Sunday, August 10, 2008

La Meridiana a Domodossola, What a Gem!!

Oh my god, yesterday’s stumble into this unbelievable restaurant restored my faith in off-the-beaten-path places to eat. This was a find of monumental proportions and anyone who can or is able, head to Domodossola for a fabulous meal. They specialize in fish courses but also propose perfect Spanish fare. This is of course family-owned and operated, which means the clan of ultra dedicated and proud owners will serve you. Situated close to the Swiss border this town boasts a lively atmosphere. There is a fun Jazz Club hidden off of the main street, nicely frescoed palazzini all framed with the majestic mountains of the Val Dossola. The family recently restored an old building from the very early 1700’s into a casa-vacanza in the locale of Cadarese, the Valley of Antigorio. The area will soon host thermal baths as well as sport complexes and recreational activities summer and winter.

For in
formation regarding the vacation lodging, contact or follow the link latter in this post.

The restaurant is one of a kind serving courses that would cost upwards 20€ per plate. Many of the risotto fish dishes or paella must be ordered for a minimum of two bodies, which would tell any food fanatic your dishes are prepared to order! They do not have precooked this or that. Saturday is their busiest day at lunch and trust me, the tables turned not twice but three times during the lunching hour. The place is small; the tables are barren, wooden and simple. As a restaurant classification one might expect tablecloths or linen napkins; probably for dinner they set up in that manner as in the photos on the website, but for lunch it was nice and bare and simple. They put out paper placemats, a knife and fork serving the wine in big generous glasses and that is it folks. A very simple but stunningly divine repast. La Meridiana

The courses are presented without too much fanfare (lord with that crowd how can they do anything else but get the food to the tables) and the food was piping hot. They offer Spanish prosciutto hand cut per order rivalin
g any Italian prosciutto to date. Tending to lean towards Speck, this female became a convert since stopping in at this locale, ordering pearls or melon balls in a tortilla cup served with ultra thin slices of Spanish prosciutto and large shredded Parmigiano (not shaved). The bread was ultra fresh in nice thick generous slices and upon requesting a refill, they were more than happy to fulfill, which makes any Italian very happy. ;-)

It was hideously hot outside and the desire to eat a heavy meal was not on Snow White's planner but luckily she did order three courses, all of them small amounts of perfectly prepared dishes. She had tortelloni of Astice with julienned zucchini in a sauce neither she or Golden Piglet could figure out; utterly di
vine and only four of these things on the plate, a perfect, perfect amount of food! While taking this meal in a very slow manner (due to the number of patrons in the place), she was able to spy other dishes whizzing by the table and most of them made her realize, this is going to have to be a regular watering hole for them and begin their exploration of the fabulous fish fare proffered.

Granted, living in the area would help but a trip from Milan to this restaurant is worth it and if you really want to soak up the scenery, get a room so you can not only eat a great meal but explore their wonderful cellar as well. Beware of the desserts or she should say, save room for at least one. Difficult not to overhear the table next to her as the Italian/Swiss/French creature expounded on the delights of a semifreddo with amaretti of course all made by the chefs. If a meal is not in your budget, then go in for a glass of wine at the bar and a slice or two of prosciutto, this is truly a hidden gem and with a little bit of time to spare, Snow White will translate the story of the cooks and family from their brochure, another impressive story (they boast fantastic chef training).

Ciao for now!

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