If you ever find yourself in the city of Sondrio, just 30 kilometers from Italy’s Swiss border, be sure to dig in to the local food, especially the cured meats and alpine formaggi. Very few places do it better than Jom-Bar in Tresivio, a 10-minute jaunt from downtown. Opened and co-owned by chef Pietro Pedrazzoli, Jom-Bar has been a local favorite for nearly 20 years.
Jom-Bar executes a simple, straightforward menu of traditional dishes, most notably pizzocheri—with dark buckwheat fettuccine-shaped noodles, young Casera (a cow’s milk cheese), potatoes and garlic, finished with tangy mountain butter—and sciatt, fried balls of young Casera cheese, lightly breaded with a mix of buckwheat and white flours, a little beer and a touch of water. As they cook, the batter creates “legs,” which make the cheese balls look like frogs’ legs, hence their name (sciatt means “toad”). They’re surprisingly light and always accompanied by shredded raw, crunchy chicory, for a refreshing counterpoint to the satiny melted cheese.
To drink, there are few better choices with this rich food than the regional nebbiolo: its brisk acidity, tart cherry and forest-berry flavors wash your palate clean of all the wonderful, unpasteurized mountain dairy. Jom-Bar has plenty of local nebbiolo to choose from: Try the Sandro Fay Valgella Superiore Costa Bassa (€4,50 a glass).
Open Tuesday - Sunday 6pm-2am
Reservations recommended on Fridays and Saturdays.