First day in Como after a short hour busride(#13) from Malpensa Airport in Milan. Our hotel was very nice, The Metropole Suisse with a balcony overlooking the Piazza Cavour and the harbor at the southern most tip of Lake Como. We checked in, wandered around a bit before settling on a nondescript pizzaria for lunch. We ordered a mixed plate appetizer not knowing what it was. It tuned out to be a mixed plate of 3 kinds of salami, cooked ham, proscuitto and something like breasola but with a bit more fat. All served with slices of freshly baked bread. Our pizza was also ordered blindly and appeared with mushrooms, artichokes and scrambled egg. The egg worked well and this was all washed down with a half liter of house white. We stumbled out happily and wandered around some more.
Dinner was at Il Gabbiano. We started with a salad of diced lettuce, radicchio, sliced carrots, shaved fennel, olives, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and tuna. All dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. For our other courses we had Fritto Misto de Mar or fried seafood platter which included a large split scampi; head, roe and all, the best calamari we've ever had as far as proper cooking time, texture and flavor, octopus, whole sardines and red trout. The wife had Penne A'matriciana, also very good but with no discernable pork product. Again, a half liter of house white and we stopped for some gelato on the walk home; one pistachio and one banana.
Day two we had a perfectly servicable Continental breakfast at a local pasticerria(sp?) of croissants w/orange marmalade, toast, fresh squeezed juice and cafe Americano. We wandered around Como lookinf for the proper state train station to reserve our seats for La Spezia/Cinque Terre. After much looking and map reading we found it. On the way back we stopped to get provisions for lunch. Marinated white fish, eggplant in oil and spices and a mix of mushrooms, red & green peppers, artichokes and olives all in olive oil. This was excellent stuff from Moscatelli di Vita e Cerlino on Via D. Fontana. After that we purchased some brioche at a small bakery and this was very good also.
Dinner tonight was at Ristorante Orologio Di Taiano Giovanni on Via Ugo Foscolo N.11. We started with Tagliatelli with an Arugala pesto, light and sublime made with cream rather than oil along with a plate of meats including speck, salami, prosciutto and a side plate of roasted red & yellow peppers, zuchini and a beautiful small log of goat cheese flecked with black peppercorns. Second course was a simple salad of radicchio, green leaf lettuce, shaved fennel, tomatoes and red onions dressed with local olive oil and white vinegar. Our meat course was veal with porcini in a white whine sauce, which only needed a little bit of salt. Again a 1/2 liter of white wine and finished with a shot of limoncello.