A taste of Montevecchia at Trattoria da Pasqualino

Since moving to Brianza I haven’t had many occassions to dine out and explore the local cuisine so it was with great pleasure that I headed to Montevecchia last Sunday for a family dinner and a taste of the local specialities. Our destination? Trattoria da Pasqualino, a small family owned restaurant nestling on the hillside of Montevecchia and home to many mushroom, or funghi, specialities.

But first, a few words on Montevecchia, the protected natural area and home to the Parco regionale di Montevecchia and the valley of Curone. Sitting 800m high and home to 2494 inhabitants, Montevecchia is part of an old roman fortress who’s name has evolved over the years from Mons Vigiliae or Mount Vedette through to Montevecchia or Old Mount. With commanding views over the surrounding area Montevecchia and indeed Trattoria da Pasqualino are a beacon for visitors to Brianza and finally 6 weeks after moving here I find myself seated in front of a wood fire perusing the mushroom friendly menu.

The Trattoria is small and homely and, with the open fire, an ideal place for an evening of comfort food on a crisp winters day. Owned and run by the Galbusera family since 1986 their ambition is to provide simple and genuine foods, cooked well and to be enjoyed by all. Gianpietro runs the kitchen whilst his wife manages the dining area. The menu boasts plenty of local dishes including snails, polenta, kidneys and their speciality mushrooms all of which are reasonably priced and generously served. As I sit studying the menu my eye catches a terrine of onion soup which with 5 degrees outside is instantly inviting. However I am torn between taking the house starter of mushroom risotto which given the restaurants reputation seems a more reasonable choice. Our party of 6 play ping pong a little longer with the menu before deciding to do away with the tradition of eating a first and second and 4 of us opt for the risotto followed by soup!

Our risotto is marvellously creamy and even my husband, a sworn mushroom hater, falls prey to the deliciousness on my plate and steals a few forkfuls. Suddenly his gnocchi al gorgonzola is less exciting despite being delicious under its own merits. Having fallen in love with our mushroom starter, 2 out of the 4 defect from the onion soup to a newly discovered mushroom soup (not on the menu) which our waitress is quick to point out having seen our feshly cleaned risotto plates.

I stick with my first choice although when my husband’s flame grilled chicken and spinach comes out forks get swapped and we all end up tasting each others with much Mmming and Aaaahing. I’ve spent the past few years in Italy rueing the loss of country pubs and pub grub but this came a very close second for comfort food. We finished up with home-made yoghurt torte and creme catalan for a fitting end to our first meal out in Montevecchia.

Trattora da Pasqualino di Galbusera Gianpietro

Via Belevedere 41, Montevecchia (Lecco)

http://www.trattoriadapasqualino.it

Tel: +39 039 9930560

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