This was a charming afternoon. We left Cremona for lunch at 1 PM, drove 15 minutes to Lago Scuro, just out of town, and returned at 5 PM. Lago Scuro is a working farm, agro-B&B and restaurant on the outskirts of Cremona in Lombardy. They produce a range of products from lovely, relatively young cheeses to many different fruits and vegetables. I met them first at the Farmers' Market in Cremona. The main house is also a fine restaurant on Saturday and Sunday. The menu includes only one choice, what is fresh that day, beautifully prepared. They were also one of the few places in all of Italy that bothered to prepare vegetarian secondi piatti! We began with bread and oil, the bread showing the salutary German influence of Northern Italy. We tasted some of the house rosso, which was uncommonly well made. Next, there was an antipasto course which was a kind of herb muffin with a lovely soft cheese baked inside. Then there was a pasta course of tortelli stuffed with spinach and ricotta with a dreamy parmesan cream. Secondi (for us vegies) were an eggplant torta featuring another of the farm's cheeses, followed by a salad of a very fresh, wild green I did not recognize and the waiter could not recall the name of. Finally dessert was a simple but well made chocolate cake, uniced, and served with whipped cream and almond brittle.
After lunch we strolled around the grounds of this wonderful old cascina which used to house 15 families. The result is that the main house has an abundance of spacious dining rooms that are filled with no more than three tables per room, so even if a large family is seated one can have a private conversation in relative peace. The gardens were in their last days (it was 2 November) but there were still tomatoes hanging on the vines and an abundance of greens. There is also a small lake at the back of the property.
As we left we had a lovely chat with the chef and owner who greeted each party as they left. As we drove back to Cremona, the low sun showered golden pink light over the hazy fields.
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