Monday, May 5, 2014
2:22 AM | Dana Kaplan, Stresa Sights | Edit Post
It's been a busy weekend working on our various projects and greeting lovely guests arriving at La Lombarda, so we stayed close to home always, and had dinner one of the evenings at La Rosa dei Venti, a restaurant directly on the lake, almost across from the boat station, that I had not yet been to. It was recommended to us by Massimo at Buscion while we were there having a pre-dinner aperitivo of a nice Tuscan red, and so we took his advice. We had no reservation, and were lucky to get a table, as it was quite full. Some might call it old-school, even old-fashioned, and I guess, in decoration and manner, it is. It's been here a long time. So the look isn't an attempt to recapture an era, it's the real deal. And some nights old-school old-fashioned is just right.
La Rosa dei Venti is on the short stretch of main road in Stresa that is not dedicated to the large grand hotels. Walking to the boat station from the center of town, turn right at the main road instead of left. On these streets you'll find Gigi Bar, Savoy, some lovely antique and clothing shops, and also this restaurant. Entering through a glass-paned wooden-door into a vestible, the restaurant then opens into a large open space with cloth-draped square tables relatively close together. Once we were seated it felt very comfortable, warm, reminded me of places from long ago. Decoration on the wood-paneled walls consists of old paintings of scenes, some local, some of other sites in Italy, while the back wall is lined with shelves and bottles of wine.
( Continued ... )
The name, La Rosa dei Venti, is the name of compasses that, in addition to indicating the four cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west, also indicate the winds, with 8, 16, even 32 points. The menu and other items show one as the logo.
I am completely speculating, but perhaps the name could have originated from the fact that here on the lakefront there are often winds that arrive from different directions. Locals have specific names for several of the different winds that arrive here, and they know what type of weather each will bring.
Or maybe it is because diners arrive here from all four corners of the globe, but that's just another speculation of mine.
The menu is presented in four languages, to accommodate those global travelers. It is a large menu, specializing in pizza and traditional dishes: several different types of fish, several different types of meats, several pastas, and a large selection of desserts. On the first page of the menu is a list of best-selling items, lo chef consiglia, the chef advises.
Other traditional touches include the small, shaped wine glasses, the ceramic breadstick jar, the terracotta dish my parmagiana melanzane, eggplant parmagiana, arrived in, almost red hot.
We ate light. Just a pizza for one and the parmagiana for the other, with a glass each of the house red wine, another Tuscan.
This evening was chilly. I look forward to a warmer night, when we can sit in front of the restaurant on their nice terrace, facing the lake.
And, maybe because it was called La Rosa, even if it is a different type of la rosa, or maybe because old-school, old-fashioned led to an old-school, old-fashioned romantic gesture, I was presented with a rose, bought from one of the guys who come around to your tables trying to sell them. We rarely, never, buy these roses, but somehow it seemed the right moment to do so.
In summary, I thought this was a really well-priced, well-valued restaurant that could be a dependable and comfortable choice, also for families dining with children. Sometimes old-world, old-fashioned is exactly what works.
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.
La Rosa dei Venti
Corso Italia, 50, 28838 Stresa
Corso Italia, 50, 28838 Stresa
39 0323 31431
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