dog-friendly Italian restaurant - santa margarita

Ristorante il Faro (Italian Restaurant), Santa Margarita Ligure

Like many of the restaurants reviewed on this site, we have only been to Ristorante il Faro once. However, as it was comfortable dog-friendly Italian restaurant with delicious and traditional food, we thought it was definitely worth a review, especially as it is off the beaten track. Either way, Ristorante il Faro is highly recommended to anyone with or without furry friends looking for comforting and authentic Italian food in Santa Maragrita Ligure.

As we have only been once, it was a good while ago, and we did not eat so much, this review will be quite short, but do not take that to mean we were not extremely happy. First, the restaurant decor is quite dated, but that just adds to the charm; this is not like an authentic Italian restaurant, it is an authentic Italian restaurant. It looks like they opened many years ago and have just been focusing on serving simple but great food ever since. If the food is good, who cares about décor right!! Second, the staff were very friendly and the service was efficient and unobtrusive. We were not hurried and were able to order what we wanted when we wanted it. The staff did not seem to speak much English but it caused zero problems.

Next, as to the drinks, we do not remember exactly what we had, nor can I remember the exact prices, but everything was great and seemed very reasonable. I know we enjoyed a couple nice cold beers, a couple good glasses of red wine, and some excellent grappa to finish.

Now to the lovely authentic food, which again I am not sure if I am remembering everything correctly. I know we shared two pasta dishes, a salad, and a fish dish, all of which were excellent.

First, for the pasta, we had Trenette al pesto (€10 based on current menu) and Ravioli di borragine (€12 at the time of writing), both of which are traditional dishes of the area. The pesto was light and not as overpowering as some we have had, and the pasta was tasty and well cooked. Given the great marriage of flavours and balance of the pesto, it was clear they had used a mortar and pestle (not a blender) and had added a touch od pasta water at the end. Since eating here, my wife has been working on a home made pesto recipe using the same traditional techniques, and in my opinion, she has nailed it.

Next, the Ravioli di borragine was super interesting and unlike anything else we have tried. Borragine is a wild herb with a slightly bitter flavour, similar to nettle or dandelion, and like the one we had here is usually mixed with with ricotta cheese for the filling. The Ravioli of Borragine served at Ristorante il Faro came with a walnut sauce, which was delicious; garlicky, rich and creamy and slightly bitter. As I say, unlike any other pasta dish we have ever had, so we appreciated that especially.

In addition to the pastas, we shared a very fresh and simple green side salad and a superb grilled fish dish. I cannot remember the kind of fish, but it was a white fish that was extremely fresh, cooked to perfection, and finished with a simple oil and lemon drizzle on top. Wonderful! I think this is what is listed as “Pesce alla piastre” on the current menu (€16).

Finally, to finish, we did not have any deserts, but instead finished with a couple excellent glasses of grappa. The restaurant’s matriarch was so intrigued/pleased with us trying different ones, she treated us to a complimentary glass of another grappa, which was also excellent.

As noted, the above prices come from the current website and I do not know our total bill, but I do remember thinking it was great value for such lovely food. Given the high-quality and authentic food, the traditional atmosphere, and great staff who welcomed our dog, we will definitely be going back to Ristorante il Faro on our next trip to Santa Maragrita Ligure.

Number of Visits1
Last VisitFebruary 2021
Dog PolicyAll dogs welcome (we think)
Author: BTB