Category: Forte dei Marmi

We decided to take the hour drive to Forte dei Marmi, to meet up for lunch with friends. They had discovered a new restaurant by the beach, and wanted to see the lovely town a last time before the summer ends.

I have joined my friends and their baby at Principe’s restaurant… no need to say with excellent food. As we were stuck in traffic, just managed to make it around 3pm, and due to the end of season and late time, we were the only ones.
So no need to say amazing service as we were the only table to be served …
We all followed the chef suggestion, and I still lick my fingers to the idea of the first dish… Scampis wrapped in bacon fat in a tomato sauce…. I mean come on how can it be bad when bacon is involved!!! And this the tomato sauce … let me tell you it’s story
This tomato sauce is simply unique… It is best done at the end of July or on the first 20 days of August, when the sun is very hot, so the tomatoes will be very dry and perfectly ripe.
After leaving the tomatoes in the sun for 4 – 5 days, you layer them in a jar, add some dried basil and cover it with olive oil. They are ready for consumption two weeks later… and guess what just on time for my visit in Forte dei Marmi;) off course this preparation that took a long time didn’t resist 10 min on our table… leave eating it with the scampis, we attacked it with the warm focaccia as well…
Oh and we thought we didn’t have enough calorie intake so had a plate of spaghetti all’astice (lobster spaghetti) each. I know I know… what happened to my diet? I guess food happened :)
And to accompany all this we had a nice bottle of white wine, actually two cause one was not enough, lol

So after this “light” and “non alcoholic” lunch, we walked around town, so we could digest and do some shopping… I have to say, you could feel more in Forte the end of season than in Portofino.

That night we decided to have a light dinner, and went to “O Magazin” in Portofino. First of all, I would like to advise all the high heel lover ladies to be careful when they walk on the piazzetta. As it is full of stones… well they can fall while trying to walk… I did (thanks god it was late and nobody really saw me)
And the second advise is get ready to get some attitude at “O Magazin”, we nearly begged the staff to serve us… they were so full of themselves that they passed few times in front of us without asking if we were ready, or done…
The two owners, with their collars up, were walking around like two proud peacocks with more attitude than what they should really do; serve!!!!
True their food is great; the octopus carpaccio and the sea bass are to die for… but I would not advise it to anyone… unless you want to be ignored…Hey maybe they are French… you know the waiters that are trained to give you an attitude and make you feel you are so privileged to dine at their restaurants.

Let’s say it doesn’t work for me, and highly recommend you to avoid it… especially when there are so many other amazing restaurants in Portofino….

On my quest to find the beach where I had incredible food last year, I found another one. The restaurant of the “Bagno Angelo”. You could see that the food was good, cause it was full… with locals.
We started with a focaccia and some salad… you know to pretend that we are healthy ;) off course with our Italian Rose…

Then we all took pasta, I had with my spaghetti with mixed sea food; and it was delicious. My friends took al astice and al arselle. They really enjoyed theirs as well. Telling you that restaurant is a keeper, and I am gonna make sure to not forget the name this time.

That night we went to Pietrasanta, which is located few kilometers from Forte.
The area, like most of Tuscany in general, has long enjoyed the patronage of artists. Pietrasanta grew to importance during the 15th century, mainly due to its connection with marble. Michelangelo was the first sculptor to recognize the beauty of the local stone.
Today, the Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, the Dutch-born sculptor Hanneke Beaumont, the Danish sculptor Jens Flemming Sørensen as well as the Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj and Polish F1 driver Robert Kubica have residences in the commune.

My friends had booked at “L’Enoteca Marlucci”, this restaurant run by a family literally means wine shop and has wooden tables in the wine shop and on the terrace.
Even though we arrived at 10pm, it was still buzzing with people eating and drinking. When we finally sat on our table… directly a plate of Tuscan cold cuts arrived. Their flavor is much more salty than the usual cold cuts from Italy. My friend explained me that it is why in Tuscany they make the bread unsalted, just to balance the taste.

As appetizers we shared zucchini flowers filled with cheese, and my Italian friend took the “papa al pomodoro” which is truly, one of the most delicious and simple soups you can make, originating in Tuscany and consisting of not much more than tomatoes, bread, and olive oil. He said it reminds him of his childhood, and grandmother cooking for him. I taste it, memories or not it was simply delicious.

