Dinner at Lago Di Como- April 8, 2015
When you walk in, its kind of diner interior is a little off putting. There are no real authentic Italian design elements, except for the stone tiles and green walls…but don’t let that fool you. What Lago Di Como lacks in its design choices, it makes up for with its outstanding food.
Lago Di Como took over the previous restaurant, Nuevo Southwestern. It is just like you’re in Italy, with its namesake, otherwise known as George Clooney land. So instead of going to Italy, stay in Santa Cruz and spend a delicious evening at Lago Di Como.
Here’s what I tried:
Carpaccio di Manzo – with thinly sliced raw beef sirloin, lightly drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and served with fresh arugula topped with our lemon dressing. The meat is cut very thin and the delicate dressing is just fantastic.
Polenta Uncia – a traditional northern Italian dish featuring soft polenta tossed with mancego cheese, butter, garlic and sage. So very simple but the combination of these fresh ingredients makes for a nice appetizer.
Insalata Cesare – crisp romaine lettuce salad with croutons, shaved Parmesan cheese, & homemade Caesar dressing. I try Caesar salads pretty much at every tasting, and this salad was up there with a lot of them. I really enjoyed this one.
Mezze Lune ai Carciofi e Fontina – half moon ravioli stuffed with artichoke & fontina cheese tossed in a butter, garlic, & sage sauce. Nice little ravioli’s stuffed with tasty fixings.
Linguine al’ Nero di Seppie – fresh homemade squid ink linguini sautéed with mussels, clams, olive oil, garlic, white wine, & chili flakes. What makes this dish so great is the texture of the ink linguini, and of course the shellfish.
Penne alla Mamma Gianna – imported penne paste sautéed with Italian ham, green peas, and a touch of cream. Topped with Parmesan cheese & baked in the oven. This pasta is creamy and rich, and the touch of peas and ham make for a real treat.
Scaloppine di Vitello al Limone with Fungi Porcini – Veal scaloppini with a choice of a lemon sauce or porcini mushroom glaze. Served with a side of roasted potatoes & vegetable of the day. The veal is cooked tender and the mushrooms add a well-rounded smoky flavor that is just scrumptious.
Costata di Manzo Grigliata – 14oz. Rib eye steak lightly marinated and grilled. Served with a side of the Chef’s choice. They gave the perfect cut of meat with lots of fat, but cooked close to raw; it was just heavenly.
Gamba d’Agnello dei Pulenton- slow braised lamb shank with router of vegetable in a white wine and tomato sauce. Served over soft polenta with a side of vegetables of the day. Another stellar dish, fall off the bone goodness.
Pizza al Lago di Como – Pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, porcini mushrooms, bresaola, truffle oil, and kalamata olives. Anything with truffle oil makes me crazy, good crazy. This pizza was amazing.
Chardonnay, 37th Parellel Winery, 2012, Calaveras County – This is a fruit forward Chardonnay and would be great with any of the creamy pastas.
Chardonnay, San Francisco Wine Press, 2012, Mendocino – I would pair this wine with the Squid Ink pasta; it also works great with the Clams and Muscles.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, “Pan,” Bosco Nestore, 2009, Abruzzo – You can’t beat an Italian wine from this region, and it will make your steak all the more delicious.
Petite Syrah, 37th Parallel Winery, 2012, Santa Cruz Mountains – This wine I would pair with the Veal; it perfectly complimented the mushrooms in this dish.
Zinfandel, Old Vine, Villa Toscano, 2011, Shenandoah Valley – I would do this one with the Lamb Shank; it is just the best pairing.
Lago Di Como opened in 2012 by Giovanni Spanu and wife Mary Ellen Salciccia-Spanu at the helm. Since opening, the most ordered dishes are their Penne Bolognese, as well as the Veal, Calamari, and Burrata. The majority of their customers are local people and regulars. They play crooner music; Frank Sinatra was highlighted during my dinner.
The night I was there, it was packed. Lucky for me, I could see The Dodgers opening game from my seat, which was playing on a flat screen at the bar. It is just amazing Italian food with the perfect ingredients.
Lago Di Como Ristorante Pizzeria
21490 East Cliff Dr.
Santa Cruz, CA. 95062
For Dinner: Monday– Thursday 5pm – 9:30pm
Friday – Saturday 5pm – 10pm, and Sunday 5pm – 9:30pm
Lunch on Friday 11:30am – 2pm