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Lake Como: A jewel of a restaurant in a jewel of a lake

The highlight of a trip to Lake Como, a jewel in northern Italy, is to have lunch or dinner at the Locanda dell'Isola Comacina, known to locals as simply "the Island." Situated in the center of Lake Como, this small island and its eatery offer big views and an incredible tasting experience—not the typical tourist attraction. The average American may associate Italy with pasta, but this staple is absent from the menu. You start with antipasti, served family-style: platters and bowls of eight differently prepared local vegetables (such as beets, baked onions, carrots, cauliflower, and celery) and plates of ham and bresaola. Delicious, crusty bread is laid on the table to break with your hands and dip in the juices. White wine, as much as you want, is also included in the €62 price. The second course is grilled lake fish, a moist and flaky salmon trout, filleted at the table. Course number three (my favorite) is the crispy chicken—flattened, fried, and baked in the oven to perfection and served with a small salad. (I crave this chicken all year long when I think of the Locanda.) Arriving next is a chunk of fresh Parmesan cheese cut from a huge wheel, with fresh, delicious bread and more crisp wine. Course number five is refreshing sliced oranges or peaches, depending on the season, served with vanilla ice cream. Owner Benvenuto Puricelli takes part in the sixth and last course, the coffee ceremony, and tells an interesting story of the island. Spending an afternoon on the most beautiful lake and eating food that is so special will be a memory that will last forever.
—Carole Levine, Groveland, Massachusetts

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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