I never would have tried Cavour 21 Trattoria, if it wasn’t for a recommendation from a local. My host at Manena Hostel recommended the trattoria for fabulous pesto, a local delicacy in Genoa. I mean, you don’t go to Genoa and not try Pesto Genevese, right? So off I went.
Cavour 21 is a little tricky to find as although it is close to the marina, it’s tucked behind the flashy restaurants on the promenade.
Actually the whole process is quite tricky.
This trattoria is only open for a few hours for dinner, from 7pm to 9.30pm and you have to go early to get on ‘the list’. Aka, make a reservation. We went quite early (for Italy) at 7.30pm and got a slot at 8pm. But be warned, once the list fills up, that’s it. No pesto for you my friend.
When we came back for our slot, we waited in the crowd that had formed outside for the waitress to call out our name. And when she did, she called out 2 names. Apparently seating 2 couples on a table of 4 is totally normal. So I went with it. Unfortunately we couldn’t be dinner buddies though as we didn’t speak Italian and they didn’t speak English. Never mind.
Basically this place wants to get you in and out as quickly as possible so you need to order straight away. And the menu is in Italian… Luckily I had my phone for a bit of Google translation action but the waitress was trying to hurry us up the whole time. So if you get a slot at this place, I highly recommend using the time to choose your dinner choices before being seated using the menu outside!!
Anyway, it was a bit of an experience with just locals dining at Cavour 21. But the main draw of this place is the food. And hot damn is that pesto good.
I had the ‘Trenetta Al Pesto Con Fagiolini E Patate‘, which is pesto pasta with green beans and potatoes. It was a deliciously tangy pesto and perfectly al dente pasta, and a pretty big portion at that. I couldn’t finish it, and that NEVER happens to me.
The restaurant itself is pretty quirky with patron’s drawings and comments lining the walls. And this guy Henry knew what he was talking about.
True dat Henry, true dat.
The best part about this strange trattoria visit? The freaking price. That large plate of exquisite pasta set me back €5,50. And the mixed salad I had to start was €2. Wine? 1/2 a litre for €3,50. You heard me. No wonder there’s the whole list system. Everyone wants a piece of this action.
It was a pretty weird experience being sat with another couple and hurried along by the staff, but the lovely pesto and the bargain price were 100% worth it. Definitely check it out if you’re in Genoa. Their pesto is the besto.
Do you have any weird trattoria stories? Tried a sick AF pesto worth writing home about? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!