"La Lanterna": Elegance, at trattoria prices...
I literally fell into this place. I was shopping in the centro with Ma Kettle, and her mom and sister, and stood off under an overhang to get some shade, and do what I was getting used to doing...waiting !!
I leaned against the building behind me in order to dislodge a pebble from my sandle, and in doing so, inadvertantly pushed open the restaurant door.
We had walked past it numerous times over the past year, and due to the excessive use of wood on the fascade, just never took notice of it being a restaurant. Plus, it looked expensive, especially when I peeked inside.
White table cloths, uniformed waiters, air conditioning, wonderful smell, plus, the open pit with blazing fire for pizzas was facing the front door.(inviting)
I checked the menu while I waited for 'my girls', and was pleasantly surprised. Very reasonable, for both pizza and pasta. I got a table for four, and retreived the shoppers.
Everyone was surprised to find such a clean and well maintained restaurant...very elegant, but very comfortable. No pretense spoken here.
Favorite Dish: We have had pizza (always perfectly cooked), many varieties of pastas (wonderful), gnocci (my favourite), and fish secondo's (excellent, large portions), and salads (suggest you skip them). Tiramisu (home made on premises...perfect).
I can find no fault with this place at all. The service is good, the owner is great, speaks English, and practices on me everytime I go in, and is very nice, cute waitress (blond, bit standoff-ish)(always there).
Very clean, modern bathroom. Toilet tissue, hot water.
Last visit ... Nov/04
- Budget Travel
Trattoria da Nicola: One of my favourite local restaurant
Very cosy restaurant, built inside a old farm, the dining area is split in two different floors plus a small side room for more intimacy, there is also a outdoor garden used during summer.
The menu change according with the seasons and consist in a wide selection of local and international food. They have meat and fish dishes on the menu, sometimes they have more, let the waiter explain you all about them, usually they are SPECIAL.
Wine list is good too, the average price for a nice bottle of wine is 15 euros, house wine is good too.
Closed on Monday, during week end it can be quite busy so it would be better to make a reservation.
It is our "celebration" restaurant, we usually go on birthdays, anniversary etc, a special treat.
Favorite Dish: Zucchini flower stuffed with caprino (soft goat cheese)
tuna fish tartare
Branzino with crunch potatoes
Grilled bufalo steak!!!! if you found this eat it! you will be not disappointed!
We recently tried their mixed grilled fish plate and it was a huge portion and all delicious!
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
Antica Trattoria Aggujaro: Lunch...only 10 Euro, including Vino
This is the first restaurant we visited upon arriving in Italy. It has become a staple to us, so much so that I forgot to include it in my Travel Pages. Merely an oversight, believe me.
Lunch is a flat 10 Euro, including salads, pasta, and secondo, whether it be grilled steak, grilled pork chops, boiled meats, ham hock, roasted chicken 1/2's, and so on. The secondo is always served with polanta, but not the roasted 'slab' that I prefer. The meal comes complete with Vino, always more than Ma Kettle and I can manage. Bottled water is also included in this price.
Today, they had Easter bread, oranges, and apples for dessert. Coffee is included.
Nowhere have I found such good food, in such plentiful servings, at such a low price. They cater to the working class, but that's not to say that tables of 'suits' are not in abundance.
You have to walk past the 'bar' area just off the front sidewalk/parking lot to access the restaurant itself. You'll know you're in the right spot if the waitresses are calling back and forth to one another, and scurrying from table to table. They don't stand on pretense here, and that's a good thing.
Favorite Dish: I can't describe my favourite meal, because all except one has been excellent. The boiled meats are not my favourite. Not to say that it has not been well prepared, because judging from the tables around me, it is one of the most favoured meals offered. Neither Maria or I enjoy the boiled sausage, and that's all there is to it. Unfortunately, they often offer it on Saturdays, and that is the day we like to go out for lunch.
The atmosphere is what I imagined lunch time in Italy to be like, noisy, busy, and huge platters of food. The waitresses travel a mile a minute, but getting attention is easy, because they are so attentive.
They do tend to become a bit short with me now though, I guess after two years the staff expect I should be fluent in Italien. I understand however that their having to talk very slow' to this stupid Canadian does throw them off their pace.
