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Global Feast : Lake Como

Lake Como, Italy
April 29 - May 1, 2010

I just came back from my best friend's wedding in Lake Como. The wedding took place at Villa del Balbianello in Lenno (the famous house from Star Wars and Casino Royal). We stayed at a very quaint hotel called Albergo Lenno for three nights. Lenno is a very small and charming town and there is not much to see but it is such a perfect place if you want to escape from the busy life for a moment.

There are only a handful restaurants in Lenno. The day my friend and I arrived in Lenno, it was already midday and only one cafe was open near our hotel. So we grabbed a little bite there.

Il Cris Entrance shrimp and cerely salad

The food was just ok but the price was good. Most of the lunch specials are around 6 Euro. Even when you add a glass of Proseco, you can have a satisfying meal for around 10 Euro. This cafe is located right next to the lake so the view is fantastic. I recommend going here for a cup of coffee or drink before or after a meal.

Bar Sport Lenno
Lungolago Lomazzi, 5
22016 Lenno
Tel: (0039) 0344 55226
www.barsportlenno.com

That night, we had a wonderful meal with the bride's friends and family at the restaurant Il Cris. Il Cris is off the main area in a residential neighborhood and it was a challenge to find this place.

Il Cris Entrance shrimp and cerely salad
shrimp and cerely salad Mix seafood antipasto
shrimp and cerely salad shrimp and cerely salad

Top row from left: Il Cris entrance; shrimp and celery salad
Second row from left: mussels and clams in tomato broth; mixed seafood salad
Third row from left: baked scallops with butter sauce; salami plate (prosciutto, salami, Bresaola and Lardo with arugola and parmesan cheese)

The waiter speaks really good English so there was no worry about ordering but we had a friend who lives in Milan with fluent Italian so she was able to really make a terrific order. We did not pay attention to the menu at all but instead we asked for a variety of antipasto to start. We did not want to eat too much before the pizza and pasta so we asked for a moderate amount of antipasto. 10 minutes later, the parade of antipasto arrived. Besides the food in the photos above, we had a Tuscan style chickpea soup and octopus in tomato sauce. I tried every single item and I had no complaints with any of the dishes. All the seafood was cooked perfectly. No chewy seafood here. My favorite was a mixed seafood salad and salumi plate. The Lardo - which is cured strips of pig fat with herbs and spices - was my first experience but it was absolutely amazing. It was savory with honey and walnuts on top.

shrimp and cerely salad shrimp and cerely salad

from left: spaghetti alle vongole; pizza margherita

We ordered only one pizza margarita and spaghetti al bongole after the antipasto just because we felt we had to since it was a pizzeria. Even though I was so full, the pizza was one of the best I ever had in my life. I just can't imagine to taste this when I am really hungry.

Unfortunately, I can't really tell you about the price for this meal because it was a treat from the bride's family. However, I have heard inside information from bride that is was amazingly reasonably priced.

Ristorante Pizzeria Il Cris
Via Armando diaz, 13
22016 - Lenno, Italy
Tel : (0039) 0344.55131

With the leftover excitemet after the wedding, we headed for a restaurant called Albergo Ristorante Plinio on wedding night for a late night supper. We shared two kinds of soup, two pastas, spinach and some desserts. One of the soups was an amazing asparagus soup. It was so light and brothy unlike typical asparagus soups. It tasted like a very good vegetable broth with tons of asparagus flavor. Both pasta dishes were very solid with light tomato sauce with garlic and olive oil. But the best part of this meal was their house wine. The carafe of red costs the same as a glass of wine in US. But the quality of this house wine was top notch.

The cost of the meal was about 20 Euro per person for four people. Lenno is absolutely a bargain town with good quality. You can't get this deal in Bellagio.

Albergo Ristorante Plinio
Viale Carlo Lomazzi, 1
22016 - Lenno, Italy
Tel : (0039) 0344.55158

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