Ristorante da Delio
In the foothills behind Ventimiglia are many delightful medieval villages; some are built along the river which tumbles through rocks down to the sea, nestling in the wooded gorges and protected by castles; some perch on high hills and dominate the landscape, offering glorious views to the snow-covered mountains to the North.
Apricale is one of the latter, precariously and dramatically clinging to the hillside and here is Da Delio. Just at the entrance to the village with a cool and shady verandah in the summer months: In the winter, guests are happy to be in the cosy interior,
All seasons have their charms and the menu changes with them; the cooking is always made from locally sourced products and the wines too are from the region .
We last went on a cold and rainy Sunday with friends from Genoa; the views were somewhat blotted out by the mist but we found sunshine on our plates and in our glasses.
We all enjoyed the famous warm artichoke and potato pie and then variously chose the hearty goat stew with the white beans from Pigna ( a village a little farther up the valley) and the stockfish casserole, served unusually, with little broad beans and artickokes. The Genoise chose and liked very much the pot roasted macaroni with tomatoes, sausage, mushrooms and olives.
We are too full for any puddings but the zabaglione here is delicious and served with warm fritters.
A couple of bottles of Rossese, a light but fruity red wine ,were the perfect accompaniment to the feast.
We are notthe first to discover Da Delio; the late, great Michael Winner was a great fan and appreciated getting away from more famous coastal towns to this charming and tranquil village. If you have time and comfortable shoes, it is well worth a pre-prandial stroll through the narrow cobbled streets and up to the main square where two churches face each other, each on its own high ground. How does one decide where to pay one’s devoirs?
The restaurant is always very busy at the weekend and so it is better to book beforehand.