So if you’ve been to Northern Italy, then you’ve probably heard of George Clooney’s favorite haunt, Il Gatto Nero (and if you haven’t been to Northern Italy, then surely you’ve heard of George Clooney? – if not, check out this hilarious account of four women stalking Clooney in Italy). While Il Gatto Nero (the “Black Cat”) is known for its yummy, pricey food, maybe you, on a special night, are desiring a restaurant without a photo of Clooney and other Hollywood studs on its walls. Enter Ristorante Momi, Chef Momi’s delightful post on the shores of Lake Como (address: Frazione Girola 22020 Blevio CO tel 334 1202327).
Ristorante Momi is the place to go when you’re sick of the tourists in Como (note: do not even bother stopping in Como – instead opt for another of Lake Como’s towns, such as Cernobbio or Bellagio). Although it is tough to find (I suggest calling ahead and looking at a map), you can park near the cemetery and playground (yes, these two things are across from one another) and stroll through the paths to the restaurant. Here, there are only a cluster of tables on an extended balcony over Lago di Como. Across the lake, you have views of Villa D’este, Lake Como’s premier hotel, as well as Clooney’s own abode, Villa Oleandra.
At Ristorante Momi, expect candlelit service (better photos than mine can be found here) with a special presentation by Chef Momi himself. When we visited, Momi actually translated the entire Italian menu for us. I ordered a tagliatelle with tartufo (perfectly prepared in a light butter and lemon sauce) and my partner in crime had the local lake fish. Both were delicious, as well as the red wine accompanying. But the best part of the entire experience was the fact that we were dining on the lake for prices less than any comparable experience in Los Angeles or New York – my pasta was only 10 euro; if exchange rates stay favoring the US dollar, this was definitely a steal.
For drinks before or after your meal at Ristorante Momi, head over to Harry’s Bar in Cernobbio. Rumor has it that George is a frequent customer, just in case you’ve got a hankering for some Clooney for dessert.