Lake Como

2 Oct

I remember every single thing I ate in Italy. If I think hard enough, I can taste it so vividly that my watering taste buds end up tasting like tears of sadness in my mouth.

John and I, for work purposes ONLY, created a rule system going into this trip, knowing that we would want to eat everything on every menu and would come back to New York out of shape and embarrassed that we have no. willpower. at all.

The rules for each dinner were simple:

Order as many salads and meaty / cheesy appetizers as we wanted — we usually shared 3/4 each meal…seriously.

*Don’t get conned into the bread basket.

*If ordering pasta, order one dish to share before the main.

*Each person gets a meat or fish as their main.

And

*Dessert is a must.

So basically, pasta MUST be had but can only be shared, and fuck the bread basket. (I have similar rules when at the airport. If I must get a breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s, remove the crappy, cheese-less top piece of the muffin. I’m classy)

There WAS a meal that stuck out though, and it wasn’t even dinner.

This little gem is right on the lake, and is easiest reached by boat. Full of locals and family-owned, I can easily say it had some of the most delicious bites in all of my 25 years of consuming food (and boob milk). (not recently).

Called “Locanda La Tirlindana”, it was classic Italian in every way, cozy and friendly and just plain delicious, with the simplest menu I’ve ever seen.

Blah blah blah here’s what we ate…

…porcini mushroom salad with celery and parmesan, with a balsamic sesame seed dressing. So simple  and yummy. Taught me to add small slices of celery to any simple salad for a good, flavorful crunch.

…homemade ravioli, filled with ricotta and tossed around in butter and lemon. Can you see the bliss in the photo, or what?? It melted in my mouth then just erupted with flavor.  Now I’m getting sad, as I just ate a (topless) sausage mcmuffin.

….”fish from the lake gratinated with bacon”. An obvious choice, as the lake was about 6 feet from me, and the word bacon was mentioned.

…king prawns, squids and scallops gratinated in the oven. Don’t know what gratinated means? I didn’t either, but here’s a good answer. Now Au Gratin makes a little more sense 🙂

Gratinate: “The finishing of an already cooked dish by putting it into the oven to form a crispy golden crust on the surface. There are two methods of gratinating: full, which involves cooking and gratinating raw food at the same time, and a quicker method, during which the crust is simply added to pre-cooked food. In the first case, the whole cooking process is done in the oven, with the food covered with enough liquid to allow it to cook without burning; the second method, normally used for pasta, involves sprinkling grated cheese and breadcrumbs on the top, adding oil or butter, and placing in the oven.”

Everything was so good, that by the time the dessert question came up, I was only thinking about what other savory things I could order. So  while John ordered this citrus pannacotta…

…I went back and ordered this:

Pesto spaghetti with Mary’s pesto of pistachio, capers, basil, anchovies, orange and mint. Mary being the best friend of Patricia, the wife that does all the cooking. She makes it at the beginning of each day with Patricia. I mean really? Does everything have to be so freakin cute? Dammit Mary!

Sigh.

Of course I had to get a photo with this wonderful duo.

Home cooking in the most literal sense of the term. Here is Frederic and his wife Patricia. I miss it already 😦

John also just pointed out that I broke the one-pasta rule by ordering that, but I disagree, as I thought that rule applied to dinner only, jerk. Also, my pasta replaced dessert, thus canceling the rule. I can make up all the rules to this I want!!

xx

32 Responses to “Lake Como”

  1. Katherina October 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Oh Lord… everything on that menu looks so delicious. Just finished eating the worst ravioli of my life so I can really appreciate the photo and description of the lemon ravioli!

  2. Rosemary M. October 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Food looks amazing!! I love the rules you guys made and broke 🙂

  3. Mike Kelly October 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    You guys look like you are having a great life. I really hope you are as happy and well adjusted as you both seem. It makes me happy to know that we can have it all. Makes me work all the more to get a little taste. 🙂

  4. Christina October 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Oh man. That looks insanely out of this world good. The ravioli pic is going to haunt me until I get some crappy american ravioli and pretend its authentic italian. Loving the rules, great idea. Oh p.s. saw a pic of you and John walking Pippa on Perezhilton I think. =) He called her a he. =(

  5. Kerry October 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Awesome pictures! =)

  6. Denise Miller (@IrieDame) October 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Oh my….I hate you….on the pasta theme…sent you a pic and link to a great cajun pasta dish from pioneerwoman.com.

