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Terrazza Manzotti – Dinner On The Adda

This night’s dinner was on the water, at Terrazza Monzotti. It’s along the river Adda, and has plenty of outdoor dining, which I’m sure is lovely during nicer weather. Right across from it, you can see a building designed by da vinci. Yeah, that da vinci. Uh huh, this Italy thing is pretty cool. They have this amusing replica of “Sunflowers” inside, made with pasta.

Right when you walk in, they have several plates of appetizers for you. You just eat what you want. What restaurant just welcomes you with free snacks?

There are several dining areas and when you’re walking through the place, you pass by the salad cart.

And speaking of carts, there’s also the dessert, or dolce, cart!

This menu was slightly bigger, but particularly only because they serve pizza here, so the pizza portion of the menu was quite extensive. Here, our service charge included olives, breadsticks, and potato chips.

C ordered the focaccia. It comes out looking like a naked pizza. It’s thin dough, crispy, and delicious. This is the same dough used for the pizzas. It’s made in-house, and cooked in a wood-burning stove. How does the dough end up this way?

Like this! Here’s a happy pizza dough thrower, if I’ve ever seen one. Ok, he may have been hamming it up for the camera a tiny bit.

And here’s a look at the pizza, this one with spicy salami, in other words, pepperoni. It’s got the same crispy thin crust, and it has a very light sauce. It’s pretty much not like pizzas at home, but I think I like this better.

As for me, I got the sea bass ravioli. Who serves ravioli made with sea bass as the stuffing? I’ve never seen it before, which is one of the main reasons I got it. It was served in a light orange sauce with shrimp. So the sauce wasn’t orangey at all, it was mainly just rich and creamy with a slight seafood taste. And if you thought real hard, you may have tasted a teensy bit of orange, but not really. These little things were delicious! It was reminiscent of lobster ravioli, but better. This was a great meal because C and L are regulars, so we were treated like family. Plus, our server spoke english, which makes everything much easier!

Dinner at La Cantina – Hotel Trezzo in Via Sala Italy

I love being here and having the customer decide where I eat every night. It’s the bane of a food blogger’s existence. Because you blog about food, everyone expects you to decide where to eat. So when I don’t have to do that, it’s a luxury that I enjoy. So this night, we went to the Hotel Trezzo in Via Sala. Inside, there’s a restaurant called La Cantina. It was quite busy there this night. There was nowhere to park and the proper restaurant was full. But we were able to get a seat sort of in the hallway.

In Italy, they give you bread and such, or other little bites to eat with your meal, but you get charged for it. It’s all part of “service” and this includes the bread as well as the service charge. It’s a flat fee per person, so it doesn’t matter how cheap or expensive your meal is, you get the charge regardless. This is another restaurant with quite a small menu. A little pasta, some rice, and lots of meat dishes. Oh, and another thing, I love all the frizzante water here.

S got the lamb dish, which came out in little skewers. Lamb and potatoes, quite palatable for anyone, foreign or native.

I got the chicken dish that was listed in their “specialty” section. It was thinly sliced chicken breast with a sauce made with whiskey, wine, prosecco and porcini mushrooms.  It was served with a “cornmeal porridge”, but it just seemed like polenta to me. In the english menu, it said porridge. But I’m not really sure if it was indeed polenta, because really, if it was, they should have just called it polenta, right? It had little bits of fried bacon on top! Whoo! The dinner was lovely. I can’t stop saying that since I’m working with Scots all day!

My First Dinner In An Italian Castle – L’Altro Tempo

By the time dinner rolled around my first night in Italy, boy, was I starving. My last proper meal was the dinner on the plane, and after that, it was my sad breakfast of juice and fruit, and a few crackers and snacks throughout the rest of my work day. I was so hungry I had a headache. Ok, maybe it was the lack of sleep, but in any case, I was tired, pained, and needing real sustenance. So we went to a castle. You know, like you do in Europe. Just hop down to the neighborhood castle for some grub.

This is a family run restaurant housed within an eighteenth century castle. It’s pretty damn cool eating in a castle, I must say. They serve regional cuisine, a la carte, and they have a pretty extensive wine list. There’s bottles everywhere. It’s rather impressive and insane.

There’s also old furniture in there, tons of it nineteeth-century. They also use this drawer set to hold bread. Open up a drawer, pull out a loaf, and cut. I need me a magical set of bread drawers at home.

To get to the dining areas, you have to meander through corridors and hallways in this said castle, where they just have tons of stuff everywhere. Furniture, stacks of stuff, wine, food, whatever. It’s truly rustic.

Luckily, they have english menus, or else I would have been screwed. It’s a small menu, with starters, firsts, seconds, sides, and desserts. It’s more of a risotto and meat heavy menu, not pastas. Breadsticks and breads from the drawers! No butter with your bread here!

L and I shared one of the antipasti – the trout. It was some pieces of marinated trout, along with some rocket, a couple slices of tomato and some balsamic syrup. As L said, it was lovely (she’s Scottish)! And I also enjoyed the presentation, as I didn’t expect it to be so pretty!

This was the wine that we ended up picking, after many indecisions and help from the server. A 2005 chianti, I totally loved it! It also helped me sleep. The ratatouille was delicious. I let me taste some of his. It was really oily though! They definitely don’t skimp on the oil here.

He got one of the steaks that are cooked on a hot stone. C also got the steak as well. She got hers butterflied. She made us try some of the steak too, and damn, it was extremely tender and had an excellent flavor, even without anything on it. She also got simply prepared potatoes.

L and I both got risottos, which is a regional specialty. L’s risotto had some sausage in it and was made with a wine. You can see how different it looks from mine.

I got a saffron risotto with chicken livers. Ok, when I ordered this, in my head, I was thinking chicken gizzards and not chicken livers. But I know what liver is, and that I don’t like it. But for whatever reason (I blame it on lack of sleep), I was thinking this would be like gizzards. Well, no, it was definitely chicken livers, in all their extremely strong livery glory. I wasn’t digging it. It’s funny because it actually looks like mushrooms. But mushrooms they definitely are not! But that’s ok, because I just ate around the livers, and the arborio was strong and delicious and not mushy at all. They know how to make their risotto here.

This was a good meal and a nice way to ease me into this week-long italian gorge fest. Even with the app and the risotto, sans livers, I was still really stuffed. The prices here are also extremely reasonable! The risottos were about 11 euros or so? That’s so cheap! And especially for european, that’s pretty much a steal. Prego!

L’Altro Tempo
Piazza Generale Perrucchetti, 3,
20062 Cassano d’Adda MI, Italy
0363 65095

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