I walked into Minimalismo late one night,about three years ago. It's a samll, unassuming place from the outside, but as soon as you walk in you can tell a great deal of attention went into every detail. Every time I travel to Como (about twice a year) I make sure to keep at least two nights free to come back.
I've never seen such quality and care put into drinks and finger food, Werner does it all on his own and you can tell that he just loves the best things in life, and loves to share them with his customers. An example: a frozen daiquiri. Now, pretty much anywhere in the world this involves some sort of low quality rum and fruit syrup, and it's about 6-8 euros.
Werner uses aged dark rum, he cuts up the fresh fruit on the spot, blends it with ice, garnishes it and serves it. For 6 euros. No cocktail he makes contains anything less than top shelf, not to charge more but because this way you can taste something that, for a moment, makes you feel truly content.
To me, this is what hospitality is.
Also, let's spend a word for the fine rum and vodka collection. I mean, come on, I live in New York City and the Standard in the Meatpacking doesn't have half as good a selection. You can find anything ranging from Zacapa to Malteco to Centenario (all old enough that they could order their own rum), plus an array of wonderful small-batch independent distilleries, plus vodkas from all corners of the world, distilled in the most interesting, strange fashions, some of them so smooth and pure you don't even realize you'e drinking alcohol. Most customers don't even order them (although he'll be extremely happy if you do because he'll have someone to share with - and you'll be happy too, because prices are ridiculously reasonable and the experience is one to remember), he keeps them because he loves them. If you order a rum, the most amazing care goes into picking the right chocolate to pair it with, the right glass, the right fruit slice so that the flavors all melt together enhancing the taste.
Also try the food, specifically the salmon with his homemade horseradish relish. And a little secret: give him a day or two to organize it, and he will serve you the most unbelievable assortment of oysters paired with the appropriate wines. Meals that would normally set you back about 100 euros, and here will cost a fraction of that, because Werner basically breaks even, makes a little profit that allows him to keep open and live comfortably, and everything else is not about money but about enjoying life.
If you're around the Lake Como area, do yourself a favor and come experience what enjoying life feels like, at least from a drink&food standpoint.
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