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Feb 6, 2009 01:05 PM

Bellagio and Lake Como...where to dine???

I will be staying in Bellagio for 3 nights. Would love to keep dinners around 40 or 50 euro per person if possible. Does anyone have 3 or 4 restaurant recommendations?????

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  1. We stayed at the Albergo Silvio, on the edge of Bellagio, and had dinner there twice. The food is delicious (they have their own fishing boat and serve fish from the lake), and meat dishes were excellent even though the emphasis is on fish. Very reasonably priced, and be sure to reserve as they do fill up, it's very popular with both locals and tourists. One dish I must say is not to be missed is the lasagnetta (layers of crepe instead of pasta) with fish ragu. The lavarello is also great, and my partner had a really tasty filet mignon with green peppercorn sauce.

    10 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      I absolutely agree with rrems and me to I reccomend Silvio

      1. re: vidanto

        Our lunch at Silvio was one of the best we had on a recent trip to Lake Como; here are a few notes from that meal:

        restaurant of the Hotel Silvio, in the Loppia frazzione of Bellagio.

        The restaurant was almost full when we were shown to our window table facing the Lake. When we noticed two long tables filled with members of a local gastronomic society, I knew that we were in for a good meal!

        We bagan our lunch with a selection of mixed lake fish: marinated agnoni in carpione; laverello with green sauce; and several other treats. We could not visit Bellagio without ordering the unique fish preparation of the region, so we supplemented the antipasti with an order of missoltini, allis shad that have been air dried, salted, pressed with weights, and preserved with bay leaves in barrels known as missolte. For serving, the fish are reheated on a slow fire which imparts a smoky taste, before being sprinkled with oil and vinegar. The missoltini was strong and salty, and another time I might sample it in smaller doses in one of the typical pasta preparations of the area. On the terrace below the dining room we could see racks of this small shad being dried specialized wooden racks.

        One of my friends chose a spaghetti dish to follow. I had not eaten meat all week and so decided upon the filet of veal with porcini, which I split with my other table mate. Accompanied by sliced of roast fennel and potato, this dish was thrilling. Absolutely wonderful! For dessert, the traditional apple cake of Bellagio, “miascia.” Which bore some similarity to the American bread pudding and contained, in addition to apples, raisins and citrus rind. (Later that day I would discover that Menaggio, too, has its own typical dessert!


        With wine and water, a selection of sorbets, and coffees, our lunch for three cost 82 euro. Highly recommended! (Note that the hotel will pick up diners at the ferry pier by prior arrangement)

        After lunch we took a peek at two of the rooms in the hotel. The smaller of the two offered a very pleasant lakeside terrace which might overcome the snugness of the interior. A big plus in favor of choosing this hotel is the quality of the restaurant and, for me, the location in a particularly beautiful area of the town. The hotel also rents apartments for longer stays.

        Will you have a car on this trip? If so, there are a few places that we could recommend.

        1. re: erica

          I wont have a car. I am staying in the Hotel Florence in Bellagio but am willing to travel to tremezzo or como or somewhere else close for a great, resonably priced dinner. The price of Silvio sounds fantastic!

          1. re: Ilovegoodfoodandwine

            OK-here are a few notes on the SlowFood Santo Stefano in Lenno; like many others in the area, they are closed on Monday. My only concern is that I am unsure how late the ferries run from Bellagio:

            SANTO STEFANO, LENNO (closed Mondays)

            We had booked a table at this SlowFood eatery on the Piazza XI Febbraio (the restaurant does not face the lake) the day before.

            Here again, I was glad we had booked ahead because every other table was taken by a mix of locals and a few tourists. We were seated on the glass-enclosed terrace in the front of the dining area. While in winter, the kitchen turns out game supplied by local hunters, in this season the menu was centered on lake fish.

            We ate lightly because we were planning a big meal that evening. (La Fagurida in Rogaro) Two of us split a first course of pasta with funghi porcini which was excellent. For the secondi, I took the advice of the waitress and ordered my first sampling of one of the popular lake fish, perch. Persico dorado was several filets of “golden” perch, lightly sautéed in a delicate batter. Even to this less-than-enthusiastic fish eater, it was delicious. One of those dishes that you remember long after you return home! My friends each enjoyed their plates of what had become their favorite lake fish, the white-meat lavarello, which had been grilled and served with plenty of lemon. They also shared a mixed salad.

            With a glass of wine, water, and 2 limonatas, the total here came to 17 Euro per person.

            There are a pair of restaurants in the hills above Tremezzo, but I am not sure if you could access these without a car. Unfortunately, taxis in the area are very expensive.

