Italian Lakes restaurants
With the lakes straddling so much of northern Italy, the cuisine varies, from the rib-sticking alpine food and hearty red wines of Piedmont in the west to the polenta and plump gnocchi of the Lombardy plains to the risottos and delicate white wines of the Veneto and würtstel and beer of the Teutonic Trentino in the east. One common theme throughout is, of course, the bounty of the waters, especially persico (perch) from the lakes and trota (trout) from the mountain streams that feed them. Since the lakes are popular vacation spots, bland pizza and trattorias serving insipid pasta straight from the box abound. However, these are balanced out by plenty of wonderful mom-and-pop osterie where the proprietors truly care about their home cooking. The region's enduring popularity with Milan fashionistas translates into dozens of excellent restaurants where the chefs continue to garner accolades and top billing in international dining guides for their innovative takes on traditional cuisine. As with hotels, many restaurants on the lakes close in October or November and reopen at Easter. Opening hours are fast and lose, but lunch is generally served from 12:30 to 2 pm and dinner lasts from 7:30 until the last diners have finished lingering over their espresso (about 10 pm).