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Levanto: Antica Trattoria Centro

Corso Italia 25 , Phone: 0187.808157

Closing day: Tuesday

Reviewed by: candy from MN, review #2893

When: 2008

Wonderful service, delicious food, good prices and nice surprises.

Directions: About two blocks from the Information center in Levanto.

My husband and I received a recommendation to this restaurant from our hotel- Al Terre di Mare, and found it to be so delightful we ate there both nights that we were in the area. The service as attentive but not hovering and the food and wine fantastic.

We ordered the house white that was full-bodied with lots of fruit but not sweet (this area is known for white wine not red) and the waiter brought us a bottle that was so good we bought some to give to friends. (Don't remember the name now.) The homemade pasta of the area and pesto was fabulous as was the fish prepared Ligurian style.

At the end of our meal they brought complimentary Limoncello, which we had never had before and which was delicious. We shared all the dishes and they were very accomodating. The fish was more expensive than we realized, but it was wonderful. We tried the octopus appetizer too and loved it. The anchovy main dish was just ok for me, not being an anchovy lover, but my husband loved it. The lemon gelato was a great finish to a great meal.

Reviewed by: caplanco from CO, review #2202

When: 2006

We ate in a lovely garden room with a waiter that enjoyed watching us enjoy our delicious lunch.

Lunch for 2 with wine €81

It began to sprinkle as we got to Levanto that Thursday. It was easy to find parking lots and we chose one at the sea promenade near the information office. Then we set out to find the suggested restaurants.

The first one was closed on Thursday. The second one appeared to be closed for the season, part of the problem of traveling in this area in the off-season. The third one, Antica Trattoria Centro, was open and Michael noticed people in the garden room so we went in. This turned out to be a great meal in nice atmosphere with a nice waiter.

We ordered a mixed seafood antipasto for two. The plate that was brought to us held two slices of thinly sliced white marinated fish and a few sardines, also marinated as in a ceviche. We were a bit taken aback as this cost €12 per person. However, then the plates began to arrive, one after another: raw tuna and dried (like brasola) with cherry tomatoes; fried anchovies and stuffed sardines; smoked salmon with capers and onions and great butter, large anchovies; stuffed mussels, and tiny seppia in red sauce; and finally steamed mussels in a light red sauce. Wow! We began to be sorry that we'd ordered two more courses! We then shared a plate of fabulous potato gnocchi in a very flavorful artichoke sauce and no longer regretted having ordered more food.

I mentioned to the waiter, who was thoroughly enjoying watching Michael savor his lunch, that when we’d walked in, I'd noticed his family having a large platter of roasted chestnuts and that we’d been craving them but hadn't found any yet. Shortly thereafter he brought a small bowl of roasted chestnuts, telling us that usually only made for the family but...

Finally, I had the best piece of grilled swordfish I've ever had and Michael had grilled scampi and shrimp. This had all been accompanied by a bottle of house white and two bottles of water.

After a double caffe the waiter brought a bottle of the dreaded limoncello and insisted we have some. It was very drinkable - not the usual sickly sweet – and I complimented him on it.

Reviewed by: Janet Zinn from NY, review #1077

When: 2004

Excellent, friendly and reasonable trattoria on the main street of Levanto

This small trattoria is right on one of the main streets of Levanto with a few streetside tables. We had an excellent meal consisting of Swordfish carpaccio with a sesame sauce, and stuffed mussels for antipasti; and then a fritto misto and tagliolini frutti di mare for main courses. We were brought complimentary Limoncello di Levanto with our dessert. With a bottle of a house-labeled wine (a local white) the bill totaled €59.

Reviewed by: Jeannew from PA, review #1063

When: 2004

Good food, pleasant surroundings and friendly service

Directions: Corso Italia is one block in from the beach front. The restaurant is not far from the municipal casino and across the street from Stella d'Italia Hotel.

This is one of the restaurants recommended by Fedrico at Villa Margherita. We liked it so much the first night we made standing reservations for the next two. Eager to try local dishes, I ordered Zuppa di Pesce which is for two, plus pansotti in walnut sauce for myself. The woman taking the order said that the Zuppa would be more than enough and not to order any more courses until we had finished the Zuppa. She was correct, and we really appreciated her honesty. The Zuppa came in a huge crock and was filled with all kinds of seafood in a sllightly spicy, rich broth with a touch of tomato. Mussels, tiny striped clams, huge scallops, various kinds of whole shrimp-like creatures, cuttlefish bodies (I think), pieces of swordfish and some kind of white fish, 2 chunks of lobster tail and many, many tiny octopii. I am not a big seafood fan, and normally would not eat such crawly things, but they were truly good. The broth was incredible and served with slices of toast to sop it up.

A half bottle of local white wine, mineral water, espresso and desserts of home made lemon sorbet for me and ice cream covered with espresso for hubby completed the meal.

Total cost for 2: €55. Plus they brought out a bottle of the local version of Limoncello, too strong for me.

The other 2 nights we tried other local dishes, usually two courses with a half bottle of very good local wine. €55 for two seemed to be the average for very satisfying meals. The very honest woman who took the orders would tell me if she felt a particular item wasn't good that night. The young man who did most of the serving was cheerful, spoke good Engllish and pretended to understand my bad Italian.

They have indoor and outdoor (under an awning in the back) seating. Many of the diners we saw were Italian and repeat customers. Dress varied from hiking clothes to upscale resort wear.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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