Harvest time in Liguria, a time for olives

Harvest time in Liguria, a time for olives

A tour of the oil mills near Borgomaro

That time of year has arrived, when the countryside around us is filled with people working for the new olive season: every small town in the Ligurian hinterland has at least 5 or 6 oil mills and producers of oil, our liquid gold.

To make this important tradition better known, there are many small local companies that organize activities with a focus on the world of oil: from days in which you can take part in the collection of the olives and return home with some fresh oil to oil massages under the olive’s trees, up to relaxing walks in the olive groves.

When it comes to oil, all of Liguria is an area of ​​excellence and it is not easy to choose which one is the best product; we have tried to do so for our customers, with a selection of products created with care by the people we have known from generations and who we trust. Who are them? Discover with us some of the oil mills and producers we love the most and whose products we offer every year in our very own corner of typical products:

Cristina Armato Farm – Lucinasco – www.olioarmato.it Cristina is a volcano of ideas, and also produces one of the best oils in the valley. She also created the nice initiative “Adopt an olive tree”. For the incredible quality of their oil, in recent years her company has also received European-wide recognition.

Dinoabbo Farm – Lucinasco – www.dinoabbo.it Generation after generation, the Dinoabbo company has made the history of quality Ligurian olive production and our oil known all over the world. It remains one of the few oil mills to still work with the millstone, just like in the past.

 Frantoio Pellegrino Paolo – Borgomaro – www.frantoiopellegrino.it More than 70 years of history characterize this small family-run oil mill. High-quality oil and products, and a pesto recipe to make you lose your mind.

Giovanni Tallone Oil Mill – Borgomaro – www.oleificiotallone.com In the 1920s, the ancestors of this family were those who gave a great boost to oil production in western Liguria. They offer many products to choose from, always at the top of quality and in limited quantity.

Tera de Prie oil mill – Borgomaro – www.teradeprie.it Love and passion for our territory distinguish the choices of these producers. All products have biological certification and have won several international awards, year after year.

Contact us or contact our partners for information and orders.

Each of the companies we have chosen is a small local reality, and you will hardly be able to find their products in the classic shops.

Our motto, as usual, is: GO LOCAL!

 

In the kitchen with Piera and Granny Magiò! | The Ligurian chard and rice cake

In the kitchen with Piera and Granny Magiò! | The Ligurian chard and rice cake

Every day our customers can taste the dishes of our tradition starting from breakfast.

And actually, to be a true Ligurian, you cannot miss a taste of vegetable pie in the morning.

Our favourite is the one with Swiss chard and rice.
You can find it in the kitchens of every grandmother in Liguria, especially in the morning, baked and ready to taste before the eleven o’clock mass!
I’m well aware of that because my Grandmother Maggiorina has it for me ready every Sunday morning when I go to visit her.
She is from Conio, upper Valle Impero, and I would like to tell you that this is her original recipe but unfortunately, I can’t, because…well, what a question, of course, it’s a secret!

Granny Magiò always says that she cannot remember the doses, but I know that she is very jealous of her recipe. Anyway, by dint of eating it, over time I said to myself: Martina, by now you should be able to reproduce it!
And so here I am, after several tests, removing a few ml of water, or adding a few grams of flour, cooking the chards with the onion in a pan then trying to put them raw directly in the oven.
Of course, getting the doses right and finding the ideal balance between all the ingredients is certainly the hardest part, but don’t be afraid: even if you can’t see it, the trick is there and luckily for you…I know what it is! For the rest…feel free to make your veggie pie unique according to your taste:

Ingredients

For the pasta matta (crazy dough)
300 g 00 white flour
150 ml water
2/4 spoons of EVO oil
5 g salt

For the filling
80 g rice
600 g white chards
3 shallots
200 g Parmigiano Reggiano
150 g Pecorino
2 eggs
1 EVO oil spoon
Salt + Pepper

Dough Preparation
Sift the flour and create a hole in the middle of it, where you will put water (room temperature), oil and salt in. Start mixing and help yourself with a fork at the beginning if it is easier for you. Mix for 10 min and then let the dough rest.

Filling preparation
Cut the shallots and let them fry for a while before putting the chards in the pan (cut them roughly first!): leave it for 5 to 10 min and meanwhile boil the rice. My way: i fill half the pot with a 1/4 milk + 3/4 water for half the time needed. Mix the rice with the chards and add both grated Parmesan and Pecorino cheese. Let the mix cool down before adding eggs, salt oil and pepper. In the meantime you can split the dough into two parts and roll it. Be sure you poured a filo d’olio (little evo oil) on the baking paper before lying the rolled dough – same on the top of the pie once it will be closed. Pierce the dough (both of them) before spreading the filling

Bake in pre-heated oven : 180 ° x 35 min

 

 

 

