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Italy

Venice, Dolomites, and Italian Lakes recommended restaurants


Bellagio (Lake Como)
Royal Dining Room at the Villa Serbelloni, Via Roma 1, 22021
A great place for a splurge. Want foie gras scallops and shrimp tails on a salad dressed with balsamic vinegar? How about a chocolate souffle with pear sauce?
This is the place. Dress up, reserve a table by the lake, and forget all about money. Food, service, and ambience are impeccable.
Phone:  03.19.50.216
Fax:  03.19.51.529
Email:  nforequest@villaserbelloni.it
Web:   www.villaserbelloni.it
Credit cards accepted:  
Main courses from:   18EUR

Silvio, Via Carcano 12
Specializing in fresh lake fish and home-made pastas, this restaurant near Villa Melzi offers wonderful views from its large terrace. Traditional local dishes include rice and perch and whole fish with parsley sauce. The 21-room albergo and its restaurant has been run by the Ponzini family for four generations.
Phone:  03.19.50.322
Hours:  Open daily
Credit cards accepted:  MC, V
Main courses from:   13EUR

Bolzano (Dolomites)
Da Abramo, Piazza Gries 16
Named for Chef Abramo Pantezi, Da Abramo specializes in fresh seafood. It?s the best restaurant in Bolzano and the somewhat formal atmosphere and great wine list are a nice change. In fact, the Liberty style villa is a big part of the appeal. The summer garden is wonderful too.
Phone:  04.71.28.01.41
Hours:  Noon to 2:15PM and 7PM to 9:45PM Monday through Saturday; closed mid-January and three weeks in August
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   10.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  19.75EUR

Bressanone (Dolomites)
Fink, Via Portici Minori 4
This cozy Tyrolean style restaurant has an inviting Alpine ambience and hearty local cooking. It?s in the heart of Bressanone.
Phone:  04.72.83.48.83
Hours:  Closed Tuesday nights; closed Wednesdays from August through October; closed two weeks in August and two weeks in November
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Fixed price menu from:   21EUR

Como (Lake Como)
Ristorante Imbarcadero, Piazza Cavour
This restaurant in the Hotel Metropole & Suisse is one of the most popular in Como, thanks in no small part to the large terrace right off Piazza Cavour. Even if you dine inside, you?ll enjoy nice views of the lake from the large windows. The food and service are way better than they have to be, given the location. You?ll likely enjoy a meal here. Fish and pastas are both excellent.
Phone:  03.12.70.166 Reservations recommended
Hours:  12:30PM to 3:30PM and 7:30PM to 10PM daily; closed the first week in January
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   12.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  21EUR

Sant?Anna 1907, Via Turati 1/3
Open since 1907, Sant?Anna is one of the best -- and most expensive -- restaurants in Como. Service, ambience, and food are all first-rate and traditional.
Phone:  03.12.70.166
Hours:  Closed on Fridays and Saturday for lunch; closed from late July to late August
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   15.50EUR

Conegliano
Tre Panoce, Via Vecchia Trevigiano 50
This rustic restaurant in a 16th-century stone house overlooking Conegliano has great food and refreshing local wines.
Phone:  04.38.60.071
Hours:  Noon to 2:30PM and 8PM to 10PM Tuesday through Sunday; closed for Sunday dinner and in August
Credit cards accepted:  
Fixed price menu from:   26EUR

Cortina d'Ampezzo (Dolomites)
Ristorante Tivoli, Localita Lacedel
Far and away the best restaurant in the region, Tivoli serves game, fresh pastas, and fowl using the finest available ingredients. The ambience is cozy Tyrolean and the service is cordial.
Phone:  04.36.86.64.00 Reservations required
Hours:  12:30PM to 2:30PM and 7:30PM to 10PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   13EUR

