Food Focus

Salice Blu

We took a look at a restaurant a little further afield this week with one of the most outstanding eateries in Belagio, Lake Como, Salice Blu.

I’m sure that when a great deal of people think of Italian food the first product that comes to mind is pasta.

However, there’s so much more to this wonderful cuisine and when we took a stop at Salice Blu, we were treated to a reinvention of the very best of it.

Sitting a few minutes drive away from the heart of touristy Bellagio, Salice Blu (which we were reliably informed meant blue willow) is a rustic looking restaurant that whilst homely, doesn’t really reflect the quality of the food that is to come.

Chef Luigi Gandola now runs the restaurant that was handed down by his father who was the chef before him.

“I worked in this restaurant since I was a small child,” he informs us as he personally shows us to our seats. Luigi is keen to meet all the guests who make the effort to visit his restaurant and is constantly involved in every step of the process from arrival to departure.

And there is a great deal to be proud of because the food at Selice Blu is of an exceptional standard.

Using locally sourced food – including vegetables and herbs from the restaurant’s own garden and fish from Lake Como – the quality of the ingredients is clearly apparent in the taste, which is matched by the visual presentation of the dishes.

Every course we ordered was beautifully prepared and sublime on the palate and Chef Gandola was on hand to talk us through each dish. He was also happy to accommodate the vegan requirements of one of our party and created a bespoke menu on the fly for the evening.

On the particular night our group of four attended the restaurant it wasn’t quite full because of a public holiday so perhaps we enjoyed more of the Chef’s time than a packed house would probably allow but it’s a minor point.

Salice Blu also offers cooking lessons, which include the chef picking you up from your hotel and Gandola is an enthusiastic and comprehensive teacher.

Finally, there is a companion book available that offers food fanatics the chance to replicate some of the restaurant’s best dishes.

Anyone paying a visit to Bellagio should certainly put an evening aside for dinner at Salice Blu but be sure to ring and book in advance because this place is often fully booked.

For more information on the restaurant as well as details on Chef Luigi Gandola and his wonderful book check out the Salice Blu restaurant here.

A real five star treat!

George R Vaughan