Genoa – the fourth “M”


Genoa – the fourth “M”

There seems to be something with me and restaurants in Genoa beginning with “M”. Having fallen in love with Mario, Mua and Il Marin – all well worth a visit for entirely different reasons – I have now discovered a fourth baby – Migone. Well, actually, the restaurant is called SanMatteo, but the usp here is that it is attached to a wine shop called Migone under common ownership.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, you can choose your wine from the shop and you will just pay a small corkage charge over the retail price for your wine. This works out at between €4 and €6 for a modestly priced wine to €8 to €10 for a grand vin where they will need to decant and give you huge glasses etc.

Now this alerts to various possibilities. With my first two choices on their restaurant wine list being out of stock, I was invited to go into the shop and choose my wine. Bearing in mind what I had ordered, I felt that something with a bit of body was needed – not a real Dolly Parton, but something, say, a little chunky and which would not break the bank. The owner helped me in my choice by suggesting a bottle of “Rigoleto” 2010 from the excellent Colle Masari estate in the Montecucco DOC which abuts the Brunello DOGC area. It’s organically produced to boot, for whom these things matter, a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Ciliegiolo and 15% Montepulciano and aged for 10 months 50% in stainless steel and 50% in barrique and tonneaux of second and third wine. It was a pleasant drink with fruity spiciness on the palate but for me it was really far too young to really appreciate, but at €13.50 in the restaurant (€8.80 retail) I couldn’t really complain.

It did somewhat overpower the mezzelune ai porcini (half moon shaped stuffed pasta with wild mushrooms) but fared better with the tagliata di vitellone (grilled and sliced pieces of contrafillet or entrecote of young bullock) and better still with the selection of strong cheeses with which I finished the meal, although of course, by then it had plenty of time to oxidise and soften up. The quality of the cuisine was perfectly sound – plain and specialising in Genovese cuisine – there’s certainly no attempt to gain Michelin stars here but is more geared to fitting in with the range of wine choices from the 1,400 different labels in the shop. A three course meal here will set you back about €35 and the wine choices are of course, endless.

I’m looking forward to coming back. It may not be for a little while yet because I am saving up for a €100 bottle which I can drink in then restaurant for €110. I’ll keep you posted.

Ristorante SanMatteo/Enoteca Migone

Piazza San Matteo 4/r, Genova

Tel: 010 247 3282

Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner, but also on Sundays during the month of December

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