The salad bar is huge, containing traditional Italian fare. Great variety.
The pasta is always so flavourful, three varieties are offered, as are three secondos. Your choice.
The supper 'fixed price' meal we have never had, and I can't say if the price is the same or not (believe it to be 20 Euro). I do know a menu is available, and grilled meats appear to be a specialty.
UPDATE...We have now enjoyed dinner here, to celebrate the visit of Vter's Bernishand and RexVaughn and respective spouses to Padova. Dinner was a huge salad bar, pasta as a primo (3 choices), two huge platters, one heaped high with grilled ribs, sausages, pork steak, bacon, and the second one filled with wonderfully tender, cut with a fork steak. Bottomless carafes of wine, topped off with two bottles of liquor left on the table with the coffee. On Wednesdays, they offer live entertainment, which is a real hoot. No more said...Total price per person this night 22 euro
Well worth the effort to visit, lots of parking, and you'll experience the true Italian meal, with no Hollywood backdrop. Just be aware, English is not spoken here, and tourists are a rare oddity.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
da Maurizio.... Pasticceria siciliana Bar: Sicilian Bakery...in Padova
This is a tiny pasticceria we found accidently while wandering the streets of Padova. It is located Via Buonarroti, 88 - 35134 Padova.
The lady behind the counter is your typical stereotype Italian lady, short, a 'little' round, with a huge, warm smile. She immediately made Ma Kettle and I feel comfortable.
The inside is nothing special, three small tables, and standing room only at the short counter area. What makes it special, is the well stocked selection of sweets contained behind the glass case, the number of 'frosted' cakes for sale, and the different types of Sicilian sandwiches and 'rice/ragu balls' (terrible description, but are wonderful). Many unusual dessert items on display, and very reasonably priced.
Favorite Dish: We had a number of different types of goodies, and I remember no names of any of them. I had a large ball consisting of rice, meat, sauce, and cheese, done in the oven, and served hot...great, and a sandwich of Chick Pea, in a omelet like mixture, served hot within a fantastic lightly toasted sicilian bun.
*** I have been informed by fellow VTer Maurizioago, since I initially wrote this tip, that the rice ball is called Arancini...thanks.
I have not done justice to the foods available here. Please, don't take my word for it, go yourself, and give them a try.
Our last visit was Dec 04/04.
- Budget Travel
El Agave: Mexican restaurant
This restaurant has been opened by a Mexican family now living in Padova. They are making great efforts to make sure the food represent mexican cooking. They brought original decorations and tried to create the typical atmosphere of Mexico.
The menu has a good selection of food, some spicy and some less. They will be glad to assist you to make a good decision if you are afraid to get a dish that is too spicy. You must ask for a glass of their very special house margaritas which is typical of Mexico. If the food is too hot you can always take a glass of milk.
June 2010 - Unfortunally this restaurant is not owned by the same people anymore. I havent had the change to try it out after the change. Will report soon about it
Favorite Dish: Tacos el pastor and margaritas
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
Postal 2: Wild West theme...in Italy
You walk into Postal 2, and you immediately think you're in a honky tonk back in North America. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you've been away from 'home' for a while.
The walls are adorned with pictures of North American Indians, and seating is comprised of heavy wooden benches/tables. The walls are a combination of Italian 'flaking' plaster, and wooden shutters, weathered beams and planks, decorated with horse shoes etc.
Pizzas are served on wooden slabs, and beer is available on 'tap' or bottle.
Ma Kettle had gnocci with marinara sauce, which had a commercial 'taste' to it, but the gnocci was huge, and quite flaverful.
Pa Kettle ordered a 'hamburger', the first in eight months, with fried onions, tomato, cheese, and lettuce. The bun was unusual as it appeared North American, and was 'charred' to offer the rustic look. The burger itself was average size, fresh, and flavourful. The only disappointment was that the onions and tomato were fried together, therefore you were eating 'stewed' tomato. That, coupled with this very hot combo placed on top of lettuce, made for an unpleasant eating experience. I dislike warm lettuce, and especially don't like trying to hold your burger together without the meat shooting out from between twin pieces of bun.
