Leaving the concrete jungle behind, our depature from Milan took us North into the hills. We set up camp in the small commune of Dongo, situated on the Northwestern corner of Lake Como. Tucked away between the Bergamo alps, the surroundings of this glacial lake presented excellent opportunities for hiking, swimming, star gazing and enjoying a calming quite, but our stay wouldn’t be complete without appeasing all of the senses. So, following our gut, literally, a scenic drive along the lakeside brought us to the heart of the Province of Como. If one isn’t specifically looking for it, the osteria is very easy to miss. A nondescript door, centered between curtained windows that give only a small glimpse of the interior, displays little sign of activity. The hand written menu positioned near the door is the only give away. Only upon opening the door and enterin the charismatic dining area does the prospective customer discover Osteria del Gallo. Osterias are typically small bars specializing in drinks with short menus for food, but throughout Italy we would come across ones with lengthy menus and none at all. Our venue for the night was of the former, offering fresh homemade food to accompany the drinks. With countless Italian wines decorating the walls, the osteria snuggly fits about a dozen tables that quickly fill up. The owner, a very sweet woman who runs the business with her husband, visits each table, reciting the daily menu in either Italian, French, German or English, each of which she speaks very well. Beginning with the house red, a smooth and rich cabernet that ended up pairing well with our main courses, we enjoyed a starter of crispy focaccia with a plate of prosciutto.
From among the few selections, Kaan ordered a veal dish served with potatoes, while I had fresh spaghetti with a meat sauce, both of which did not disappoint.
Although we skipped dessert, we left the restaurant pleasantly full, happy to have made the drive. A definite recommendation for anyone visiting the Como area.