Throughout 2007 – 2008, my family conquered the Cinque Terre. In fact, rumours of the beauty of these five coastal villages in the Ligure Region of Italy spread like wildfire – first my brother went, and then my parents, and finally – us.
And the hottest news of all the accounts that were returned to us via various family members, was the story of the mysterious Belvedere’s restaurant, and it’s signature dish, the ‘Seafood Pot’.
My family is a family of seafood lovers, and Belvedere’s, with its Seafood Pot, sounded like seafood Nirvana – a big clay pot of seafood baked in sauce in an oven for an hour. Yum yum.
Belvedere’s is in Monterosso al Mare, and – as we found out – it is closed on some weekdays. Possibly Monday or Tuesday – I don’t know. But we learned the hard way.
To work up an appetite, we decided to take one of the more challenging hillside walks between two of the five villages on the beautiful Cinque Terre. We took a long hillside uppy-downy walk of paths covered in mud, and were constantly overtaken by old people with those professional style walking sticks in true mountain goating style. The walk took about 1.5 hours, there was a little bit of drizzle involved, and I was wearing jeans (totally stupid, but hey, I was pregnant and thus can be excused of silly decisions).
So we were of course really hungry at the end of the walk and wanted to hightail it to Belvedere’s. And when we got there, we burst into tears and shook our fists at the food gods, because Belvedere’s was shut. We had pizza at a small restaurant instead.
We returned to Belvedere’s the next day, which was much more sunny, and the restaurant was gloriously open. We had to wait an hour for this dish to be cooked (but we were warned in the menu and by the waiter) and enjoyed noises of school kids playing soccer on the beach in the meantime. When the food came, it was well worth it – delicious, mouthwatering, and really really filling. Needless to say, we took the train back to our village, because I don’t think our legs would have carried us.
NB The picture above represents only a small portion of the amount of seafood that came out of that seafood pot.
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