Last Friday was David’s birthday. And after he went to great lengths to plan and give me an unforgettable celebration in Tuscany, I just had to return the gesture. David loves Italy so it was only fitting we planned to go to Milan, a place he’d been before and wanted to return.
His birthday celebrations actually started the day before on Thursday when I cooked him a special birthday meal. He came home from work to “Candlelit Dinner” Songza playlist playing on the speakers, long stem candles lit, table set with our fine china and me telling him to just sit and wait to be served. First course was a butternut squash soup, then followed by braised pork roast (a recipe we learned in Tuscany) with green beans and fresh ravioli from the market. To finish off the meal, three mini Merveilleux de Fred with candles.
Perhaps that special meal made up for the fact that the next morning it took me half hour before wishing him Happy Birthday during breakfast… oops!
Since we were traveling on his birthday, we spent the evening at the airport. By the time we got into Milan and checked into our hotel it was 10:30pm but I had reserved dinner at a restaurant called “The Small” (a place he had tried to visit on his last trip to Milan with Lisa but couldn’t get into). The meal was good, a little overpriced, but the service was great and the decor very kitschy and amusing.
The next morning we walked around Milan and went to the top of the Duomo. After not being able to actually get into the church because my short skirt and tiger-patterned tights were apparently forbidden, we stuck to our plan to headed up to Lake Como by train. There, we’d spend the next two nights in our room with a view of the lake in Varenna.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best and fog covered the lake and surrounding mountains for most of the weekend. It was still relaxing and we got what we went to Italy for: good food and good wine rounded out by delicious gelato and espresso.
When there were a few breaks in the clouds and the fog, the view of Lake Como was incredible. Snow capped mountain encircled us, crystal clear blue lake before us and hillside towns looked across at us.
But now let me tell you about the food… both dinners in Como were incredible. It seems that you can’t go wrong wherever you choose to eat in Italy (for the most part).
We had the most amazing pumpkin ravioli in brown butter and sage sauce at La Vista restaurant where we were staying. And the next night another delicious meal at Quattro Pass. Both places I would highly recommend.
Aside from climbing up the steep roads to visit Il Castello di Vezio, we didn’t do much else. The castle was uninteresting except for the eerie ghost like chalk structures and the views. The rest of the time, we simple relaxed and pretty much just ate our way through the weekend. I don’t recall ever being hungry once.
On our last day we returned to Milan where I spent the day more ‘appropriately’ dressed and entered the Duomo. We walked around the old city, window shopped in the ridiculously high-end shops and finished the weekend with our last gelato (for David) and a cup of “drinking chocolate” (for me).