VeganMoFo 2017: Trattoria Alessi, Desenzano

Verona is a lovely place to spend a few nights, and lends itself really well to day trips – there isn’t loads to do in the city itself, and it’s quite easy to get around the area on public transport.  We wanted to take a day trip to Lake Garda, and some of my local friends recommended getting the train to Desenzano followed by the boat to Sirmione.  It turned out to be a top recommendation, and I would pass it along to any other visitors to the area.  They were both small and pretty towns, transport was easy to manage, and while there were lots of tourists, neither place was overcrowded.

I was also encouraged by the fact that there were a few vegan options listed on Happy Cow for Desenzano…though it turns out, I could have chosen much better.

This place is listed on Happy Cow as Conte Pizza – but it seemed to be one huge establishment with various names and entrances as it worked its way up the hill.  The part we went to (closest to the lakefront) was called Trattoria Alessi.  All the different parts had the same menu though, with this delightful vegan section filling me with hope.  Of course, I ordered the pie.  Cheese and tomato pie sounded quite exciting.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this.  Yes, this is the tomato pie with tofu cheese.  And yes, this cost €11.50 (plus €2.50 cover charge).  I mean, everything was nicely grilled, but this is not what I was paying for.

Be warned, there is also a “chocolate pie” on the dessert menu – any guesses as to what that might actually be?  A bar of dark chocolate?  A mousse?  I couldn’t risk another disappointment, so I didn’t order it.

Another black mark against this place was that they wouldn’t even acknowledge that tap water existed, despite my excellent mime work.  The waiter kept determinedly asking: “Natural or sparkling?” even as I frantically turned my hands and said:  “Tap?”  Bottled water is one of my biggest hates – especially in places that are happy to put out bowls of tap water for dogs to drink.

So, it was just as well that Desenzano itself was so pretty because if I’d been judging it solely on this place, I’d have been seriously unimpressed!

And do take the ferry over to Sirmione.  It was so pretty!

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8 Responses to VeganMoFo 2017: Trattoria Alessi, Desenzano

  1. It really seems like so many places think they can get away with a half-arsed or minimal effort vegan option. It does look delicious but it’s no pie! Total rip off too, what a shame.

    • Jenny says:

      We only got stung like this twice while we were in Italy, but it really was disappointing. In this case it can’t even be put down to a bad translation, it’s just a total misrepresentation on the menu. At least everything else in Verona itself was good!

  2. Emma says:

    No no no, now that is NOT a pie. In any circumstances. Had the chef never eaten a pie themselves?!

    The scenery is beautiful, though.

  3. juliemokrzycki says:

    Wow, in what world is that a tomato pie? At least the views were pretty.

  4. onesonicbite says:

    It looks pretty but not even close to a pie. Maybe your order got mixed up? Who knows.

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