On the shores of the lake it has always been good, but only now in Como are there large and small clubs, with attention to food and wine. Here is our selection for a good dinner in the city
Like Varese and Lecco, Como has never enjoyed a good reputation among gourmets: even the local ones have always looked to Milan – which remains an important destination, of course – and al Canton Ticino which is a stone's throw away (real) with its high-level restaurants, although dear to an Italian. Then it is clear that the best places – or at least the most evocative ones – were (and in part are still found) in the places overlooking the two shores of the lake. Just think of Blevio, which boasts the star Berton al Lago (within Il Sereno Hotel); in Torno, which a few months ago hosts the Mandarin Oriental which has taken the space of the Casta Diva and has a splendid restaurant, The Air, entrusted to Vincenzo Guarino or, again, the Villa Lario Restaurant to Pognana Lario, with Michele Tamburrino in the kitchen. As, on the opposite bank, there are Matter in Cernobbio – starred for a year and that has a certain value in the talented Davide Caranchini – and the emerging Wire of the Filario Hotel in Lezzeno, by the young Alessandro Parisi. Up to go to Bellagio, where the brilliant Ettore Bocchia officiates at the starry Mistral of Villa Serbelloni.
Freshwater fish and mountain
But let's go back to the city where, fortunately, for a couple of years the music has changed: chefs and young patrons have taken over the situation, creating new premises or putting the historical ones back in order, sometimes revisiting the tradition that has a double soul: the freshwater fish, lavarello, fried perch or with risotto, agoni in special preparations such as carpione and missoltini (dried and preserved agonis, then brought back to life on the grill); and the mountain with its cheeses and small game. Today in Como there are prominent places with interesting ideas or the recovery of history, unknown even to many inhabitants. Our selection follows this thread, more and more lively, which aims to make you spend a nice evening in Como.
Back home after long and important experiences abroad, Mirko Gatti has created a Nordic and minimal space, perfect for his vision of natural cuisine and the land based on bio, fermentation and, in part, on foraging. Interesting and fun experience, with lots of vegetable dishes.
Tira, mola and meseda
The name is illuminating. In dialect it means: pull, spring, mix. This place is worked with passion, serving almost all typical Lombard dishes and in large portions. Great cordiality and the pleasure for the novice to discover the cuisine of the territory.
One of the first rooftop restaurants in the city: international style, intimate atmosphere, spectacular view. Chef Stefano Mattara is not afraid to dare between organic dishes, the revisiting of local tradition – see the perch that becomes filled with a bomb resting on Chinese mandarins and raw tomatoes – and a dessert made entirely of vegetables from the garden.
Certainly it is no longer the times when Paolo Lopriore painted his visions, but the restaurant in the large grounds of the Sheraton Hotel is a safe haven for a smooth dinner. Directed in a young Andrea Casali that juggles well on the two tastings, of sea and land.
The Tigli in Theoria
The location, rightly Michelin-starred, is splendid, with rooms and courtyard housed in a fifteenth-century building. The ideal to enjoy a great fish cuisine (but not only) of Mediterranean inspiration, which finds the maximum expression in the sea tasting. The chef is the expert Franco Caffara. Important wine cellar, perfect service.
Pleasant surprise a few steps from the Duomo, with a few weeks of activity. And the magister bistrot and cocktail bar animated by chef Carmelo Sciarrabba and bartender Alessandro Lucchini. Dishes direct – Lombard and Mediterranean – and good mixology animate a pleasant and young environment.
The Market Place
It has changed location but does not teach it: at The Market Place – nomen omen – international cuisine is made, in a Nordic-style environment. Davide Maci, a globetrotter from Como, has technique and talent. There is no trivial dish and does not fear contamination: Scallops, daikon, lime and shallot chutney, spring onion, white butter sauce, caviar. An appetizer that explains everything.
The restaurant creates the right feeling, but it is Federico Beretta's kitchen and the wines (excellent) of his companion Elisa Forlanelli that strike at the heart: it always starts from tradition and from the territory to arrive at dishes like lavarello almost in carpione with its bottarga. Three tasting sessions.
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