  7. Melissa J October 2, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Yuummmmm!!!! Everything looks so delicious. And I’m not gonna lie…right when you showed the pic of pesto spaghetti I thought the same thing – “oh no! That’s two pastas!!” Love the rules though 🙂

  8. Penelope Davis October 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    eating away my envy with chef boyardee

  9. Edith October 2, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    I was in Italy this summer and I died for the food! I had my own rules too which included having at least two gelato’s a day… at least our lazy American asses walk more over there which helps balance the larger calorie consumption. LOVE your blogs Chrissy, they make my day (sad but true).

  10. Adam October 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Why is John wearing Grandma shorts?

  11. Alyssa October 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Oh this brought back SO many memories. I was hoping you had the lake fish and you did! Isn’t it divine? I swear I find myself dreaming about it every once in a while/day.

  12. twheetybird October 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Hell-lo there Lake Food Como(a)

    I don’t like pasta, but you just made me wanna go there. That Courtney woman, should really visit this blog to learn how to describe things PROPERLY! 😉

    Love the pic!

    oxo

  13. twheetybird October 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Adam. Don’t ruin this for us please. Go elsewhere with your negativity. Thank you in advance.

  14. Mitchell October 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    C teigen eating a sausage muffin topless, that i’d like to see ! lol great blog

  15. tilahuynh October 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    dude what camera are you using?!?!?!?! I WANT TO KNOW!!! NOWW!!

  16. kellymac007 October 2, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    SO jealous. I saw the ravioli on the menu, and thought, OMG I WANT (random thought—I love looking at menus…if I hear about a new restaurant or someone recommends one, I hop online and check out the menu) before I even saw the actual picture of it.

    Wanted to tell you I read something I think you might like (after seeing your post about cooking school). It’s about a a lady who abandons her regular ole’ job to go to Le Cordon Bleu. Great descriptions of food and even includes recipes. It’s called “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry” and it’s by Kathleen Flinn. http://kathleenflinn.com/books/

  17. Jenny V October 2, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    oh so sad i wish you could have gotten some sort of recipe (being that it was small and family owned and you met them and all)! the ravioli sounds right up my alley!

  18. shellbell October 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    YES YES YES!!! more please!!!!!

    oh, and always, you are amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazingly beautifully stunning.

  19. Donna B October 3, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Lis de Stefani October 3, 2011 at 12:47 am #

    ohhhh yeahhhh! pasta for dessert hooooray!

  21. Mark October 3, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    what a great report. I think you really need a travel/food programme!!

  22. petitespoons October 3, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    OHHHHHH I went there a while ago, their fresh pasta is glorious!

    xx

  23. Tiffany October 3, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    Dag everything looks super duper yummy. Mmmmmmm

  24. mandaP24 October 3, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Need to know the name of the camera, Miss Teigs! Please!

  25. Jamie October 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Just found out about your blog via Twitter and love it! I tried the Chipolte marinade this weekend with drumsticks and thighs. It was great, but not as dark/thick as yours. I doubled the recipe and used it over 8 drumsticks and 8 thighs. What is the best/ideal proportion of batches if marinade to chicken? Sorry this was so long, and thanks in advance for any input! 😉

  26. Alexis October 3, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    @Adam. My grandma wears daizy dukes do idk what ur talking about.

  27. pippatea October 4, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    You are a wonderful writer.

  28. Jenny @ Musings and Morsels October 4, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Anything that is described as “melt in the mouth” wins mega points with me. I cannot wait for the descriptions and food pornography of the pig’s lard ravioli. Drooling already.

    Btw, are these pictures (and your blog in general) taken with the iphone?

  29. jenn scholnick (@jennifer724) October 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    you are perfect! and yes, i agree with the other commenter who said you should do a travel/food show.

  30. Ryan October 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    The part about adding small slices of celery to a salad was awesome. I did that yesterday and it was like a whole new thing. Then I went to Dairy Queen today so the food blog high must have worn off. Please post more stories so I don’t eat chicken fingers. Thanks.

  31. Jill L. October 26, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Stumbled on your blog while searching for the name of a restaurant we tried in Varenna, Como. I think “Locanda La Tirlindana” is right next to the restaurant I’m thinking of, but your post makes me wish I tried La Tirlindana as well! The salad and ravioli look divine — I know the challenge of trying to keep in shape while eating Italy’s heavenly carbs very, very well! Not easy. Please keep up the posts, as so many of us do love bacon and CAN’T be fat!

    http://departureslove.wordpress.com/

  32. Sarah November 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I just randomly happened across your blog and have spent the past hour reading, laughing out loud (especially at the pig/nipples post which made me giggle to the point of almost sustaining a muscle spasm) and making mental notes of yummy things to cook and consume. Inspiring, hilariously funny, honest, awesome. Thanks!!

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