Our restaurant was completely refurnished in 2012 just after the flood in Monterosso in October of 2011. The modern interior design, much different from typical Ligurian style, provides a relaxing and simple atmosphere. We never could have done this renovation without the help of the Milanese architect Renato Rodenghi.
Our restaurant has three seperate dining rooms inside and a covered patio outside for customers to enjoy during the summer. Our outdoor patio is perfect for customers who enjoy feeling the light sea breeze on warm summer nights. We have more than 170 seats total and plenty of room for laughter, lingering conversations, and unforgettable dining experiences.
Our restaurant is located in the heart of the historic part of Monterosso, right in front of the main church of St. John the Baptist which has a black and white striped facade. Our story begins more than half a century ago when the restaurant was called “La Colonnina”, a name chosen because of the white marble column that you can still see by the front entrance. In 1974, Luigi Corciulo, better known as Ciak, and his wife Matilde decided to take on the restaurant business and made some big changes so they could begin their great adventure.... An adventure that has lasted almost forty years now, thanks to people who work with a passion that hasn’t stopped since day one.
Our specialty is seafood that is prepared using traditional Ligurian techniques. We try our best to stay true to our local cuisine and have always stuck to tradition despite the changing trends around us. Above all, we haven't given in to the requests of visiting tourists who are unfamiliar with the roots of our customary dishes. We believe in the saying, “With each new place comes a new specialty to be discovered”. For this reason, when someone asks us for “spaghetti alla Bolognese”, we tell them they can find it in Bologna. We greatly value the organic growth of produce, so that is the only thing we bring to the table. We grow our own potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, olives, lemons, grapes and more. We have gardens in both Vernazza and Monterosso. Our garden in Monterosso is just a short walk up Via Roma from our restaurant.
In order to do it all, Ciak is a farmer in the early morning and a head chef in the afternoons and evenings. He is easy to spot at the restaurant, hands dirty from a morning in the garden, preparing dishes over the hot flames in our open kitchen. You can see him cooking through the restaurant window on the main street, dressed in his Popeye outfit and preparing each dish with rapid precision that can only be aquired through years of experience. Another thing that makes us unique is our use of a carbon grill to cook fish. Using this method allows us to give the classic grilled fish a much stronger and more prominent taste.
Our restaurant is family-owned and the employees have been with us for so long that they seem like part of the family now too. In everything we do, we offer our best service to each and every costumer. A good lunch or dinner with prime service can make all of the difference. We also know the impact each customer has on our business. Word of mouth truly is the best advertising.
I could tell you that everything we prepare is more fresh than the other restaurants, but doesn’t everyone say that? Instead I'll invite you to come take a look at what we do and spend some time wandering around in our little world. We start cooking the bread at 7am, followed by fresh tarts. Then we prepare the appetizers and cut the fresh garden tomatoes (only in the summer, when they are in season) to make the sauce. Your eyes won’t fool you and neither will the cats that sit outside our kitchen door waiting for some anchovies- they know where to find the freshest fish in town!