It’s time to take a little trip down memory lane now and look back at one of the many amazing restaurants when I visited the beautiful Tuscan region of Italy earlier this year in June. It was a three-week trip made up of beach, food, wine, food, sightseeing, food and even MORE FOOD!!! To my dismay, I actually put on 7 kilos during my time away but none of that mattered as the food out there was simply superb and I regret none of it!
Food - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 9/10
Service - 7/10
Value for Money - 8/10
A definite must-visit if you are in the Livorno region of Italy. Locando Oceano Mare certainly know how to serve tender and succulent meat to your plate!
Price Range: £££
Telephone: +39 338 9313015
Address: Strada Provinciale della Principessa, Livorno, Italy
Unfortunately, I do have to start on a bad note and it is a bit of an unusual one. The area of land the restaurant sits in, is actually in between two restaurants (the name of the other restaurant escapes me). When we were shown to our seats the waiter handed us over two different menu’s (one from either restaurant), we inquired why there were two menus and the waiter explained that there are two restaurants under the same owner, one is more of a pizzeria while the other was focused on grilled meat – simple enough.
We picked our main quite easily (chosen from the grilled meat menu) but we were still deliberating on what starter to choose. We actually preferred the options on the other menu (the pizzeria) as the grilled menu didn’t offer much to our fancy, the Bruchetta was our choice in the end. However, when giving the order to the waiter, he explained that we could not pick one starter from one menu and a main from the other and that they had to be from the same menu. But we could pick from a different menu had our choice been a dessert, rather than a starter. This really didn’t make any sense to me, especially as the two restaurants were under the same management – wouldn’t they be happy to take more money from me? Anyway, after this annoyance, we elected not to go for a starter in the end and opted for just the main.
Ok, now that that bad bit out of the way lets move onto the many good points. Italy (as you may know) is famously known for their love of red meat and throughout my trip to Italy, I became prevalent of this reality. This was, in fact, our last night in Italy, before heading back home to the UK. So I and my partner decided to go all out and order a final meat feast! The menu offered the “Carne Mista” (‘Mixed Meat’); it was a perfect choice.
The dish was truly made for meat-fiends like me. It came with cuts of Pork, Beef and Lamb, all deliciously grilled to perfection. Special props to the taste of the lamb especially as it came with the ideal proportion of fat around the edges just to add to that rich meaty flavour.
The plate also comes with a side salad and roasted “chip” potatoes. If I was honest, I was initially disappointed when I first saw the chips, as I was hoping to for fried “McDonald-Esque” chips and these looked more like potatoes than chips. But oh boy was I wrong; they were absolutely delicious and were lightly salted with a hint of rosemary seasoning.
Locanda Oceano Mare (loosely translated to: ‘Locando Ocean Sea’ – thank you google translate); is situated on a long, busy stretch of road just a couple of minutes walk from the coast. Situated in a beautiful barn, with seating available for mostly outside. This actually was our third attempt trying to visit this restaurant; with the two previous efforts failing because the restaurant was playing host to two different weddings. It is easy to see why many couples would pick this beautiful spot for such a momentous occasion. I later found out that the restaurant is also a Bed and Breakfast too, and you can book a nights stay here through their website.
The main with ‘still’ water (it’s important to make that distinguishment when travelling Europe) came to €18. Had we purchased a Starter or Dessert this would push the average spend to over £20, so it just makes the ‘£££’ rating. But given the quality of the meat and the beautiful surrounding, I do find this does provide great value for money!!!