Km 0: I would definitely recommend this place, which was a small local cafe. The name is an Italian reference to locally-sourced ingredients. I ordered the rice salad, which was a delicious cold rice and pickled vegetable salad. B had the anchovy sandwich (because the region is known for anchovies), which tasted like a lot of salt and a little butter spread on bread. They had brought out wine pairings for these too. Then, because we were (temporarily) tired of gelato, we asked them to make us a meat and cheese plate, based on their recommendations. Except what we got was more of a platter: six or seven cheeses, four salames, tomato and apricot jams – and it still sounds like a lot less than it was. But most importantly, the two women working there were super kind and accommodating. Would definitely go back!
Cantina di Miky: This was a recommended restaurant, as the more casual and affordable version of a well-reputed long-running establishment. I thought the food quality was pretty good. B ordered stuffed, fried anchovies, which are a local specialty; they were surprisingly delicious. Then, he had more pesto pasta, and I ordered branzino. We sat in a peaceful courtyard, but they also had a bustling seaside patio. One of the better places to eat in Cinque Terre, likely.
Enoteca Il Pirun:We ate here because they could accommodate 15 of us on short notice, which is impressive. The food wasn’t amazing, but they were good sports about our group volume and lack of Italian knowledge. I ordered swordfish with potatoes and olives, and that was worth it; B’s pesto pasta was not very good, sadly. The name of the restaurant comes from a glass contraption resembling a carafe with a spout called a ‘pirun.’ You fill it with wine and tip it to pour the wine into your mouth, bringing the carafe away from you and back. It’s intended to look like a well-orchestrated, graceful version of a keg stand, but it’s subject to even more messes. They say the wine direction and flow are easy to control, but that requires moving the ‘pirun’ rather quickly, and most importantly – remembering to swallow. Most everyone had a turn (except for me: I don’t waste wine or enjoy spectacle), and the Italians at the restaurant took lots of video. If you have a big group, I would come here; if not, I wouldn’t.
We ate so much gelato that it would be ridiculous to list all the places. Also, it would be hard to remember. Because of the weird Italian eating schedule, we end up substituting gelato for a lot of meals. Sorry not sorry.