Sherman's Food Adventures: Piccolo Mondo

Piccolo Mondo

When I was planning out our trip, there weren't really any good options traveling from Pisa to Nice.  Flying was out of the question due to cost and the insane routing that would take us back to Northern Europe and then connecting back to the South.  Training it required 3 connections and renting a car would be very expensive due to drop-off fees.  Therefore, it left me with one choice - Flixbus.  Sometimes regarded as a swear word of sorts, Flixbus has mixed reviews.  Yet, it offered us the best route with one stop in Genoa and also rock-bottom prices.  To be honest, it wasn't a bad experience.  I would totally do it again!  So while in Genoa, we had time to grab some lunch, so we made the short walk over to Piccolo Mondo.

We ended sharing a the Chef's Mixed Appetizer with octopus carpaccio, citrus marinated salmon, baby squid with pesto and tuna tartare.  This was plated rather nicely with good portions of the aforementioned items.  My favourite was the octopus as it was sliced super thin and hence being delicate with a light chew.  It was topped with a bright salsa and that was all it needed as it was naturally sweet.  The baby squid was also on point with a bright and nutty pesto and a soft potato base.  The squid itself was tender with a light chewiness.  We weren't really feeling it with the salmon though as it was quite salty.  Texturally it was buttery soft though.  Tuna tartare was good with ripe avocado underneath and the option to customize the seasoning.

Onto our favourite dish of the meal, the Green Linguine with beef stew and black summer truffle was delicious.  This was a fairly large portion of al dente pasta that we actually didn't end up finishing.  That beef stew and reduced braising liquid was packed with umaminess and meatiness.  It was rich and flavourful with the natural sweetness of onions and carrots while the beef itself was plentiful and tender.  Of course adding shaved black truffle on top made this even better.

We also tried their Risotto with red prawns, prawn tartare, saffron and cuttlefish ink.  This was another successful dish where the risotto was firm, yet cooked all-the-way-through.  It had soaked up all of the sweetness of the prawns and the essence of saffron was balanced.  The addition of prawn tartare on top provided even more briny sweetness as well as a light texture.  I need to point out that the prawns were properly deveined too

Another pasta was the Spaghetti with fermented black garlic, mussels and cherry tomatoes.  Loved this dish as the pasta was al dente while the dish had plenty of umami from the black garlic as well as the brininess of the mussels.  Furthermore, there was just enough sauce for flavour and it did not drown the pasta.  The addition of tomatoes provided some brightness and tang.

For our meat dish, we chose the Angus steak with roast potatoes.  Seemingly inconspicuous, this was really good.  The slices of beef were cooked to medium-rare and the result was a juicy and tender texture.  The sauce was flavouful and meaty as well.  Those potatoes were pretty tasty too.  After it was all said and done, we just barely made our connecting bus because the food came out excruciatingly slow. Upon further inspection, it was because they outdoor seating was completely packed (as we were sitting inside), hence the slow food expediting.  Despite that, the food and service were good and this is a solid place to grab some eats in Genoa.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Excellent service
- Good portions

The Bad:
- Food came out really slow


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