That title will make sense soon. Please, read on. Unless you’re a member of PETA. Then, please stop and choose another post!
“I’m getting out of here – I don’t want to hear about bunnies for lunch!”
You may have read HERE about when our Uncle S. and Aunt Deborah came to see us last week and we enjoyed a very nice visit with three days full of wonderful food. Well, the meal we shared on day three was truly blog-worthy!
I don’t think S. or Deb knew what to expect when they came; and so they came open for anything. But since one of their good friends had been to Lake Como some time ago, he mentioned a few top sights and restaurants to consider. One particular restaurant, Al Veluu appeared to be unbelieveably perfect for us. Al Veluu sits atop a hillside in the wonderful lake town of Tremezzo, thus extending picturesque views of Lake Como (a town we wanted to show them anyway). Their well designed and informative website features images of the lake that somehow seem to take second place to the images of their food. And since I happen to know their referring friend has impeccable taste, it was evidence enough for me!
Hilltop view of Tremezzo
Jen and I discovered the town of Tremezzo whilst exploring the lake at the beginning of our trip, this past January. We were just out for a drive and promised that we would return to explore further as soon as we could. One of the main sights of Tremezzo is Villa Carlotta, a stunning villa with impeccable gardens. Unfortunately, we were three days ahead of the seasonal opening of the villa and thus unable to see. Expect a blog post about it in the near future.
We allotted plenty of time for a relatively short drive. We needed to wind our way to the base of the lake and up with western side of the west leg. In this case, it was as much about the journey as the destination. While winding through the narrow streets of lake town after lake town, we took in the sites of the water and incredible villas (including that of the local celebrity, George Clooney – no, he wasn’t out).
Al Veluu – our intended destination
Timing it perfectly, we arrived at Al Veluu just as they should have been opening for pranzo (lunch). However, as you know – the best laid plans are always the first to go awry. The place seemed to have a few too many construction workers and too few diners. I went up to talk to the proprietors and see what was going on. Turns out, the only thing on the menu was renovations. Fortunately, the owner, Luca was very nice and suggested another place, La Fagurida. He even invited us to stop by on the way back for a limoncello (lemon drink). He also shared that if we were fans of rabbit (I am), we could do no better than La Fagurida.
Easy-to-miss sign to La Fagurida
Tight squeeze down the driveway – took it sloooow
La Fagurida – the owners live above
We drove up the hill another 300 meters and found the restaurant (he cautioned us not to drive too quickly, lest we miss the small sign). We were charmed by the restaurant’s exterior and even more amazed to see the menu’s pièce de résistance in an open-air cage out front. There was a large cage of bunnies out front. They looked so cute and playful, it even made me think twice about ordering one! While the title jests that I got to pick my own – I assure you, that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if I could have handled that (strangely though, when it comes to lobster I have no problems).
Coniglio Gabbia (Rabbit Cage)
As delicious as they are adorable!
S. and Jules playing with the bunnies
We ordered several wonderful primi (first courses) from the menu and settled in for what looked to be a promising meal. Our table was quickly covered with delectable treats, including the most amazing polenta that any of us had ever had. In fact, we ordered so much that we couldn’t even finish (wanting to save room for our main courses). We should have known that not finishing your food is not an option in an Italian woman’s kitchen and she literally made me and S. finish every plate.
Antipasti della casa
Prosciutto, salami and bresaola
Insalata fagioli borlotti
Cipolle, carciofi e peperoni arrostiti
(Onions, artichokes and roasted peppers)
Polenta uncia e classica
Our secondo (main course) was brought to the table and we each eagerly dove in.
Coniglio arrosto (roasted rabbit) for two
Verdure alla griglia (grilled vegetables)
Spiedino de carne mista (skewer of mixed meats)
Vino della casa in a wonderful bottle
We finished with dessert for Julia and soaked up the view one last time. We wound our way back into town for some coffee and pastries.
Did I feel a bit guilty about staring my lunch in it’s adorable little face? Perhaps a bit – but my guilt was eased by the memory of the delectable meal. As it turns out, they serve about 1,000 rabbits a year – so I was just one of many guilty parties.