The fries were great. I normally don't care for french fries, but we shared this platter just so we could report back to VT readers. I would return for fries alone. (plus beer)
Favorite Dish: Dessert was unusual. I was ready to order coffee, however the waiter suggested we try the house specialty.
The Italian spoken here is not the usual variety, including the printed menu. (?)
Therefore, we agreed without knowing what we were getting. After all, isn't this what travel is all about? An experience...
Our dessert turned out to be a bowl of gelato, a ball of vanilla with chocolate hidden within. Poured over top of the ice cream, was coffee. Delightful. I got my coffee, and dessert, all consumed using a spoon. Good idea. I have no idea if this is usual elsewhere, or the chefs personal concoction. Give it a try.
The waiter was friendly, pleasant, and helpful. The patrons were subdued, dining area dimly lit (good for just sitting), and 80's era music was playing in the background. We felt quite comfortable and at ease here.
We would return, and I will request my burger come with cold, 'crisp' tomato/lettuce served on the side. The fried onions are a plus.
Ma Kettle and I went back second time, and that evening ordered appetizers, great value, good taste. Ma had a pizza, Tomato/Onion, very tasty, and Pa had a type of Beef stew, typical of the Veneto Region, just OK though,
with grilled polenta, fries (salty), and smoked pork slices, very good. Beer/wine (always good)
We have noticed that the service, while acceptable, is not up to par. There is a feeling of indifference, and a change in this attitude could make the difference between success and failure.
Our most recent visit was April 21/04.
- Food and Dining
Alfio: 50's Style Pasticcereria Gelateria
We walked into Alfio's the first time, and were surprised to see 1950's style booths, small tables for two, and a huge selection of sweets and sandwiches. They also appear to offer a fully stocked bar, and, of course, gelatto. All of the bakery items are made by the very capable hands of Alfio himself, so freshness is automatic.
Extremely pleasant, friendly staff, most courteous and efficient. Alfio, Graziella, and son Lorenzo greet every customer who walks through the door with a very warm and genuine smile.
The interior is bright and spotless, and most importantly to Maria and me, entirely non-smoking. Music is always playing in the background to provide a relaxed atmosphere.
Wonderful place to stop for a quick bite, and free parking is easily accessible in front.
Favorite Dish: Green tea for Ma, Caffe dopio for Pa, and 'anything' from the bakery.
We also suggest you try the Spritz, a before dinner drink, served with bowls of potato chips and corn chips.
We're both partial to the Tuna and Olive sandwiches...always fresh, and we do our best to keep them that way.
Now that the warm weather has arrived, we are able to sit outside at the table and enjoy sun and sand... 'wiches'. Sundays are special, because they offer a wonderful light, cream filled layer cake, but only on Sundays. When it's gone, it's gone.
Just a note, our total bill after sandwiches, drinks and sweets, is never more than 10 euro for two.
We visit at least three times a week...
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Ristorante Pizzeria El Gaucho: Amazing location
The location is very nice, close to our hills Colli Euganei. The building is all made by stones and there is a nice garden where you can sit and eat during the summer and feel the breeze coming off the hills.
This is great people food, they cook meat, fish and pizza so everyone can find their favourite dish. I came here very frequently since years and never been disappointed. I had pizza several times, their wood fire grilled meat, their pasta with seafood, their appetizer (the mixed fish appetizer is so big that often i decide I am eating just THAT) and their home made cake (try their tiramisu!!!)
It is quite far from Padova center so make sure you have a good map of the area or use a satellite navigator to get there.
Favorite Dish: Mixed fish appetizer, pizza and home made Tiramisu to die for!!
PePen: Good Pizza and great restaurant
Traditionally this was a Pizzeria but now it is also a very good restaurant. Everything here is over the average, pizza, meat and also fish. They also have one of the hugest wine list I have ever seen, a book actually!!!
During the summer you can eat outdoor under a big gazebo right in the Piazza, but even if you will be inside, the ambience is really nice and comfortable, the wall are deccorated with frescos and the weiters are nice and very professional.