            Near Cernobbio, I got one recommendation from a local whose taste I trust; I did not eat there, however:

            1. re: erica

              Erica, I see this post is a little old, but I will be staying in Tremezzo next week for a few nights and I will have a car. I was wondering if you could elaborate on those restaurant recs in the hills?

              1. re: frostmo

                The two that I was thinking of were Al Veluu, which I did not have time to try, and La Fagurida, where we had a stellar, rustic dinner. La Fagurida offers land-based dishes--lots of grilled meats and a polenta that was out of this world. It is located in the Rogaro fraccione of Tremezzo.

                1. re: erica

                  We went to Al Veluu several years back when we were staying in Tremezzo and had a really nice dinner, with a fantastic view. We also ate at La Darsena on the lake (not sure if it's still there) and a wonderful meal with great service.

          2. re: erica

            I almost forgot the lavarello with green sauce, which I had as my main course at one meal, and as part of an appetizer of mixed lake fish at the previous meal. Definitely a must have.

            1. re: erica

              I will be in the region this summer with a car. would appreciate any recommendations.thanks!

        2. Ristorante Bar "Mella" is an unpretentious gastronomic delight that is within anyone's budget. This restaurant is a favorite of my Milanese cousin, Roberto, and every time we come to visit we all travel to Bellagio to eat at Ristorante Bar "Mella". Roberto loves to fish and this restaurant specializes in fresh caught fish from the lake. From the time you enter the restaurant you can see there is a special connection between the lake and the restaurant. The owner is a professional fisherman and is trying to keep the lake fishing tradition alive. There is a beautiful view of the lake from the dining room. The staff is most hospitable and will be happy to explain the variety of dishes served. I spent one memorable afternoon, with my cousins, eating through most of the menu and drinking spumante. Then I walked down to the lake to see the fishing boats and was introduced to an Italian Spinone!

          2 Replies
          1. re: per me

            Do you know if this restaurant (Bar Mella) is open Mondays for dinner? If not, any others in the area? We're staying in Varenna.

            Many thanks

          2. Locanda dell' Isola Comacina
            62 euros per person but AMAZING (includes wine, service, water etc.)
            Set menu with fantastic fresh food - one of my most memorable meals of all time. You need to book in advance. Also, it's on an island so you need to take a ferry there. It's worth it!

            1. We ate at Silvio's at lunch time a few days ago and were disappointed. the fish was ok but nothing special, the side vegetables which were roast potatoes and Zucchine were overcooked and there were lipstick marks on the glasses.
              Salice Blu for us is a better option.

              1. I found a great new place in Bellagio called Alle Darsene. It is tucked away from the tourist area and you would be most comfortable by car. It is next to a villa with a gorgeous garden, so you could link those two activities together.

                We ate a beer tartare as an appetizer and split it between three people. Most of us couldn't finish it, but it tasted absolutely incredible. Very very fresh.

                I had the guinea ragu lasagnette and it was the least creamy and very delicious. The food was so much we didn't get to a secondi. Always room for dessert... I got the pear streudal with chocolate ice cream and loved it too. The food is very fresh. For three of us we spent about 70 euros with food, service, and pellegrino for lunch.


                1 Reply
                1. re: NDfoodie

                  This from an after-the-fact journal I composed to accompany pictures from our trip to France and italy last year. (I feel guilty not to have posted pertinent parts, so this is partly to assuage ....)
                  Varenna is an easy and beautiful ferry ride from Bellagio.
                  N.B. Prices were rough estimates based on last year's Euro; they'd be somewhat lower now.

                  The menu that struck us both as most interesting was at a small restaurant just across from the entrance to our place. Osteria Quatro Pass. The host squeezed us in without a reservation and we found ourselves in a room that would serve well as the setting for an encounter in a romantic foreign movie, filled with the unmistakable hum of happy diners all quietly pleased with themselves for having found this spot.

                  We had a marvelous meal, from complimentary Prosecco (Italian bubbly) and bite of polenta through glorious smoked lake whitefish, lake herring with polenta ($15 each), wild venison with pears, a mélange of four fresh lake fish garnished with rucola (Italian wild “arugula”) (both main courses $24), and a terrific under-$40 red wine, which I chose blindly because it was the oldest on the list—a 2004 nebbiolo, Conti Sertoli Salis Corte della Meridiana Valtellina Superiore, from nearby Lombardy. The menu even offered an à la carte ($9) side of vegetables—grilled tomato, eggplant, zucchini, and radicchio—to fill our craving for same. One of the best dining experiences of our whole trip! We noticed an error in our favor on the check, which we immediately pointed out to the owner, a delightful woman, whose fluency in French made it a lot easier to rectify the mistake as well as for me to express our pleasure in her kitchen, cellar, and dining room.