15 June 2012

The Best in Vernazza

It's a known thing that to get good food, you go where the locals go. Trattoria da Sandro is no exception. Just down from the train station, the very first restaurant you come upon is Trattoria da Sandro and after being one of the hardest hit businesses in the raging landslide of October 25th, they are back in business and better than ever! (Look at that beautiful deck, my husband built that deck!)

Alessandro and Argentina are not only our dear friends, they also happen to have one of the best restaurants in Vernazza and continue to serve up wholesome, delicious food, without 'selling out' by lowering quality and raising prices like many of those in Vernazza's square. 

To celebrate their long-awaited re-opening, my husband and I had our first dinner together there in many years. And to think that only a few months previous, we weren't sure we would ever be able to dine there again. To give a better understanding of that, here is a picture from November of last year:

The restaurant was beneath the cabin of the earth mover!

It was a slightly bitter-sweet experience to think of all that has happened since our relationship started in this very restaurant exactly ten years ago.

But our trip down memory lane was short-lived because the food began rolling out with Alessandro's beautiful creations. Appetizers of octopus salad and the best white anchovies outside of Monterosso. He marinates them himself in lemon juice and olive oil. I am no fan of anchovies, but these are to die for!

We took a bit of a pause at this point to take in the scenery, and bask in fact that we were actually back in Vernazza having a romantic dinner and listening once again to the sounds of music and chatter flowing out of the newly re-designed Blue Marlin Bar across the way (it was also their re-opening night as well).

The resilience, hard work, unwavering determination and the fighting spirit of Vernazza triumphed over a mountain--a mountain that crashed down and buried them, took their livelihoods, loved ones and their simple way of life. It was a very humbling experience to look down that clean street and think back to the way it was just a few short months ago. But it was also an AMAZING and PROUD moment as well.

Up next was our long-time favorite and the best I have had anywhere--Alessandro's troffie al pesto, the star of the show. My husband and I savored each bite as the creamy basil goodness filled our palates with pleasure. 

We were planning on splitting a main course of grilled swordfish, but we were just too full! So we bypassed it and moved straight to dessert. This was probably the best decision of the evening because we ordered a seasonal dessert that may not have been on the menu on our next visit:

Say hello to the Strawberry Bavarian. Hello Strawberry Bavarian, I love you. This is basically panna cotta, but the rich cream is infused with freshly pureed strawberries, creating a soft, creamy dessert with the most pleasant flavor of strawberry. It was heavenly.

When you come to Vernazza, do not miss a chance of eating here and tell Argentina that Nicole sent you!
Trattoria da Sandro
via Roma, 60
19108 Vernazza (SP)
Tel. 0187 812223


  1. My husband and I, my brother and his wife, were staying in Vernazza the day of the flash flood. We ate our breakfast at the Blue Marlin and were on the train platform, planning to spend a rainy day at a town further north on the coast. Of course, we never got there but were THANKFULLY rescued from the platform by three Italian men at just about the time they were breaking through the wall in the Blue Marlin. We hope to return to Vernazza some day and will most definitely have a meal at Trattoria da Sandro. The food looks delicious. (Sorry to write this anonymously but can't figure out how to use the other options!!) Thanks for your post.

    1. It must have been such a frightening experience for you, and I am so glad you all made it out (and home) safely. Vernazza will love to have back when you can make it!


I really appreciate your comments.

Vernazza Updates:

Vernazza is well on its way to normalcy and while I no longer write updates on their status, you can learn about the devastating floods of 2011 by clicking the label "Vernazza Updates". For the latest information from the organizations in Vernazza and Monterosso, visit SaveVernazza and Rebuild Monterosso.

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