Favorite Dish: I have been here many times and really have found everything very good. I had pizza many times and also fish. Fish pasta is served in huge portions so you will not need much more to fill your stomach :-)
Their home made desserts are also excellent.
Grom- Il Gelato Come Una Volta: Ice Cream Heaven!!!
I'd read about this place in a travel magazine article - It's recommended by the 'Slow Food ' movement.
So, the ice creams are all made from high quality natural ingredients which are locally sourced.
I headed to Via Roma, and soon found this Gelateria.
I had trouble trying to decide which ice cream to buy - but settled on the Limone (Limone Sfusato di Amalfi) as this was one of the slow food recommendations.
Mmmmmmmmm! 2.20 euros for a taste of heaven!!
Perfect! not too bitter and not too sweet - If I ever had to chose my last ever meal - this would be my dessert!
After I'd devoured my cornet, I headed straight back and chose the Liquirizia- con liquirizia di Calabria Amarelli - (licorice).
The bemused staff persuaded me to try 2 flavours - and recommended mente - mint to go with it! I wasn't entirely sure, but decided to go with it - another 2.20 euros, and again delicious!
During my 3 day stay in Padua, I returned a few times - The Limone was still my favourite.
Ice cream is available in cones or tubs in varying sizes.
The ice creams are inside the shop, not at the front like a lot of other gelaterias, where the ice cream is melting in the sun.
The staff were pretty smart, and were quite knowledgeable about the ice cream.
There is a bench inside to sit and eat, but I preferred to sit outside on the wall opposite to indulge in people watching, whilst savouring my ice creams.
There are branches in Mestre, Turin, and New York amongst others - check the web page for more info.
I think I'll have to start a campaign for a branch in Sheffield!!! (Whenever I'm next in Venice, I'll be jumping on the train to Padua or Mestre, just for one of these ice creams)
If you want to know why the company is called Grom please click here for a newspaper article
UPDATE-I've not got around to re-visiting Padova yet, (Hoping to do a day trip from Venice Christmas 09!!) though on my trip to Bergamo in November 2008, I was a bit stressed, when I caught site of Grom, on the bus going back to the airport!!! Never knew there was a branch here- but re-visited in April 09, and visited here daily!!!
Then, I was checking Grom website, and was even more dismayed to find there's now a branch in Venice-San Barnaba Campo and Treviso-I don't know when these opened-but I was in Venice and Treviso at Christmas 08, so would have visited if I'd known. Note to myself- check website before any future trips!
Branches here now -Torino • Milano • New York • Paris • Venezia • Firenze • Bergamo • Bologna • Genova • Sanremo • Ferrara • Mantova
Mestre • Trieste • Chioggia • Novara • Padova • Parma • Perugia • Treviso • Asti • Cuneo • Chieri • Casale
Open 'til 22.30 hours
Favorite Dish: Limone ice cream - Mmmmmm!!! The licorice, mint and Pistachio were also very good.
Probably a bit more expensive than some other ice creams, but these were Quality!!!!!!
- Food and Dining
- Women's Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Pasticceria Graziati: My favorites bakery
This is one of the oldest bakery in Padova center and sure my favourite! You can found it under a porch in Piazza della Frutta, they have some tables outdoor when the weather is nice, and a indoor part. When you walk in you will not see it but they also have a indoor hall downstair where a old cantina was. They restored the nice vaulted ceiling and used some table and chair very appropriate for the look of the place. Make you feel like you are having your snack in some nobile's house in the renassance. You can also have your cappuccino by the counter as many Italians do. Pprices at the table are a little bit higher.
The pastry are excellent and here you can have one of the best cappuccino in Padova.
Favorite Dish: Cappuccino and brioches. I am not a coffee lover, but their brand of coffee is my favourite, not bitter at all and their cappuccino is wonderful!!! Thy the raisin rolls or the apple rolls. those are my favourite.
Padova Train Station: Pizza like New York Pizza ???
My wife's favourite pizza in all of Padova can be found at the train station. This makes for a very cheap meal. (and date)
Her family owns Frankie & Johnny's Pine in the Bronx in New York, so she knows New York pizza. The train station pizza is as close to NY's as you can find in this part of Italy. Try it.
