come as you will be so disappointed when you can’t fit in every course.
Phil and I booked into this Agriturismo Le Pale for our first night in Italy after we arrived from Sydney in June 2013.
If I’d known how amazing it was going to be I would have forgone the 10 films I watched on the plane for sleep so I could have avoided the jet lag that plagued me when we showed up for dinner.
Set high in the hills above the Italian town of Bogliasco, this farmhouse is surrounded by olive trees and has a panoramic view of the Ligurian coast. It sounds so cliched, and maybe it was - but who cares because it was awesome!
What we weren’t expecting when we checked in to our accommodation was the incredible Genoese restaurant on site. It is open to farmhouse guests in high season during the week, and to the public on weekends. For those who haven’t experienced an agriturismo, you will find that the majority of the ingredients served are either locally sourced or grown on site.
Jetlagged as we were, we simply showed up & asked for a table, intending on having a simple antipasto platter & glass of vino before hitting the hay. We found that there was only one “farmhouse all included” menu for 25 euro. This included appetizers, first & second courses, side dishes, desserts, coffee & a complimentary liqueur made on site. Food just began showing up, so we went with it.
Here are a few tips on how to get through a degustation meal when all you feel like doing is falling asleep in your soup:
Skip the bread
Skip the salad (unless is looks amazing)
Take a few bites of each course then offload the remains of your meal on to your husband’s plate so you look like you ate it all
Have a prosecco! It always wakes me up :-)
If all else fails espresso espresso espresso
When you think of Genoese cuisine you often think of the sea (unless of course you have never heard of Genova..get that map out people.) But we had all sorts of foods and flavours in the degustation. Pesto was a prominent feature. Note: the pastas are all hand made & absolutely delicious, but don’t fill up on them as there is plenty more food coming. The menu changes seasonally, and it is all locally sourced and homemade.
Think anchovies, truffles, fish, pasta, meats….and a few things I can’t describe like a random mousse filled with all sorts of surprises - there was definitely a prawn in there. I must admit, I wasn’t too wrapped in the mousse, but they just plonk it on your plate so what can you do?
If you decide that you want to stay the night, the two apartments have been completely refurbished and are situated on the ground level, with a large terrace and spectacular sea views. It also has a fantastic pool that overlooks the coast.
If you have children, the restaurant is family friendly with a playground for the kiddies. Just a note, the Agriturismo is located up the side of the mountain & does require walking to get up there. However there is a handy little train that carries your bags up.
Agriturismo Le Pale - http://www.agriturismolepale.it/en/