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May 10, 2013 01:51 PM

Ventimiglia-- Pasta Lunch on the Seafront

Looking to dip into Italy from the French Riviera for a great pasta lunch. Even better if they have Pesto. Any good recs? Would want to sit outside on the seafront, one of the Passegiatas or Lungomares.

A place where, unlike in France, they do NOT put cream in their pesto or carbonara!!


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  1. There are no outside seats, but it is on the seafront a very short walk from the lungomare - Pasta e Basta. It's packed (book ahead) with French people doing what you want to do - taking a quick dip into Italian food.

    1. Thanks, but with dozens of restos with al fresco seating there must be a good one. When on the Italian Riviera in June we just have to sit outside!

      6 Replies
      1. re: lemarais

        Unfortunately, IMO, there is not a good one with al fresco dining near the border.

        1. re: allende

          Really? There are about 40 or-so restaurants on the Passegiata! All NG?

          I'll go to Bordighera if you have a good rec...

          La Meridiana gets great reviews on TA, FWIW. As well as Usteria D'a Porta Marina...

          1. re: lemarais

            Here are a couple of names in Bordighera that are on my list tho havent tried - Magiarge (has that sea view) and La Cicala..

            1. re: jen kalb

              I've been to both places. Both excellent. They are both in the Centro Storico, so be advised that the "view" there is of the stone walls inside the old Center! But, both are excellent restaurants.

            2. re: lemarais

              It's not a question of not good. It's a question of good and in your case "great." You said you wanted "a great pasta lunch."

              Take for example the two most well known restaurants Balzi Rossi and Baia Beniamin. Both, at one time were good (and had fantastic locations). At least we thought so. Good pasta (although not as great as the guides made it out to be).

              Now, even though both continue to be praised, our meals there a few years ago were embarrassing. Really embarrassing. We've never found anything close to the border that is decent.

              We walked by La Meridiana one time and kept walking.

              Why nothing very close to the border that has outside dining and has "great pasta." Because most of the people coming to these places are French and basically want cheap Italian food, not great food. The restaurants are only too happy to oblige... easier to do and more profit.

              Skip the al fresco, go up the coast an hour, and you can get great Ligurian meals.

              1. re: allende

                Let me amend "great" to "good". I'm looking for a nicely prepared pasta, and I just want to sit on the seafront. I could stay on the French side in Menton and have a great view, but I've been to a couple of those places and the pasta is "poor". (They put cream in their pesto!!) I can't help but think that it has to be a lot better in Ventimiglia.

                As I've mentioned above, I've been to Magiarge and La Cicala, and they are top notch. But I'm just looking for "good" at this time.