Silver and lace dress up the stucco and stone here, but the ambience is cozy. The chef and owner, Francis Carré, serves refined Franco-Italian cuisine, including inventive dishes like cardomom-poached pears with Gorgonzola mousse and roasted loin of lamb in a Provençale crust. Vegetarians will delight in the special meatless menu, and can feast on homemade chestnut gnocchi with a local mushroom sauce and spinach-mascarpone soufflé. When the summer heat is stifling,
ask to dine in the small garden. The restaurant is a true find—nowhere else in Switzerland can you find such an elegant meal at such a reasonable price.
May 29, 2014
I was looking for a restaurant to enjoy a nice family meal with my parents who were visiting Lugano and we found this suggestion on Tripadvisor. This was absolutely the best choice I have made in a long time, great service (The chef's wife was a very friendly and charming host) and the food was amazing! Every dish had its own mix of flavors that really left you wondering what the secret was! If you're in Lugano, definitely stop by to try this charming
restaurant! We began with a complimentary amuse bouche -- a surprising sweet and savory eggplant mousse -- followed by agnolotti with ricotta and truffles, lamb, a local Ticino merlot and tiramisu for dessert. Each dish was excellent and it was one of the best meals We've had. What really set Al Portone apart, however, was the warm and impeccable service. Soon after being seated, Mrs. Carré came to the table, welcomed us by name and spent a few minutes in conversation. We was dining alone and throughout the meal service was exquisite but not overbearing. At the close of dinner, Mrs. Carré brought Chef Carré to the table and we spoke a bit more about the meal, the restaurant and our visit to Lugano. They called for a taxi and Mrs. Carré saw us out, even holding an umbrella as we dashed for it in the rain. This is fine dining with the warmth of a family restaurant. Buon appetito!