Day 4: Trattoria Zamboni

Trattoria Zamboni AFTER dinner! 45.5°N in June it stays light late!
Trattoria Zamboni AFTER dinner! 45.5°N in June it stays light late!

Trattoria Zamboni is legendary in Vicenza for being one of the top upscale eateries in the area. Fortunate for us, the restaurant is situated less than five kilometers from where we live. Shockingly, we’ve never eaten there, until tonight!

In the town of Lapio, famous to our visitors for another great restaurant we frequent, Trattoria Zamboni occupies a prominent position on the main road, beneath the church, overlooking the Colli Berici and surrounding countryside. On a clear day, the Dolomites are visible in the distance. For us this evening, we were treated to sunbeams peeking through a mesmerizingly beautiful low low level cloud deck.

raw white asparagus salad
raw white asparagus salad

Probably most famous of all is Zamboni’s extensive wine list. Along with the menu of the day, you’ll get to peruse the encyclopedia like carte du vin, with their unparalleled selection of vintage wines from all over Italy, and the rest of Europe. A particularly good selection of wines from the amazing 1997 vintage, at phenomenal prices for a restaurant. 1997 is of course widely considered to have been one of the best vintages for Italian wines for half a century, so it would be difficult to pass up such a find at any restaurant. Zamboni just happens to have a wide variety. However, this evening we opted for our standard half liter of sfuso cabernet.

Entrees are all we can review for this post, because we did not have enough room for a first plate today. Alicia ordered a beautiful mixed garden salad (insalata mista), and I opted for an outstanding raw white asparagus salad topped with croutons, grana padano cheese, and olive oil. We both ordered the duck breast with wild strawberries (petto d’anatra) which came plated with a variety of side dishes – dauphinoise potato, green beans, and a pepper caponata. Everything was outstanding. Why did we live here three years and only just now as we are departing make our first visit?!

petto d'anatra
petto d’anatra

Desert consisted of a quadruple medley of lactose free sorbetto – lemon, melon, strawberry, and pineapple. Followed by a glass of Recioto di Gambellara from Cavazza , with on-the-house cantuccini added an element of class to the whole evening, perfected with an after dinner espresso – which has a nice medicinal effect following such a rich meal.

We’ll hopefully return to the Colli Berici one day, and of course continue to enjoy our local favorite trattorias. However now we know where to go for a splurge special occasion meal when the regular still incredible everyday options leave us wanting something even more refined than usual.

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