Sunday, October 9, 2011

A wonderful fall lunch at Osteria Ciona

Friday the high temperature dropped from 81 to 69 and a cool Northern wind kept the sky clear and the air chilly.It has been a beautiful fall weekend so far, one during which I've eaten all kinds of awesome autumn dishes.
Yesterday my parents and I drove up in the hills over Lake Lugano and had lunch at a place called Osteria Ciona, a traditional Swiss restaurant that specializes in venison this time of the year. It was amazing. The restaurant itself, as you can see, is something out of a postcard. Service is, as it usually is in Switzerland, impeccable. We sat on the terrance, figuring we would take advantage of the last days of warm-enough-for-outside weather. And of course we ordered from the "Fall specialties" menu... because that's what we had gone there for. It was hard to choose, I have to say. There were all kinds of yummy options, ranging from wild boar to deer, cooked in all kinds of ways. In the end we settled for a deer salami as a shared appetizer. It was a great choice. The salami was fresh and tender and so delicious it was almost too good to eat with bread. For our main courses, my mom picked deer filet with polenta and chestnuts (pictured on the right). The meat was tender and cooked just right - juicy and pink on the inside.
My dad also opted for a venison main course. He ordered deer stew, which also was excellent. As for me, I decided to have venison filled ravioli, served with melted butter and sage.
As you can tell there was a lot of butter involved, which made the dish even better. All in all, it was a fantastic lunch. We drank a locally produced merlot which complimented the meal very nicely.
There were other things on the menu that I wanted to try, so I guess I'll be back there pretty soon. The biggest problem around here is that there are too many great restaurants... and so little time.



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