Pizza, pasta, pinot and pints, oh my! If you don’t like carbs this is NOT the post for you. On my recent trip to Europe, I spent the weekend in Milan and mixed in a day trip to Lake Como. Robyn and I headed from the flat to Standstead Airport very early on Friday morning and arrived in Italy just in time for lunch. After dropping our bags off at our hostel, we headed out on our search for pizza and pasta.
Our first stop was Tavola Calda Open Bar, located just a few doors down from our hostel. As good friends do, we split a four season pizza (mushrooms, artichokes, ham, sausage, and black olives) and some sort of delicious pasta. Open Bar’s staff was incredibly friendly and welcoming. The food was quite tasty for our first stop but nothing compared to the delicious treats we would find throughout the weekend.
Along our exploration of Milan (come back on Sunday to hear about that), we had some delicious pastries as a pre-dinner snack. Mine was some sort of a cheese and ham pastry concoction and Robyn opted for a classic spinach and cheese pie. Both were delicious! We then headed back to our home for the weekend, Ostello Bello Grande, where we feasted on the free dinner of pasta, bread, and the world’s most delicious cheesy dip. Our next trip out of the hostel was for a post drinks midnight snack – we ended up at Ristorante Pizzeria Bar (14 Piazza Duca D’Aosta – I’m giving you the address because this is the name of every restaurant in Milan). We were lured in by the Pittsburgh Penguins game that was playing on the TV and stayed for pizza and pints. I had salami pizza and Robyn went with the mushroom. Both were good for late night snacking but at this point we were still not finished in the search for classic Italian pizza.
Things got even better during our daytrip to Lake Como. After walked around Varenna we stopped into a little spot with a fireplace to warm up and get some grub. Not yet convinced that Northern Italy knew their way around a pizza, Robyn and I opted for two pasta dishes (pesto penne & lasagna). I would like to consider myself a pesto pasta connoisseur and I can easily say that this was by far the best pasta I have ever had. The pasta was so fresh – it almost melted in your mouth. Robyn, the resident lasagna professional in our duo, was impressed with her dish. We were a little disappointed by the lack of meat but the flavour made up for the missing protein. I also had a chocolate croissant in Bellagio that was to die for. We finished the night with more free dinner at the hostel and midnight kebabs from a place around the corner from the hostel.
We had to leave at noon to get our bus to the airport but these two foodies were not letting an early departure stop us from one more pizza/pasta encounter before leaving. We set out at 10:30 to try and find something delicious – unfortunately, most places were closed until at least 11:30 due to the fact that it was Sunday. Just before we were about the give up we came across Pianeta Luna which was opening at 11. Awkwardly, we waited by the door and memorized the menu. Once they opened we quickly ordered the Luna pizza (I can only assume the matching name meant it was their house special) and spaghetti with arrabiata. This meal was magic in my mouth – the type of meal made with love that you would expect from an Italian kitchen. My only disappointment was that I wouldn’t be able to eat here again for a while.
Now that I am officially starving – have you been to Italy? Tell me about your food stories!