Ticino – not the Canton, the restaurant

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Ticino (pronounced titcheeno) is the southernmost canton of Switzerland. It borders the Canton of Uri to the north, Valais to the west (through the Novena Pass), Graubünden to the northeast, Italy’s regions of Piedmont and Lombardy to the south, and it surrounds the small Italian exclave of Campione d’Italia.

Named after the Ticino River in 1803, it is the only canton where Italian is the sole official language and represents the bulk of the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland.

Madame had the slow-simmered lamb shank with fried potatoes and was still raving about it in the car park!

However, in Pattaya we have our own Ticino, a family restaurant on the dark side, complete with the “Capo” in the shape of Peter Faessler, son Dennis in the kitchen and Peter’s wife behind the Jewish typewriter.

It is on the Dark Side and you turn off Nernplabwan signposted to Tara Pattana and Uraiwan Grand Villas, then take Soi 1 on your left and follow it around, past Uraiwan Grand Villas (on the right) until a fork in the road, where you take the well sign-posted fork to the right, and Ticino is 100 meters along on the left. There are also the GPS coordinates if you have a smart phone. (I do, but it is smarter than me.)

The pork chop was tomahawk shaped and sized.

There is parking outside and when you walk in you are met by a row of Vespa’s and a newcomer, a rather original Motobecane. To your right is the Vespa bar, a semi-circular sit-up for pre or post dinner drinks, or even spend the evening there (as we did).

The restaurant itself is set in gardens with multicolored lights hanging from the gazebo. Large decorative “structures” (Italian garden gnomes?) are dotted around and there is a great deal of privacy offered by the natural plant forms.

We perused the menu while enjoying a Pinot Grigio Villa Martina 2013 (Grapes: 100 percent white Pinot) from Friulia/Venice/Northeastern Italy and later moved to a red, a Corte Rugolin Valpolicella Classico Superiore di Ripasso DOC 2008 from (Grapes: Corvina 40 percent, Corvinone 20 percent, Rondinella 20 percent, other native grapes 20 percent – Molinara, Dindarella, Oseleta, Croatina) from Valgatara/Marano di Valpolicella-North of Verona/Northeastern Italy.

Special items include Quesadillas (B. 240), black pepper beef tenderloin (B. 450) and a snow fish stew in white wine (B. 450).

Into the menu proper and salads are B. 110-260, with their own hydroponic greens. Soups are B. 110-150, breads B. 90-120.

There are some cold mains, including a triple cheese (Gorgonzola, Tallegio, Emmental) B. 390.

Other mains include Angus ribeye beef (B. 890), an Australian beef fondue (B. 660), Australian lamb (B. 890), veal Ossobuco (B. 620), and a Finnish snow fish (B. 450).

Pastas are B. 190-280, lasagna B. 250 and ravioli B. 250-280.

Genuine Raclette with boiled potatoes, silver skin onions and gherkins is also available.

Wines are budget-priced at B. 1270-1380 and B. 190 by the glass.

Desserts B. 50-180.

We dined with Peter Faessler (the Capo) and as appetizers had a “Flammeküeche (Tarte Flambé)” an Alsatian “pizza” with Crème Fraîche, diced bacon to stimulate the appetite. This was followed by Burrata di Murgia (between Napoli and Bari), with fresh buffalo milk mozzarella with rocket salad and stripes of Parma ham. Madame loved it, but I found it a little bland, which is normal for buffalo mozzarella said the Capo. A good dose of ground black pepper helped.

So to our mains, and I had chosen the Sliced Veal Tenderloin Zurich-style with Rösti (hash browns) potatoes. The potatoes done in this style is my favorite and the veal tenderloin was indeed tender.

Alsatian “pizza”.

Madame had the slow-simmered lamb shank with fried potatoes and was still raving about it in the car park!

Our host, the Capo, had a pork tomahawk chop with french-fries, and the chop was tomahawk shaped and sized.

Madame was (as usual) the only one to get to desserts and she had an Affogato Milanese (vanilla ice cream over espresso and Kahlua nicely hidden below fresh whipped cream). 40,000 calories per spoonful.

When you walk in you are met by a row of Vespa’s and a newcomer, a rather original Motobecane.

Ticino, close to Swiss Paradise, telephone 084 676 7376; GPS N 12.9180 E 00.9334, but Ticino also has maps, just go to the website (http://www.ticino.co.th); email [email protected] ticino.co.th. Open 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. six days (closed Tuesdays). Off-street car parking.