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Wednesday, June 5, 2013
6:09 PM | Dana Kaplan, Stresa Sights | Edit Post
And so, this is what they're like, the jazz evenings at Cafe Bar Verbanella.
I went a little early, while they were setting up. The musicians play from the center of the inside room. The place is authentic 1960s, which somehow works so perfectly with the jazz and cocktails. As you can see, the inside is spacious, you can watch the musicians perform, and it's a perfect choice activity for a rainy evening.
This evening was lovely however, ever so slightly hazy, but cool with a soft breeze. And so we chose to sit outside. We took a table near the fence, to have an unobstructed view of the lake. I started with an Americano to drink. Campari with vermouth and a bit of soda, twist of orange. Someone brought us a few snacks to have with our aperitivi.
( continued ... )
By Italian standards, Verbanella is not considered truly a restaurant, even though they do have a not small at all menu. But they do not have a chef, per se, and foods offered are simple to prepare, from somewhat pre-prepared ingredients. This is not to say that it is not good. It is... but just to be clear and to make this distinction. They are known as a bar and jazz club, and they are famous for serving the best cocktails in Stresa.
So, from outside, we can see the band playing inside, through the all-glass walls. In addition, the doors and windows are opened, really connecting the inside and out. We find that the music is a better decibel for conversation from out here.
The place fills up quickly. You can make reservations for the jazz evenings, and I suggest you do so. Stop by earlier in the day and let them know. The music begins sometime after 8:00 PM. The sun doesn't set until relatively late in Stresa; the photo below is a bit after 9:00 PM. On jazz evenings a special dinner menu is offered. This is to make it easier in the kitchen, which as I mentioned previously, is a limited-scale one. We had fish, and it was good. Sorry! I forgot a photo!
Obviously, people linger for the entire evening. So food is brought out at a leisurely pace. Music is heard. Wine is had. After out meal we finished off the evening with some gelato, and a bit of Chianti left over from dinner.
This is the facade of Verbanella on the Lungolago. Walk around back to sit on the terrace facing the lake. The main door is on the left, under the blue awning. And you know what? Even when there is no jazz band, this is a great place to sit and relax.
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