The top 5 high-level restaurants in Western Liguria

The top 5 high-level restaurants in Western Liguria

To finally celebrate the reopening of public places after this period of forced stop, we want to introduce you to some of the restaurants of the Western Ligurian Riviera you really should not miss.
I would like to point out that for this post I asked advice to our very expert: here is our top five of the best haute cuisine restaurants in Western Liguria, compiled by no-less-than her, the only, inimitable, the Countess of the Foodies County, Elena Scalambrin
As you will have learned by now if you know us a little or if you have already visited us, Elena has a great passion for good food and good wine. Whenever a customer is in doubt about the restaurant to choose for dinner, she can find every time a new place and, of course, always of outstanding quality.
Here are the five winners: five restaurants of unquestionable quality located on the Riviera which, without a doubt, will gift you a magical evening of pampering and attention; but above all, they will enchant you with the high quality of the food and products used…and yes, well of course also of the wine…we are talking about Elena’s choice after all!

Sarri Restaurant in Imperia – www.ristorantesarri.it

You never change a winning team! Today famous to the most also thanks to the Michelin  starred chef Andrea Sarri, this restaurant near the picturesque Borgo Prino in Imperia definitely has a special place in our heart. Offering a nice glimpse of the sea, exquisite refinement of the spaces and gastronomic proposals, accurate and alert service: at Sarri you will spend a very special evening.
Andrea’s style undoubtedly has its roots in the choice of local products but with a twist thanks to his original reinterpretation made of unusual combinations.

Elena’s advice: if you don’t know what to order, go for the “Lasciatemi fare” (“Let me do it”) tasting menu proposed by the chef. A short dream experience that, once you get to dessert, you will hardly be able to forget.
Price: 60€ – 80€

Salvo Cacciatori Restaurant in Imperia – www.ristorantesalvocacciatori.it

The one who best represents the history of Imperia’s restaurant panorama: since 1905 the Salvo family has been carrying on what, born as a tavern for traders and hunters – hence the name “Cacciatori” – today continues to be a central place in the gastronomy of our city and one of its higher level restaurants. Here we are really talking about a historical enterprise: 115 years of activity carried out by the same family is certainly something unique, especially when it comes to restaurants, a field where today the keyword is “change”.
This restaurant had been feature in the Michelin Guide for thirty years, but in recent periods the quality of the dishes and style has undergone a surge thanks also to the expert hands of the new chefs, guided by Enrico’s charismatic management skills. The atmosphere you breathe is warm, enveloping and reminds us of our roots: the restaurant was in fact created through the architectural recovery of the materials of the historic restaurant and with them, it preserved intact also the values ​​that the Salvo family transmits from about a century in their kitchen.

Elena’s advice: we all know that you are either a first plate or a second plate lover. For example, I hardly give up pasta (Italian DNA, what can you do about it) but here the latter, which are meat or fish, are real masterpieces.
Price: 60€ – 80€

3. U Titti Restaurant in Lingueglietta – Da Riccardo & Chiara – www.facebook.com/dautitti/

The first thing that wins you over? The breathtaking view on a hill that allows the location to make even the hardest of hearts fall in love! If we add that the owners are a couple of blinding tenderness, I would say that we have found the ideal place for the most romantic dinner of your life. I am not exaggerating, and if you have the opportunity to enjoy a meal with Chiara and Riccardo you will surely find that my words need even a bit more honey.
A graceful and delicate environment just like the touch of chef Riccardo in his delicious dishes and Chiara’s gracefulness in serving you a good bottle of Vermentino at the table. The proposal is bold, innovative and tasty, certainly the most advanced of our Riviera: you will hardly find something similar and in fact, the U Titti restaurant has managed to earn a place in the well-known television challenge “4 Ristoranti” conducted by chef Alessandro Borghese, ranking first.

Elena’s advice: leave some room for dessert, it’s a must here!
Price: 50€ – 70€

4. Il Gallo della Checca Restaurant in Ranzo – www.ilgallodellacheccaranzo.it

In Liguria, you will find yourself loving not just the riviera, but also the enchanting inland. Especially since it offers goodies like this restaurant! The cooking style is between Liguria and Piedmont: difficult to say where the balance is inclined but the beauty is right here, in not having to choose. If you love meat, truffles and good wine, you can definitely get in your car straight away to here, since at Gallo you will be able to experiment with recipes made to perfection thanks to the selection of excellent ingredients. “What to add more?” you are wondering. Well, then there’s the fact that oil, wine and truffles are not at km0 – surprised, aren’t you? – but at cm0, because they are entirely produced right there, next to the restaurant. To know a little more, run to read the post about their truffle ground HERE!

Elena’s advice: no doubt about it, order the risotto with truffle: Elena’s favourite dish since she was a child
Price: 40€ – 60€

5. Il Pirata Restaurant in Laigueglia – www.ristorantepirata.com
Don’t be confused by the wide choice of places on the riviera: there is only one Pirata!
The restaurant has been recently renovated but has maintained a simple and well-kept environment. Luca wants to distinguish himself from the others by keeping his feet on the ground while giving excellent quality dishes, also thanks to the ingredients he chooses personally. Here you will find a little bit of everything: spectacular first courses, fresh fish, a good dose of tradition and…even pizzas!

