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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Restaurant: Lo Stornello




Recently we ate at Ristorante Lo Stornello, in Stresa. At one time it was a part of one of the hotels on via Cavour; now it is an independent restaurant in a good location in the center of town, between via Princepessa Margharita and via Roma. The interior, which had looked dated and uninviting, now looks fresh, clean, and more open, redone in shades of cool grey and white. The only pops of color are the thick water glasses; each table has a variety of bright, jewel-toned ones, an interesting and creative touch.  The exterior, at least for now, is unchanged. But the entire front is glass, making the inside changes instantly understood.                                                        
(   continued ...  )





A 'stornello' is a traditional type of Italian folk song, sung long ago primarily by farmers and other simple workers. Generally it was a poem or verses set to a simple tune. It would be nice to know what stornello had inspired the name of the restaurant ... long ago ...

There was a nice little tomato bruschetta given as a starter; a thick section of tomato with seasoned bread and cheese on top. For my primo I chose the gnocchi. These were potato, chestnut, and pumpkin gnocchi, prepared with a creamed spinach sauce and large slices of grated parmesan. It was a good-sized portion, and filling of course, even though the spinach sauce was quite light.



To balance the heavier gnocchi I chose the persico for my secondo, while Giuseppe chose the coniglio, rabbit rolled and baked. My persico, perch, was served over a little bed of potatoes and onions, dressed with sage. The rabbit was served with a salsa and vegetables. These dishes were typical of the menu; traditional but modern dishes, all good-sized portions, well presented.


But somehow we left room for dessert,, which we shared. This was a warm chocolate brownie, served with vanilla ice cream, wafers, and bits of fruit and chocolate syrup drizzle. It arrived on a large stone platter and was definitely share-able.


The restaurant was full on the night we ate there, but tables are spaced apart, giving a comfortable feel. 

It's refreshing to see these new restaurants in Stresa, and renovations in existing restaurants, and how they are trying innovative approaches in menus and decor, breaking away from old-fashioned notions of what an Italian restaurant should be. In addition to other things that Stresa is, I see it becoming a bit of a restaurant destination, with several varied choices.



Lo Stornello
via Cavour, 35, Stresa
PH: 0323-30444
lostornello@stresa.it

all photos property of stresa sights, excluding restaurant arch interior; courtesy of trip advisor.

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