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“Nice Italian neighborhood restaurant off the beaten path”

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria
Ranked #36 of 376 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 15 August 2014

We found this out of the way restaurant on Trip Advisor and decided to try it since we could not get into Lillian’s. Try it! It is in a quieter neighborhood behind the harbor on E. Cliff Drive, with plenty of parking. We guess because it is off the beaten path, there was hardly anybody there. They start you off with bread and an oil/vinegar dipping mix. For an appetizer, we started with the fried calamari, which also had some fried zucchini and carrot, and was served with a spicy marinara sauce. The zucchini in particular was a very nice addition! The fish lover had the catch of the day (snapper), which was grilled and topped with tomato, onions, garlic, and basil sauce. It came with roasted potatoes and a Tuscan salad mix. The other of us had veal scaloppini in a lemon sauce, which also came with roasted potatoes and the vegetable of the day (broccoli and carrots). Both entrees were very good, and were plenty filling, but Cameron, our nice waitress, talked us into waiting for a fresh-made chocolate soufflé with strawberries. It wasn’t huge, but it was also very reasonably priced at only $5. It came hot out of the oven with an oozy hot chocolate center – so good! We had a nice Sauvignon Blanc, and the total was just over $100 before tip.

This was a pleasant neighborhood restaurant with good food, although we would not compare it to a cozy Italian restaurant experience on Lake Como since it was lacking a bit in atmosphere. Cameron told us they would soon have a new pizza oven fired up, and it looks like they have now done so. You should pop in and try them – you will enjoy your meal.

Thank divegirlelaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 - 91 of 108 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

Had pasta here and caprese salad. They were quite good. We were surprised that there was no pesto sauce in caprese though. The waiter explained that there should be no pesto according to their Italian employee... Again - a surprise for us!
We enjoyed home-made desserts - tiramisu and cannoli with some coffee.

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1  Thank Natalia V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Amazing Northern Italian cuisine in a small house on a quiet street in Santa Cruz. It's quite a find!

We ordered the fried calamari appetizer- it was delicious and included strips of fried carrots and zucchini. An interesting and delicious touch. The only thing it lacked was a lemon.
Then, we tried the Cannonau wine upon the suggestion of our real Milanese waiter. He didn't let us down, it was superb.

My husband ordered lasagna, my son the saffron salmon ravioli, and I couldn't resist the gnocchi ai 4 formaggi. Each dish was just the way it would be prepared in Italy. Fantastico!
The portions were appropriate, not exaggerated like in a chain italian restaurant, but not tiny like a "gourmet" place either. The ravioli dish had about 8-10 pieces of ravioli, the lasagna was about 4x4 inches. The gnocchi, about 1.5 cups cooked. All items were fresh and handmade in the restaurant. I mean, you can tell when pasta is made in house.
We ordered affogato with vanilla gelato- just like in Italy!!

The service was impeccable. Marco treated us very well and he was nice enough to let me practice my Italian with him.

My recommendations are: make a reservation and ask for a table inside if it's late in the day. Their patio seating faces West and there is no shade. Seating is limited and if they have a few groups, you might be waiting a while. Otherwise, if you're in Santa Cruz and you like italian food, make sure to stop here.

There is no scenic view.

Torniamo a presto!!

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1  Thank cromocat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We were taken here by our daughter and her partner who live locally - and went back twice! Ten meals in total between us, in four days. The stand-outs were the Linguine al' Nero di Seppie - an artisan dish - and a sea bass bruschetta, but also those mentioned in reviews below. On our last visit, a Saturday, we just turned up. The staff were as accommodating as possible (the place was packed) and we had a table in the sun outside - a bit hot, but OK. The antipasti came - but so did the sudden mountain mists, and the temperature dropped to the 50's. We were freezing, especially my wife who'd been ill. The staff moved tables around inside to get us in there...and while we were waiting (and shivering) a fellow diner came over, placed her large cashmere shawl around my wife's shoulders and said: "just leave this with the staff, I'll pick it up later. This is such a great restaurant, I wouldn't want you to miss eating here". For us, that said more about the place than anything else.

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1  Thank Tony R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I am in love with this restaurant!!! Their calamari appetizer was to die for, so light and tender, I've never had calamari anything like theirs. I also enjoyed the Caesar salad with their homemade dressing, perfectly balanced and a little lemony yum!! For my entree I had the best pork scaloppine with an amazing picatta sauce, so tender and flavorful and the sauce was the best!!!! Even the rosemary potatoes which I don't normally care for were delish!!! For dessert of course I had the tiramisu and again was scrumptious!! I am so glad I found this gem of a place and will be back for sure. The staff was so friendly and helpful and the owner Giovanni was a genuine guy who made sure our meal was enjoyable and delicious. If your looking for real Italian food this is the place!!!

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3  Thank CaFoodLover03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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