Restaurant Suggestion - Lake Como

Jul 30th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Restaurant Suggestion - Lake Como

Could someone recommend a nice restaurant at Lake Como before we take the train back to Milan from Varenna? We'll be there Aug 25 so I assume we'll need to make a reservation. Something nice but around/under 60 euros each if possible. It will be our last night of a 10 day trip so we want a nice romantic place to end our trip!
lmschmale is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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From my 2004 trip report:

Our evening meal was at Silvio just outside Bellagio. We ordered from every course and were not disappointed. The pasta came with a fish egg sauce that was a little too strong, but the waiter had warned us and we decided that we had to try it anyway. All the fish dishes are based on fish caught in the lake and delivered directly to them. There are essentially two kinds of fish: a type of trout and a type of sardine or smelt. When it came to pay, they told us that the credit card machine was broken and that we had to pay cash. Fortunately I happen to have it on me; around 110 euros if I remember correctly.
Michael is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:28 PM
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I think a dinner at Silvio's is only possibile if you are staying in Bellagio.


I don't understand your timetable. Are you taking the train back to Milan after dinner?

If that's so, I think you will need to eat in Varenna -- and do double check when the last train leaves. You may not even really have time for that. Just a romantic lunch.

But you can have a romantic dinner in Milano.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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The outdoor restaurant on the lake at the Hotel Florence in Bellagio.
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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This is a master thread on the subject:
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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I can recommend either Bilacus or La Punta if you will be in Bellagio.

Of the two, though, Bilacus was my favorite.

The outdoor seating at Hotel Florence (also in Bellagio)is really lovely.

gracie04 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Just as you get off the ferry in Varenna there is lovely yellow Hotel Olivanders (sp?) - we had the best food there of our entire trip to Italy. Fresh, homemade - lovely.

NaxosTravels is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 04:03 PM
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Romantic restaurants do not serve dinner early. Most likely you will need to have dinner in Varenna if you want to catch a train -- if there is one departing late enough. Yes, you will need a reservation for dinner, and ask the restaurant to call a taxi for you to take you to the train station.

Alternately, you could have a long, romantic lunch and a snack for dinner, allowing you plenty of time to catch your train.

I remember eating at a lakeside restaurant in Varenna that serves crepes. It could be a quick dinner and I think they open early.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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I just love the internet. The crepe place I referred to is Nilus.
luvtotravel is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 02:09 AM
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Restaurant "Il Cavatappi", via XX Settembre, Varenna.

The restaurant is extremely small, 4&5 tables maximum, but a charming ancient structure with vaulted ceiling, and finely furnished. You should book in advance, of course.
The restaurant is situated in the very centre of Varenna, and it worths a visit itself!
Optimum cuisine: do not expect a huge variety of dishes...just a few, but very well-prepared. I recommend all the "primi" and spaghetti with "missoltino", as well as the classic risotto with perch and every "secondo" both meat or fish based.

Obviously the lacustrine fish is caught in the area of the lake, and the chef is partuicularly good in making it grilled, seasoned with fresh local herbs, carely picked by himself.

The kitchen is visible and you can see the chef at work: good sign for the genuinity of the food
Do not miss the aperitif at Nilus Bar (Via Riva Garibaldi): lovely, elegant and very romantic place, where you can taste fantastic cocktails and wines.
Valeria_82 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Thanks everyone! According to the Tren Italia site the last train from Varenna is 10:30pm so I think we could manage an 8:15 dinner, no?

For a nice lunch should we make reservations (perhaps in Bellagio) or wing it?
lmschmale is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 08:49 AM
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You are pushing it a bit. How good are you at running uphill with your luggage after a large, romantic meal?

Personally, I would go for the large romantic lunch in Bellagio, and then enjoy the pizzeria that's in Varenna, down by the 'beach'. (It's near the end of the lakeside promenade, away from the ferry dock.)

But otherwise, I would make a 7:45 reservation, go there with my luggage, tell the restaurant when you arrive that you have to catch the last train, and hope it works!

One of the problems with trying to eat early in Italy is that restaurants are more than happy to seat you early -- and then you sit there until the chef is ready to cook. Likewise, if you decide to skip the antipasto, you'll very often just sit there for the amount of time it would have taken you to eat your antipasto -- and let's not get into what it takes to actually get your check -- which reminds me, pay cash so you're not stuck waiting to get your credit card back.

Hence my recommendation to enjoy a piazza and inexpensive wine. Romantico!
zeppole is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 08:56 AM
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I also vote for Il Cavatappi in Verenna. Great little restuarant. The risotto was great!
bashamj is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 08:56 AM
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regarding lunch reservations in Bellagio:

Yes. For me, it would be the Hotel Bellagio and I would demand, in advance, the best table with the best view. Tell them it's your 90th anniversary, and that both sets of your great grandparents spent their honeymoons at the hotel, and were born in Bellagio.

Might work.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 09:35 AM
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Il Cavatappi was and would be my first choice for a romantic dinner in Varenna if you can get one of its 6 tables booked in advance.

The restaurant (and hotel) that NaxosTravel is thinking of (near the ferry dock) is the Olivedo. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food (not as fancy as Il Cavatappi) and the woman who runs was very warm and amusing. You can also then follow the road up the hill to the rail station.

I was less impressed by Vecchia Varenna, in spite of its fine view on the main footpath that runs the length of Varenna.

littlemountain is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 09:39 AM
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If you are thinking of bringing your luggage to Il Cavatappi, I thik you better warn them. It's super tiny.

I believe Olivedo is also a hotel, and if so, they'll have less of a problem with it.

And do realize the train station is an uphill walk from either place, and my very hazy recollection is that Il Cavatappi is on pedestrian-street only, adding some difficulty in having the restaurant call you a taxi.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions (keep 'em coming)!

We actually will be at Lake Como only for the day (sad, I know - we plan to spend time in Varenna, Bellagio and make a visit to Villa Carlotta) so we won't have any luggage (and we're very athletic, in our mid-20s) so I don't foresee the uphill trek to the train station being much of a problem unless we're completely exhausted and full!

However, I think that we'll plan to have a nice lunch in Bellagio and a simple dinner in Varenna. Approximately how much would lunch (with wine) for 2 cost at the Hotel Bellagio? How about the Hotel Florence?

Any more suggestions in Bellagio?
lmschmale is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Some photos:

Careful ordering should keep you within your budget, but beware: Il Cavatappi has an incredible wine cellar.

I think the terrace at the Hotel Florence or La Punta would give you that Wow! experience. Bilacus might have a fixed menu that would help with the budget, and the restaurant's terrace is lovely on a summer afternoon. The food at Il Cavatappi is fantastic, and it has that great wine cellar.
Jean is online now  
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:16 PM
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Sorry -- I now realize I typed Hotel Bellagio instead of Hotel Florence.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 07:19 PM
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Oh--and now that I know you are fit and without luggage, have dinner at Il Cavatappi. Just bring cash.
zeppole is offline  

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