On our first night in Stresa we walked through a good portion of the main part of town and window shopped at a number of stores and looked at what various restaurants had to offer. A few of the places were closed (it was a Sunday evening) but it appeared that the one with the most people was Ristorante Pizzeria Mamma Mia which had people eating both inside and outside. As it was a bit cooler in the evening (early May, 2012) we opted for the noisier inside seating.
The lady who seated us was very friendly and as we moved through the Ristorante back toward our window seats near the front we glanced over and viewed what others around us were enjoying.
Favorite Dish: I'm not sure why we opted for the food we tried that night, but we probably could have chosen better.
Sue had what she thought was lamb chops, but taking a look at the second picture, it appears to be more of a lamb patty that she had along with mushrooms and a small salad.
I opted for the salmon and cheese pizza probably because I thought it would be unique and something I probably would not have at home. It was ok, but I think I will stick with non-fish toppings on my pizzas from this point forward.
If we had been in town for a longer period of time we might have gone back for lunch, but as most of our trips go after breakfast we only really seem to have one sit down meal per day as we are much too busy exploring to really sit down a second time.
Ok, a little bit more about the restaurant.
I would say that the entire restaurant had about 15 or so tables. There were only 3 other occupied when we arrived at 9:00 p.m.
The motif is interesting with a number of items from the 1940's and 1950's scattered throughout.
I really wish I could remember our server/owners name, but suffice to say he was very down to earth and very friendly (see his picture with Sue).
He also took an out of focus picture with Sue and I which I have fixed up a bit.
I have also included the menu for the time we were there in early May, 2012. There are a limited amount of menu items, but that's exactly the way I like it. That way you know everything is going to be fresh and you don't have to spend a lot of time looking at pages and pages of a menu.
We were spending 3 nights in Stresa and even though not a big town there were plenty of restaurants to choose from. Sue had read about this restaurant in one of the guide books and saw that it was just a few minute walk from our hotel. So when we ventured into town upon our arrival we sought it out since it was still light out so that we could find it later. We found it with no problem, but the problem was that it was closed on Sunday evening. I'm not sure why, but there was a sign on the window in Italian explaining something. Anyway, we went back on Monday night and it was indeed open for our late night dinner (around 9:00 p.m. that evening).
There were not too many patrons that evening which was a little surprising considering the number of good reviews we had read. But it must have been the later hour and the fact that it was a Monday and really before the true "tourist season" because the food was really very good.
When we arrived we were seated at a table next to another couple who were speaking American English. I asked where they were from and they said Boston. We talked a bit more and they said the food was very good and "hey didn't that guy at the table across the way look like Robert DiNiro?" His wife said her husband had a little too much wine, but even before we had our wine, I had to agree he did look a little like Robert DiNiro. It would have been fun if he was. It would have made the story about this restaurant a bit more interesting.
The restaurant is run and owned by 2 brothers and I believe one of them was our server. I've forgotten his name, but in the 2nd part of this review I'll show you how friendly he was. From what we also read elsewhere their Mama also has a hand in creating some of the dishes.
Favorite Dish: For the 5 pictures I have here you can see the entrance on a small side street and our selections for the evening. I'm not sure why we opted not to have desert that evening, but I'm sure that it would have been excellent.
Picture #2 - The Soup of the Day - Unfortunately as I write this review I can't remember what it was specifically, but being the soup of the day it was very fresh.
Picture #3 - A Selection of Goat and Sheep Cheese - Always one of my favorites in Europe. They were served with courgettes, hazelnuts and raisins.
Picture #4 - Cockeral Cooked with 5 Herbs - A mild fish from Lake Maggiore served with potatoes and braised baby onions.
Picture #5 - Ravioli Stuff with Lake Fish served with a vegetable garnish
In the second part of this review I have a picture of the menu and a couple of other pictures and comments.
Sound, unpretentious cafe/restaurant. Cheapest coffee we found. Competent lunch at a reasonable price with decent service.
Favorite Dish: Filet of trota which purported to come from the lake - grilled and sprinkled in coriander - delicious!
The Loco Beach Club in Stresa is a restaurant with terraces in front of the Lake...from where you have a full and beautiful view of the Isole Borromee.
There is a beach with a small patio where is also possible to have dinner...very romantic and cosy!
The interior are very nice...and the overall atmosphere is elegant...even if is a place where you could go without problems with your family and children.
We've been there on a Saturday evening...and there was live music!
No doubt about it: I'll suggest to visit the Loco for lunch, cocktails time or dinner.
Favorite Dish: Risotto with gorgonzola (typical Italian cheese) and pear.
An heavenly experience!!!
There are many restaurants, cafes and pizzeria in Stresa, but if you want one with a great view of the lake and of the Borromeo islands, it is hard to find a better choice than L'Idrovolante.
It has a nice terrasse on the lake front, but even if you sit inside you are likely to enjoy a beautiful view from the wide windows.
Favorite Dish: Risotto al Nebbiolo, it is risotto cooked in red wine. The alcohol of the wine actually evaporates entirely during the cooking, leaving behind only the flavour of Nebbiolo.
The restaurant serves all types of Italian food: traditional starters, pizzas, pasta, meat and fish.
As with most Italian osteria, the atmosphere is relaxed. The inside of the restaurant is split into 3 "rooms" which give it a more intimate feel. Out side there is a courtyard with several tables covered by a "roof" of vines.
Favorite Dish: The mushroom risotto is naughty but incredibly nice!!! It's buttery and full of flavour.
However, my boyfrined's choice dish is the buffolo mozzarella pizza with fresh tomatoes.
The restaurant is on the shore of Lake Orta and from it you overlook the island of San Giulio. The tables face the view and it is a quiet, attractive, place to stay and just watch other people.
Favorite Dish: Anything!
A lovely terrace which overlooks Isoal Bella. From it you watch passing boats whilst eating good quality food and drinking good wine.
Service is friendly and efficient.
Favorite Dish: Seafood, but it is an Italian restaurant, so anything is worthwhile!