On the way to Italy we stopped at Colomar which is a village perched high above Nice. Nice hotel & would have been quiet except for one noisy bullfrog. Dinner was good. Excellent lamb steaks which had been nicely marinated. Off to Italy the next morning.
Had a great time finding an olive oil factory (Lucca olive oil is supposedly THE best) mentioned in a guide book. Did eventually find it with the help of a French speaking Italian. (also, we learned a new gesture. No, a polite one. You put your thumb & fingers together then open & shut them. Like click, click, click. It's short for click which is slang for K which is short for kilometer. 3 'clicks' = 3 kilometers!) Well sure enouigh we went 3 K's then left & then 5 K's & found the place. Absolutely charming. We bought olive oil, wine & some cookies.
First really nice restaurant dish was a starter of fresh anchovies in a lemon sauce. Wonderful! The fritto misto was also excellent, but not unusual. Had a great meal at La Porte in Viareggio. Two of our party ordered what they thought might be a clam chowder type of soup. What they got was a delicious big bowl of clams with herbs & not much broth. I had the house antipasta. 5 kinds of marinated & sauced fish including a squid salad, stuffed calamari, sauteed bream & so forth. Very yummy. Linda & I shared a large flat, sole like, fish that they baked. Very fresh & great looking both before & after cooking. The waiter expertly deboned it & it was fantastic.
At other times we had really good pasta, freshly caught trout and some good beef. Also had to go buy more olive oil for dipping after tasting some really good stuff in a little tratorria.
This is getting long so I'll add more later. Also think I'll give you all of the recipies for the meal I cooked for our friends at the villa.
Ciao for now.