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“Fantastico!”

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria
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Ranked #28 of 369 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
University Place, Washington
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Fantastico!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2013

In Santa Cruz for Christmas and used an internet search to find a Christmas eve meal at Lago di Como. We lived in Naples for three years and this is as close to the atmosphere of a real Italian restaurant as i have experienced since we came back to the US 35 years ago. The restaurant was full of happy and convivial patrons enjoying their meals and the company of their friends and family. The staff was attentive and earnest. Our server, Matthew, was relatively new, I believe, but he was absolutely charming in his eager and attentive service. And the food...The insalata caprese used tomatoes with actual flavor, nicely warm with wonderful mozzarella. The three of us had lasagna, lemon chicken, and penne in pepper-infused olive oil and they were all superb, flavorful, al dente, and hot. The Italian Barbera wine was a perfect accompaniment. The owner/chef came out to greet us. In all, a genuinely Italian meal in all the best ways.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Leatherneck6693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    30
    8
    6
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
54 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Italian Gem near the sea!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 December 2013 via mobile

This is a relatively new Restaurant in the Santa Cruz live oak area. I have eaten there a number of times. My wife and friends have much enjoyed our dinners here. Recently we tried the lasagne, gnocchi, ravioli, Osso Bucco, and other dishes. We have thoroughly enjoyed them. We have previously had a few dishes that did not meet the high standards of this restaurant but that is understandable in a new restaurant. Recently we have had a high "great food" consistency. This last Tuesday we went for a holiday sing-along open to the public. The staff sang and played Christmas songs while we ate and drank. Despite the packed room service was excellent. Matt our server was awesome. We had capaccio, house salad, meat ravioli,and the tenderloin steak. All perfectly cooked and delicious! We skipped the normally outstanding desserts of Tiramisu, marscapone,etc for the holiday cookies which were a nice touch. It was a nice party atmosphere with everyone having a great time. A very nice place. Try it

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Myron1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Happy find”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2013

Wanting to drive the California coastline a bit, we used Santa Cruz as a base for three days.
Driving in Santa Cruz itself we did not see many 'white tablecloth' type restaurants, nor could I find many on our iPhone. It might have been that we missed some neighborhoods. Anyway, this one looked like a possibility, and we were very pleasantly surprised. It definitely has a neighborhood feel, with patrons coming in and being addressed by name, families with young children there too. But it's not a small place either. Service was very prompt and professional; looked like a seasoned staff. I had a great spinach salad and penne with peas/ham, which was just what was needed after a long day of driving. Wine was good, and prices were reasonable.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank moretosee043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
santa cruz, CA
Level Contributor
43 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Nice neighborhood place, very good food and service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2013 via mobile

We enjoyed our dinner at Lago do Como. Service was extremely friendly, and the place was clean and appealing. Caesar salad was tasty, with lemony dressing. The Caprese salad was warm, which is unusual. Presentation was quite nice, and the Bolognese pasta was actually al dente, so props on that, sauce tasty. My pizza was flavorful, my only gripe was that the crust was soggy in the center. We'll definitely be back, very good value!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank pickygrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Food treasures from Northern Italy, right in Pleasure Point!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

I found Lago di Como quite by accident. We have been studying Italian in preparation for a trip to Italy. I was taking a walk, scouting out beach access and stopped because I heard the lovely sounds of the Italian language! After checking out the source and the menu, I made a reservation that very night!
Likes: We loved the food, the attention paid to us during our meal, the wines, both the selection and the assistance in pairing to the meal. The decor is modern, fresh, clean and appealing and the wait staff is experienced and resourceful.

The seafood is very well prepared and the pasta is made on-site and is cooked perfectly. I found the sauces and the flavors rich and nuanced.

We have visited Italy three times and even attended pasta school there, so these things are important to us. There were so many items on the menu we wanted to try but did not have room for, even by splitting some 'piatti,' which makes return visits essential.

Dislikes: I cannot say that I really disliked anything. The restaurant has an uninspiring front, but don't let that deter you. It also has a small outdoor eating area (good for antsy children!) but it faces the parking lot, which is just...well, a parking lot. Perhaps some additional planters in the future can create an area more conducive to dining.

I also do not care for the current trend in restaurants to have hard edges with lots of ambient noise. Unless you go for an early meal, or sit outside it will be noisy, but it is not as bad as some places. The music is tastefully restrained, so you can actually carry on conversation most of the time.

If your real focus is to enjoy an authentic Italian meal, you will try Lago di Como. Chef Gianni is talented and experienced and proud of his work and his food, about which he is happy to talk with his guests.
His new authentic, wood-fired pizza oven has just arrived from Italy and I can't wait to try his pizzas!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank XericMaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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