On our final night in Verona, the Iaciofano crew made the short walk across one of the town's many beautiful bridges where, up a quiet stone side street, nestled an unassuming, small and fascinating restaurant named Osteria La Fontanina ("OLF"). Mom had done some homework before arriving to Verona on OLF; despite its almost hidden location, OLF's resume includes a Michelin Star.
I mentioned that OLF was fascinating - I cannot recall stepping foot inside a restaurant quite like this one. It's a bit like an antique store, or an attic, or a trippy, slightly spooky, whacked out vintage furniture store or perhaps the love shack of an interior decorator and a hoarder. From everything to the plates, silverware, curtains and chairs - there is not a matching item in the joint.
To say OLF is a bit cramped would be generous. This place makes the coziest of Manhattan cafe's seem like a banquet hall. I'm sucking in my gut just to walk to to my table. But it's all so... cool. Leave it to the Italians, of course, to generate such a magical atmosphere from a room filled with flea market type trinkets. Waiting for my meal was never so entertaining. Heck, I'd even say it's beautiful inside.
I recall the whole place only having about 8-10 tables, so while the 15 or so random, hanging tassles (among other things) provide an amusing atmosphere, OLF's prevailing tone is actually its intimacy. It has a very private feel to it all.
And as for its food, it's really, really good. Absolutely deserving of its Michelin Star status.
Prior to the meal, OLF served up some wonderful and warm breads and foccacia.
Of particular note was my primi of scallops with a pumpkin puree and chopped mushrooms (seen above). It was simply outstanding, like I was eating dessert. Other highlights were Elana's baby pig ravioli, served in an insanely flavorful pear sauce; as well as her guinea-fowl coupled with an amazing potato cream sauce.
Service was also impeccable and warm, with the head chef himself shedding any potential "too cool for school" labels by serving us some of the dishes himself; a nice touch. We all thanked him for his expertise. All of his dishes were excellent.
La Fontanina was truly a memorable and delicious experience, one that I sincerely hope I can revisit someday soon.