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Monday, May 12, 2014

Restaurant: Antica Osteria Il Monte Rosso -- Michelin Two-Fork Restaurant, Five-Star View



Just want to share with you the cuuuutest menu that I have ever seeeeen. After the Tulip Festival at Villa Taranto we went to dine at Antica Osteria il Monte Rosso, on the lake in the Suna part of Verbania. They brought us up to their open balcony, which you reach by climbing a metal spiral staircase, and when we sat they presented each of us with a small wooden box. 1854 is the year the restaurant opened.

Opening the latch and the lid, we each found a collection of items: magnifying glass, old postcards, and a bit of dried flowers bound in a ribbon.

(   Continued   ...   )
The back of the postcards contains the menu. A card each for antipasti, primi, secondi, etc. The postcards were all different, in my box as well as compared to the others at the table. The old postcards were, appropriately, images of the area where the restaurant is, as it was in the 19th century.


Antica Osteria il Monte Rosso is a two-fork Michelin restaurant, which means that, in addition to exemplary service, the dishes contain a variety of semi-unusual ingredients combined in uncommon ways, cooked with scientific precision, and presented in highly artistic fashion. Think Master Chef. From the charming first impression of the menus to the originality of the food, this restaurant didn't disappoint.


The old-fashioned exterior fits in perfectly with the other buildings on the street. The glass-shielded balcony is seen above the awning.

So, what did we eat? We've now been there twice; here is a compilation of some photos of some of their dishes. 
There is always a small bite offered at the start of the meal, a gift from the chef. This one is a perfectly cooked shrimp in a curl of the thinnest slice of grilled pineapple, with a sprinkle of chili flakes.
  
 A cheese plate, that we shared. Excellent choices, excellent condiments with them. And you already know how much we love cheese.

Fascinating pasta, a cavatelli with lamb ragu, over creamed rucola. 

An interpretation of the classic Bollito Misto, with all of the bollito meats and vegetables combined together in a mold to form a solid terrina.

  
An antipasto of creamy ricotta in a parmesan shell, served with red rice and asparagus pieces.

Cheek of pork, guanchiale, served with orzo and vegetables.


A vegetable-filled ravioli tossed with spiced butter, with slices of Bitto cheese on top.

One of about six dessert choices: Drops of white chocolate cream, with an orange almond cake.

And another: Warm chocolate cake with pears and zabagione sauce.

I think these photos illustrate well the caliber of the dishes. For our dinners I estimate we spent around 30 to 40 euro a person, with dessert, not counting wine. Here's the summary of the restaurant from its listing on Michelin.com:

Menu: 14€ (weekday lunch) / 50€ - Carte: 24€/61€
 Situated on the lakeside in the residential district of Verbania, this small, Old England-style restaurant serves a selection of freshwater and saltwater fish specialities. If the weather allows, ask for one of the few tables on the panoramic terrace.
http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/
 
And this is the view of the lake from in front of the restaurant. As I said, a two-fork restaurant with a five-star view. Can't promise you'll always have a rainbow though.

This lovely little stretch of street is in Suna, Verbania, and can best be reached by taking the ferry to Pallanza and when exiting the ferry, walking along the lake to your left for a few minutes. You'll be on via Troubetzkoy, and the restaurant will be on your right. If you've been at Villa Taranto, you can walk to Suna by exiting and turning right, then walking about 30 minutes along the lake. Beautiful scenic walk. But remember, there are no ferries later in the evening, so return to Stresa would have to be by taxi. 

Idea: I do see there is a lunch menu; perhaps that's a good, and less costly, way to try this charming place.


Ristorante Antica Osteria il Monte Rosso
Troubetzkoy 128, Lungolago di Suna, 28925 Verbania
+39 323 506 056
email: estremaduracafe@alice.it



My restaurant disclaimer: But remember please, I am not a restaurant reviewer or critic, and I don't like to recommend (or not) restaurants to anyone, as I find restaurant choices are extremely subjective. I'll only tell you what I like, and to be honest, I like almost everything in some way. Additionally, please don't read anything into the absence of a restaurant from here. If I haven't written about a restaurant it doesn't mean anything more than perhaps I haven't been, perhaps I didn't take photos, etc.


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