Later we had a “la Bistecca Fiorentina”. A recipe that epitomizes the rustic simplicity of Tuscan cuisine, this Italian-style T-bone steak, is perfect for sharing.
The perfect way to describe it…. heaven on earth, delightfully rich, flavorful rare meat so tender it can be cut with a spoon. Much of the secret is the breed of cattle, Chianina beef… and they are resting it for a long time before cooking it.

No need to add anything, perfect food, perfect wine, perfect service, and on top of it great company. I heard that “Enoteca” is Paul Smith’s favorite restaurant, he even talks about it on his blog, now I understand why….

My second day in Forte dei Marmi started with a late breakfast followed by a great day at the beach. The beach that my friends spend the day is called “Bagno Beppe”. In Forte dei Marmi you rent a cabana and a area on the beach for the season. They give you a table some long chairs and some other chairs. At the end of your day at the beach, you leave your towels; they wash it and install the whole setting for you again.
The whole coast is full of beaches, some regular ones, some fancies, and some super fancies… very easy to spot them, they all have their towels. The very fancy ones are easy to spot, it is the spots where you only hear Russian… Our beach was a family one, so thankfully we only heard Italian around us ;)

At the end of the day we hit the town for aperitivo at “Sambo”, and yes the Milanese style, where while you drink you can eat from the buffet all kinds of delicious pizzas, cold cuts or vegetables… After being yelled because we almost sit on a table, who could “block” the service. Our lovely waitress spill the drinks on my friend, and instead of apologizing blamed her. Oh yeah because she was incapable of taking the right order, and as it was our fault.
Seriously at a point needed to check if I were in Paris or in Forte… I guess she had a bad night or it was that period of the month… anyway we ended up more laughing at it than anything else. But they say Sambo is famous, oh well … not sure if I would put my foot there again….

Two days ago, tired of waiting for the dates of my friends for Turkey, I decided to go to Forte dei Marmi.
The best way to go there would have been to fly to Pisa, but as there were no direct flights, I decided to fly to Florence and rent a car for Forte (which is exactly 101km). so after an hour of Fly Baboo flight, I landed in Florence.

The airport in Florence is so tiny that the arrivals and the departures are almost from the same door. And the car rental place is two steps away. I don’t know if they give a better deal or simply with my luck, the only line was in front of Avis.

I had some good memories (by good memories I mean good food experience) in Forte so I was looking forward to go back and have some more :) Unfortunately couldn’t find the restaurant on the beach that I loved last year, and believe me checked a lot of them…
So the first day we were my friend who invited me, her man and her baby daughter who is my new “friend” and we had some friends from Milan who joined us.

Our first lunch trial was at Bagno Graziella, we were all a bit disappointed as when we ordered our seafood spaghetti, we needed magnifying glasses to find the actual sea food… but after 2 bottles of prosecco, to be honest nobody cared about the food anymore.
We spent our afternoon at the beach where my “friend” of six months did her first sea experience; while another friend had her beach massage experience. And off course the rest of us continued our drinking experience…
Forte dei Marmi is a real family vacation spot, the thing that I love about it is that everyone, from 3 to 73 years old circulate with bikes… and f you go to restaurant with kids nobody looks at you, as if you committed a big crime… off course there are “playgrounds” for only adults: La Capannina di Franceshi and Twiga; or as I call them them Twingo and Copacabana ;)

Our first night we went to “Maito”. Honestly, even if you don’t want to go to Forte for vacation, you need to pass by Maito to eat…. I am still dreaming about their food. We started with a pizza Maito (pizza where each slice has a different taste), then everyone one took appetizers and entrees. The highlights???
“Crudo olio e limone” which is a mix of raw fish carpaccio, “The spaghetti ai scampi”, which is spicy pasta with scampi; “Filetto al aceto balsamico” which is a filet mignon that literally melts in your mouth with a balsamic reduction and also the”Cotolette alla Milanese”, which is a basic breaded veal scallop.
The only disappointing dish was the “Spaghetti all’arragosta”, lobster spaghetti, as it was too salty.

We went to eat it was 10pm passed and the restaurant was still full. The crowd… a bit of everything; some families with their kids falling asleep on the table, some people who were dresses to impress and some foodies like us.

After dinner we decided to choose the third adult playground: ” home” where we had the music we wanted and the drinks we wished… and believe me our party lasted way long after the others finished ;) ))