Italian cuisine worth five stars..*
A few weeks ago I went to Italy. I would stay one week near Rome and one week at Lake Garda. Since I already had visited the lake, and Tuscany as well, I knew where I wanted to go for a trip down memory lane. We stayed near a little village called Manerba del Garda. I definately wanted to visit Peschiera, where my father had taken an amazing picture of me with the sunset 8 years ago. But I also wanted to go to Sirmione. This old fortified strongpoint, situated on a peninsula, in the south of the lake, is definately a must see. You’ll find great shops (even with vintage Chanel), the BEST ice-cream of Lombardy (with over 40 flavours!), and delicious food worth of being mentioned in the Michelin Guide.
Because I’m really fond of sunsets above an amazing horizon I wanted to have diner at a terras near the lake and my mother wanted something cosy. I had my mind set for a spaghetti a la vongole. I ate it for the first time in a small restaurant when we wanted to go visit Pompei and I was sold! It’s so delicious and light at the same time. As everybody knows Italy is the country of pasta and pizza and since I am a pastaholic I already knew that I would have gained five pounds when I got back home (thank god it wasn’t the case!). In stead of choosing for a typical italian restaurant, my mother found a hidden “antica tratoria” with lake views and a very intimate terrace.
‘La Speranzina’, is hidden behind a big wooden double door. I took a sneak peek and I was just blown away by it’s beauty. My father immediately realized that this wasn’t just any restaurant and when he got the menu his presumption got confirmed (being a man he was the only one who received the menu with the prices). And while I was searching for my spaghetti a la vongole, I couldn’t find it anywhere! It was almost our last night in Italy so we just took a whole menu. My first course was tagliatelli with asparagus and foie gras. As my second course I chose a tempura of fish (I still don’t know what kind) and vegetables and as my desert Tiramisu (what else?!).
When my mother asked for the winecard, she kind of went in shock. It wasn’t a card, but more of a telephone book! The prices varied between €35 and €800!!! So when you decide to have diner at La Speranzina, bring your visa… But just as a Chanel bag is worth €2000, a dinner at La Speranzina is worth of your visa as well! If you have 3 courses, you’ll actually get 6! With our aperitif we got 4 appetizers + 1 mini croque mozzarella with a tomato cream and after my spaghetti I got a ravioli with a peper cream. The tempura was just delicious and the ammount was perfect, leaving a small hole for my dessert. Italian people always eat a lot! Not only do they have a salad, they also have pasta, their main course and a dessert! EVERY evening! So this restaurant was a pleasant surprise, cause we ate kind of Italian food but in a Belgian kind of amount. Not mentioning we would have a pre-dessert, I ordered my tiramisu! Suddenly the waitress brought each of us 5 mini desserts! A pistachio mouse, a sabayon, a forest fruit juice, a mini cake, and whipped cream of oranges. I have never tasted such delicate food! The restaurant even takes in account whether you are a man or a woman! My mom and I got pink cups, while my dad had a blue one! It’s crazy! All of this delicate food, the great service and the location should be rewarded with at least 1 Michelin star!!
I have to admit, this was the best restaurant I had ever been to! If you ever are in Italy and you want to propose to your girlfriend this is the place to be! She’ll love it, I assure you!
You can find La Speranzina at the Via Dante 6 in Sirmione… or at www.lasperanzina.it
And if you still have a little hole in your belly after dinner, you can always go for an ice cream 😉