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Published: September 17th 2011
What is it about meals set on fire that makes them so exciting to eat? Tonight's dinner was quite memorable because of the flaming pasta, and also because we made a bit of an occasion of it and went to a slightly swankier restaurant than usual. Apparently Miki has one Michelin star, and it was certainly packed but could have used some air conditioning!
It was a slow start this morning after arriving home from Vernazza after midnight. We all got our second wind puffing up the hill from the station, and luckily Hugo didn't conk out on the train because I don't think Frank would have managed piggy-backing him! Luckily we could sleep in, although we almost missed breakfast, and charged down to the terrace with sleep still in our eyes with only about a minute to go before it was cleared. I suppose we could have skipped breakfast really, as it was nearly lunch time, but there is something about the thought of Pasta Vongole for breakfast which doesn't work for me.
The sun didn't come out often today. There was a thick, muggy haze over all the cliff-top towns which occasionally lifted, but mostly made it
incredibly hot and steamy most of the time. We decided to train it to Corniglia so that we could explore the last of the five towns, but really it was one we could have skipped. It is the only Cinque Terre town which doesn't sit right on the water, and it was very sleepy this afternoon when we visited. It was too hot to walk up the huge hill from the station, so we used our train passes to catch the community bus - which was possibly hotter by the time 50 people packed into the 30 seater bus than walking would have been! The fact that the children were still finishing ice-creams made it even trickier. We were packed against all the other hot and wet tourists, and we slipped and slided against each other like sardines in oil. Yuck. One tiny little Italian boy gave us a great phrase yesterday as we walked past some particularly smelly rubbish bins - "Mama, Mama, STONKITISSIMO!" Of course, the children chose this time on the bus to practice it.
Once back in Monterosso, we made a beeline for our favourite paddle boats and hit the water. We were out until
closing time, and it was hard to remember that a couple of hours ago we had been so, so hot.
As it was our last night, we decided to dress up and make an occasion of our dinner at Ristorante da Miki. The Spinach souffle with scampi starter was amazing, and eating at this restaurant is really a spectator sport, as many of the pastas come in a baked crust which is set on fire before the waiters serve the table. The children loved it! Frank and I ordered home made biscotti with a glass of the local wine - Sciachettra - for dessert, and were amazed to find it was a clone of one of our favourite Australian stickies, De Bortoli Noble One (but sadly just as pricey). I guess as De Bortoli is an Italian name it makes sense really. The staff here were really delightful, and we basked in a warm, contented glow as we sat and chatted and ate together, and reflected on our wonderful time in Monterosso.
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