June 16, 2014
This small 17 room hotel located on the road above the harbor boasts sea and mountain views.
Our superior room was comfortable – firm mattress – and adequately spacious with a large private balcony that faces the mountains. The sea views, however, are a more to the side.
The small bathroom is adequate, although the shower was in need of a good scrubbing to refresh the dingy grout.
Service is friendly and efficient. Parking is available in a small lot next to the hotel. Decent wifi connection.
The breakfast buffet consists of a small selection of quality choices including – local cheese and charcuterie, warm rolls, baguette, croissants, pain au chocolat, yogurt, a rose water scented fruit salad, boiled eggs, jam, butter, etc. Best of all are the generous individual pots of fresh coffee and great mountain views.
Lunch at Monte Rosso, one of several restaurants along the harbor with sea views.
Omelet with brocciu, a local fresh cheese something like ricotta.
And of course, Don’s Nepolitana pizza. Does he eat anything else? This time it has a cracker crust and a generous helping of anchovies as they were out of black olives.
Dinner at la Mer at the end of the harbor. We arrived shortly after 7:30PM without a reservation and had our choice of tables on the terrace with sea views.
The restaurant specializes in the catch of the day sold by weight. The server brings out a basket of the day’s catch. For Don she suggested two smaller fish – a rouget and a mackerel, weighing 360 grams for the two.
It turned out to be an excellent combination of super fresh with different tastes and textures, grilled to perfection and served with ratatouille and potatoes.
We started with a simple green salad and the red pepper with fromage.
The fish stew was an ample serving of various fresh fish, mussels and large sweet shrimp in a fish stock – excellent but in need of a sprinkle of salt.
For dessert a vacherin, a meringue wafer in a salted caramel sauce topped with ice cream and whipped cream.
Dinner at the le Maquis just across the road from the Hotel Bella Vista. The upscale restaurant serves regional cuisine on a lovely terrace with sea views. The views are somewhat obscured by large trees, but it is lovely setting nonetheless. White table cloths and smart wicker furniture provide an elegant but relaxed ambiance.
While the restaurant has a reasonably priced daily pre fixe menu, we ordered à la carte starting with the tuna tartar and the shrimp with red pepper ice cream. Both delightfully scrumptious and artfully presented.
The tartar – fresh fish with subtle flavors of vervain in a rich tomato coulis.
The shrimp were fresh and sweet and the red pepper ice cream intense.
For mains we tried the “virtual” seafood barbeque – perfectly cooked morsels of fish, scallops and squid with peppers, spring onion, zucchini, and tomato served on a slate plate with a smoking piece of charcoal for effect and a sprig of bougainvillea for color.
The stuffed squid with vegetables and rice in squid ink sauce was good but lacked the intensity of the other dishes.
For dessert strawberry sorbet served with raspberries and chopped strawberries – nicely done with very fresh berries but overpriced at 12€.