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La Cucina di Nonna Nina, San Rocco

126 Via Molfino
San Rocco di Camogli
Italy 16032
Tel: 39 01 8577 3835's insider take:

In such a dramatically perched village you'd expect a panoramic terrace, but apart from a handful of tables near the entrance, "Grandma Nina's Kitchen" is all inside, on the second floor of a typically sober Ligurian house. The approach is so local that the seasonal menu is written in Camogli dialect—a challenge even for most Italian speakers. But the attentive owner-host will talk you through the day's highlights in regular Italian or halting English. Starters include a delicate torta rustica di verdure—steamed and spiced bietola (Swiss chard), chopped up fine and encased between two thin layers of phyllo pastry. Follow up with a generous plate of tagliolini with branzino (bream) and artichokes—they don't skimp on portions here. If you still have room, try a classic Genoese secondo like buga in carpione—a bogue (a small fish with the improbable Latin name Boops boops) that is marinated in vinegar and oil and then fried. If you're planning to walk back to Portofino over the mountain (it's actually a fairly easy 90-minute trek), you may also want to sample their delicious homemade cakes.

Open Thursdays through Tuesdays.

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