Balzi Rossi, in a class of his own

Balzi Rossi restaurant has been synonymous with haute cuisine in Liguria for over 40 years. the chef is Enrico Marmo, who was awarded a Michelin Star as soon as he arrived

by Elisabetta Kruger – photo by Paolo Picciotto

Balzi Rossi, a few steps from the French border and next to the archaeological site of the same name, has been famous for over 40 years under the management of Giuseppina Breglia. Today it is the chef, Enrico Marmo, who is bringing the name of the restaurant back to the top, and he is doing so with the immediate acquisition of a Michelin star. The award is in recognition of his cuisine, which is characterised by clear and decisive flavours, based on a small number of carefully selected ingredients and flame-cooked dishes made entirely by hand, from pasta to focaccia.

Among his more iconic dishes, we must mention the Gola di ricciola (amberjack), the Aromatic salad and, to finish, the Unexpected Chocolate flavoured with oil from the Frantoio di Sant’Agata d’Oneglia.

Historical dishes include Plin stuffed with cuttlefish buridda, soft potatoes and thyme; Oneglia shrimps; Ravioli della Pina or Raw fish and crustaceans fantasy.

The chef gives priority to local ingredients, especially vegetables and oil. With a view to increasing sustainability, particular attention is paid to the preparation of fish, which is appreciated in all its parts. The restaurant’s focus on regional resources is also reflected in the wine cellar, where about 40% of the labels are of Ligurian origin. Vermentino, Pigato, Rossese and Moscatello are carefully selected by the sommelier.

The menu offers two tasting options, Riviera and Liguria, as well as an à la carte menu with the same dishes. The Momento menu is also based on market availability and the chef’s creativity.

(Balzi Rossi, in a class of his own – Barchemagazine.com – October 2023)