Genoa 2018: Dinner at Antica Osteria Ravecca


I had a great first day with Hotel Alphabet and our intimate little group of art history lovers. Amazingly out of a group of six of us, I immediately recognised a couple as they arrived this morning at our meeting place. They come from Twickenham too and our daughters were at school together. What a small world it is!

I have done  a lot of walking over the past two days: 11 km yesterday and 9.8 km today. I’ve found this is quite typical on a city break. It may not be as obviously ‘healthy’ and ‘hearty’ as a walking or hiking holiday – but I do serious walking on my city holidays. And love it. What better way to get to know a city.

It may, however, not be quite so healthy to think that all this walking means I can indulge in good food and wine a little more! An aperitivo had definitely been earned, I decided. First I reserved a table at Antica Osteria Ravecca, which I’d seen on my first day walkabout yesterday and found it had good reviews. I ignored the ‘Closed’ sign on the door and went in, about 6.30, to ask if they had a table. They had if I was happy to sit in the small area near the entrance. I said yes and later saw I had managed to secure the last table as they really were fully booked. Typically here restaurants open at 7.30pm and so I said I’d be back in an hour.

Nearby, in Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, I’d earlier seen Caffe Douce, which my friend Tina – who was recently in Genoa – recommended, so I headed there. By now, earlier clouds had disappeared and it was a lovely warm, sunny evening. I sat outside and ordered a prosecco. The friendly waitress seemed concerned I should eat something too and offered to bring olives (which they didn’t charge for). Again, I found kindness, friendliness and a nice big smile in Genoa.

I was happy sitting there for almost an hour, with a book, before making the short walk back to the osteria.

I was pretty much the first to arrive but the restaurant soon filled up. The helpful waiter showed me the wine list and recommended a couple of white wines to have by the glass and I chose a local one.


When a plate of bread came I asked the waitress what the black one was and she said it was made with black sepia (cuttlefish) ink. It was really delicious, as was their focaccia. It was quite hard to resist eating all the lovely bread but I had to save room for my meal.

I simply had to have the homemade pasta with Genovese pesto made in house.

It was truly wonderful. It smelled wonderful as it was put before me; I was enjoying it before I’d even had a taste. And the taste was glorious.

I’d hesitated over my main choice. The fish of the day turned out to be ombrina, which I had last night – and also cooked with olives and tomatoes. I wanted fish and as my indecision lingered on, and I asked about another couple of fish dishes, the waiter assured me the special was really excellent. So, I went with it. It didn’t really matter is was similar to the night before, especially as I’d decided ombrina is a very tasty fish.

It was similar but slightly different and really, really gorgeous. It was served on a soft and creamy mash of potato. I was very glad I’d had it.

It was a fabulous meal. I had just an espresso to finish. The bill with food and wine came to €35.

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A lifelong lover of good food and travel; writer and book editor

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