Please note that pizza found in train stations throughout Italy is not the same quality. We have found that the pizza baked at Padova station remains consistantly good. This is not to say it will remain so, but presently....
'two' thumbs up. The portion size in Padova is greater than others, for example Vicenza is 1/3 smaller, and tough.
Favorite Dish: Pizza, at least until yesterday, when we spotted french fries fresh from the deep fryer. I always thought that North America invented french fries, I guess because of the vast advertising campaigns launched by the major quick food chains, but now....I am re-thinking my idea. These were wonderful, perfect in fact, salted just right, plus something added, another spice I can't quite place. I found it odd that besides ketchup, you are given mustard packs .....
(my wife says it was mayonnaise, guess I'll have to go back and check it out) The things I do for you VTers.
The pizza, (wait for the fresh ones to come out of the oven though), are great. The crust is thin, tender, lots of cheese, and cut in large portions. The drinks are cold, without ice, which means not watered down.
Great value, good price.
The ambiance leaves a lot to be desired, and you have to ignore the local characters who appear to live there. Harmless, and are quite needy. You won't be approached, but be kind.
Our last visit was was Nov/04.
- Budget Travel
Fattoria Danieletto: Excellent agriturismo
The place is located at the bottom of the hills called Colli Euganei, a green area surrounded by vinyards. My family has been personal friends of the owner for years and their sons have won numerous awards for their cooking. The wall is covered with this awards and also awards presented to Alfonso to his wine production. They also make their own salami and each salame is a bit different because they are made by hand.
The food is do die for and everything there is home made, and when I say everything I mean it!
Not only do they make their own wine but they press their olives to make a fine oil. They grow their own free range chickens and rabbits and pigs to make their sausage.
Their cheese is brought from the Dolomiti Mountains.
Fattoria Danieletto is the true slow food experience.
Favorite Dish: Everything is awesome.
Taste cheese with different honies and jams and their home made desserts...
and don't forget the wine! :-)
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
Ai tre porteghi: Resonable price and excellent local food
This is one of those places that only the locals know!
It is a double face restaurant because during the week at lunchtime it is a place where workers go to eat and they have a "day's menu" for fixed cost. On the weekends and evenings it is a neighbourhood restaurant. One feels a warm feeling while dining and the food is great with good choice of local traditional dishes, pasta, meat or fish.
Favorite Dish: On Friday you might find me having fried mixed fish or baccalà alla vicentina and warm sea salad. I go here quite often for lunch.
Antica Trattoria Agguiaro: Great food, amazing show
We had one of the most amazing and wonderful evenings imaginable at this restaurant. It was our first meeting with 5 other VTers so we along with BerniShand and husband Carl were taken here by Ma and Pa Kettle and Paola all three of whom live in Padova. This is a great case of the advantage of local knowledge. The place is very unimposing from the outside and it would be easy to mistake the front part for a run of the mill pizza bar. However, the main restaurant (and all the action) is in the back part. It is run by a no nonsense lady whose focus, thankfully, is on providing a wonderful meal.
The food and beverages were nonstop for almost 5 hours and the floor show was a very entertaining and short 2-3 hours. I will describe the floor show in a separate album as it was something to behold in itself.
Favorite Dish: Wonderful pastas for starters and then the fabulous salad bar in the photo. We could have made a meal on these two courses but they were followed by two gigantic plates of mixed grilled meats - pork, beef, sausages, pudding, you name it. All were deliciously succulent and fresh from the grille. The portion was so large that, after we had all stuffed ourselves, the two local ladies still took home sizeable bags of meats that were left. I envied them getting to enjoy it again.
Of course all of this had to be "washed down" with something so there was a veritable bevy of beverages: pitchers of wine, both red and white; mineral water, both still and gaseous; a lemon liquer followed by coffee followed by an a couple of bottles of "Liquero-Delizioso, Liquore alla Liquirizia" which was a licorice flavored liquer that sat very nicely on my full stomach. This evening may have been a record for quantity of drink for me but I was none the worse for it the next morning.
All of this and the bill came to about $25-27 per person - what a bargain!
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