Elena’s advice: cod fritters? Yes, yes and yes! Also, check out their wine list to lose your head!
Price: 40€ – 60€

if you are ready to start your gastronomic trip in Liguria, give a look also to our new offer, created to celebrate the opening of the new restaurant of our friends in Imperia ( restaurant that is not featured on this list just because it is still not open :)) Click HERE for more informations

The perfect week end for real foodies

The perfect week end for real foodies

Discover with us all the secrets about ligurian wines and cuisine, accompanied by local wine producers and a professional sommelier. You will travel among the different areas of production of the DOC Riviera Ligurie di Ponente and you will end your day by the new restaurant Agrillo in Imperia: here Vincenzo, talented chef who have been sous chef in different Michelin stars restaurants, will astonish you with its creations, still more perfect thanks to the wine choices of Alessandro, the restaurant’s sommelier. Click HERE to see their new website

Prices starting from € 249,00 per person
The package includes:

  • 2 nights in double room with our special breakfast and afternoon tea and welcome drink
  • 1 dinner at the new Agrillo Restaurant in Imperia with a 4 courses tasting menu and 4 wine in combination
  • 2 visit to local winery, vineyards and tasting. You can choose between:
    • Casa Lupi in Pieve di Teco, one of the oldest winery of our territory, with tasting of 4 wines (Pigato, Vermentino, Sciac-trà e Ormeasco). If you are a sporty you can have a MTB tour with a professional guide ( € 70,00 more per person on the package price)
    • Poggio dei Gorleri, with a stunning view on the hills of Imperia, with tasting of 5 wines (Vermentino Sori, Pigato Cycnus, Rosato, Ormeasco e Granaccia rebosso).
    • Cantina Fontanacota in Pornassio with tasting of 4 wines (Pigato, Vermentino, Sciac-trà e Ormeasco)

And if you don’t feel like driving, we can book for a private driver for the two day

That’s Amore! Surprise your partner with one of our romantic services

That’s Amore! Surprise your partner with one of our romantic services

This period of quarantine didn’t spare couple life: some have children at home all day, some have spent it far away from their partner, while some were too close. To make it right again, when all this will be over in our opinion will be important to take a few days completely dedicated to your loved one.

An evening spent in front of the TV, a picnic on the beach, a dinner by the sea or a small romantic getaway in the countryside are the perfect ingredients to liven up the atmosphere!

At Relais del Maro we have thought of everything: you can take advantage of a comfortable transfer service with private driver for you and your better half, so that you do not have to give up the pleasure of a toast during your romantic candlelit dinner

Or surprise your significant other on arrival by making them find candles, flowers, bubbles and strawberries in her room!

Are you looking for something more original? From this year you can also choose two fantastic new experiences that will make your stay at the Relais unforgettable: the Two Hearts and One Blanket service, to receive everything you need for a romantic picnic among the olive trees or by the sea!

But if you’re a Netflix & Chill guy, why not try our Movie Night kit? A selection of films, popcorn, candies and drinks to accompany a very special evening.

And if you really couldn’t leave the children at home, don’t worry, there’s always our baby-sitting service available.

Take a look at the package that the Relais family has designed for couples, you can find it HERE

That irresistible desire for truffles….in Liguria!

That irresistible desire for truffles….in Liguria!

Imagine yourself in our garden. Maybe on a Sunday, under a warm but bright late September sun, surrounded by nature and silence. In the background, only a few faint chirping of sparrows keeps you company and in the distance, a remote coming and going of people animates the country: it’s time for lunch. The food scents from the grandmothers cooking in the kitchens rise and the imagination begins to travel. It goes down to the coast, looking forward to a nice plate of spaghetti with clams…It goes back downstream, dreaming of getting in front of a giant portion of trofie with pesto…

But what to do when that call is too strong to be ignored and your heart does yearn for a single and unique delicacy, his majesty the truffle?
“Martina! You won’t be proposing for the hundredth time to get in the car and face two hours of travel just to reach the Langhe I hope!”

“Ah! People of little faith that you are, nothing else! Who better than me knows that when your pangs tickle you, you can’t put it off for long? So hurry up, get in the car and count: it won’t take more than 20 minutes!”
Direction? Ranzo, towards the Gallo della Checca restaurant, born from the passion of Chef Ugo Vairo. Although the Gallo della Checca has been present in the renowned Michelin Guide for 25 years, it does not take an expert eye to understand, as soon as you set foot, that you have come to a special place. The family atmosphere, the original and authentic furnishings, but above all the selection of wines (all displayed for your pleasure!) are the frame to a unique gastronomic journey between Liguria and Piedmont.

To complete the work, a truffle ground owned by them where their faithful four-legged friend Kim will find those magical earthy treasures so that they arrive fresh on your table. A pinch of grated fresh truffle on Chef Ugo’s incomparable risotto and it will be like having the Langhe in your pocket… or rather, in your stomach!