clubiflabiondaHow fast come the reasons for not going out to eat tonight! As I write the sea road to Menton and on to Italy is blocked by landslides. It is cold and dark and the driver may not drink; if he does he feels guilty and if he doesn’t everyone else feels bad for the poor soul while continuing to indulge anyway. So we are very lucky that in Monaco a restaurant is never more than a few minutes walk away.

Down our own street a new Italian one has recently opened, “La Bionda”, (The Blond) which our friends had highly recommended and so the four of us strolled down there to partake of its glories.

The entrance is below street level and as one enters one is greeted by the whole family with smiles and a cheery “buonasera”. The room is cosy and with pretty pink and white stuccoed walls, white tables and chairs. The speciality is meat grilled freshly to order on the enormous brick barbecue in the corner. The ventilation system must be amazing as there is not the slightest whiff of smoke or smell all evening. We all choose la Piccata, a particularly tender cut which is best served rare. It comes sliced for us, perfectly grilled on the outside with that divine smoky barbecue taste, gloriously red in the middle. My partner has chips to accompany but I really want a rocket (rucula) salad whose sharp, peppery taste would complement perfectly the rich, succulent meat. I am therefore a bit disappointed to be served boring iceberg lettuce. I thought only the English would offer this bland stuff.

One of our table has coffee but it seems impossible to get the real, true espresso this side of the Italian border. None of us has dessert so I am sadly unable to judge the pudding side of the cuisine.

My researches will be a little more extensive next time.
We’ll be back!