This post was originally posted here.
Last week the fam and I went on a day trip to Lake Como, ostensibly to enjoy the fine spring weather in a beautiful setting. But what I didn’t tell my husband was that I was secretly hoping to bump into George Clooney. And no, it’s not what you think. Mine is a purely intellectual interest. I admire his filmmaking, love of Italy and political activism. Yeah. That’s it…..
Our first pit stop was for lunch in the town of Lierna (LC). We went to a restaurant called Crotto di Lierna. Typical country decor, very friendly service and attentive to kids and women who treat their yappy little dogs like kids. Yes, there was a customer who kept her dog in one of those chi-chi little carriers. George would not have approved.
The restaurant specializes in grilled meats and pasta dishes. I have to say that I wasn’t that impressed with either although my husband quite enjoyed his gnocchi di zucca con bitto, rosmarino e pancetta (pumpkin gnocchi with bitto cheese, rosemary and bacon).
For me, the highpoint was dessert. I ordered a cialda di mandorle con mousse ai tre cioccolati (almond wafer with three different types of chocolate mousse). Beautiful and delish! There was a scoop of white, dark and hazelnut chocolate mousse and the cialda was resting on a nice white and dark chocolate sauce. My daughter enjoyed nibbling the chocolate decoration on top of the mousse.
The prices at the Crotto were average but a bit too high considering the overall quality. I don’t know if I’d ever go back unless GC begged me to discuss politics over a glass of red wine and a steak.
Then we headed to the beautiful lakeside town of Varenna or as one website put it: “a corner of Heaven diped in the blue… a pearl set between lake and mountain, nursed by the breeze and kissed by the sun… a place at the limts of the time where modern services marry with its old notoriety, that touch every corner of the world.” Diped in the blue? Nursed by the breeze and kissed by the sun? Old notoriety?!? Sounds more like an old hooker than a town. I love bad translations, don’t you?
We spent the rest of the afternoon feeding the ducks, strolling and dodging the gazillion tourists. Mainly Milanese and American. Some of the women had that hungry look in their eye that they usually get during sales. They were sniffing out the place, desperate for a glimpse of GC. Their desperation was palpable. Mine, on the other hand, was well-concealed beneath my doting-mother-of-two guise.
While pretending to sightsee, the Canuck in me was thrilled to come across some maple trees in the square. But they weren’t like the ones back home. These ones had no leaves and were candelabra-shaped. Neat, eh?
By the end of the afternoon , the kids had reached their meltdown point so we decided to pack up and head home. It is with a heavy heart that I report that I was unsuccessful in my search for Mr. Nespresso. Alas, our date with destiny was not to be. Of course, this just means that I’ll have to find another excuse to head back to the lake this summer. What else…
Cherrye’s Note: Linda is a crazy Canuck (if you couldn’t tell from above) who lives in northern Italy with her hubby and two kiddos. When she isn’t stalking George Clooney or watching the European Cup, she is blogging about it all at Milanese Masala.