Merano (Dolomites)
Flora, Via dei Portici 75
Although it?s expensive by local standards, Chef Louis Oberstolz?s seven-course menu is a good value. As his name suggests, the cooking here is more Austrian than Italian. And the cozy, candlelit dining room in the historic center of Merano is very nice too.
Phone:  04.73.23.14.84
Hours:  Closed Sundays and Mondays for lunch; closed between mid-December and February
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   18EUR

Milan
Al Cantinone, Via Agnello 19
A popular spot for an after-opera drink, Al Cantinone has been going strong for more than 100 years. You enter the restaurant from Via Ragazzi. The food?s good enough -- particularly the grilled meats -- the wine list is wonderful, and service is prompt.
Phone:  02.86.46.13.38
Hours:  Closed Sundays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main Courses from:   13EUR

Antica Trattoria della Pesa, Viale Pasubio 10
Opened around the turn of the century, this historic Milanese restaurant serves traditional Milanese dishes linke risotto and osso buco. It?s never really been renovated, so the ambience is authentic.
Phone:  02.65.55.741 Reservations recommended
Hours:  Closed Sundays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   13EUR

Boeucc Antico Ristorante, Piazza Belgioioso 2
Opened in 1696, this three-room restaurant not far from the Duomo is the oldest in Milan. The old world ambience offset by modern art is attractive and the terrace is especially appealing in nice weather. Good for traditional Milanese fare.
Phone:  02.76.02.02.24 Reservations required
Hours:  12:40PM to 2:30PM Monday through Friday; 7:40PM to 10:30PM Sunday through Friday
Credit cards accepted:  AE
Main courses from:   14.50EUR

Il Teatro, Via Gesu 8
If you?re not staying at the stylish Four Seasons hotel, you may want to come for dinner. Set in a 15th-century palazzo, the restaurant is popular among celebrities of the fashion world. The garden patio and paneled dining room are equally appealing and the seasonal menu makes the most of whatever is fresh at the market. Less expensive than you might think.
Phone:  02.77.08.14.35 Reservations recommended
Hours:  7:30PM to 11:45PM Monday through Saturday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   15.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  44EUR

La Bruschetta, Piazza Beccaria 12
You?ll like have to wait for a table at this busy pizzeria near the Duomo. But whatever you get from the wood-bruning oven will be worth the wait. There are pastas and succulent skewered meats in addition to pizza.
Phone:  02.86.92.494
Hours:  Closed Mondays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, V
Main courses from:   13EUR

Peck?s Restaurant, Via Victor Hugo 4
Run by owners of the legendary deli, Peck?s is one of the best restaurants in town. It?s a place of pigrimage for serious food and wine lovers the world over who wouldn?t come to town without dining here. Make your reservations well in advance and try anything on the menu.
Phone:  02.87.67.74 Reservations required
Hours:  7:30PM to 9PM Monday through Saturday
Web:   www.peck.it
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   15.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  36.20EUR

Savini, In the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The place in town for risotto, Savini is one of Milan?s best restaurants. The Galleria location is fabulous, though you?ll have a hard time deciding between the terrace and the three floors of dining rooms. Veal scallops and ossa buco are other sure bets. Very nice wine list. All in all, a great place for a splurge.
Phone:  02.72.00.43.33 Reservations required
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 7:30PM to 11PM Monday through Friday; 7:30PM to 11PM Saturdays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   21EUR
Fixed price menu from:  62EUR

Trattoria Bagutta, Via Bagutta 14
Since opening in 1927, Bagutta -- named for the literary prize -- has been one of Milan?s most popular trattorias. The casual dining rooms are decorated with framed caricatures and prize-winning books. Bagutta is popular with artists, politicians, and even the occasional celebrity who come for the predominantly Tuscan specialties.
Phone:  02.76.00.27.67 Reservations required
Hours:  12:30PM to 2:30PM and 7:30PM to 10:30PM Monday through Saturday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   13EUR

Stresa (Lake Maggiore)
La Piemontese, Via Mazzini 25
In a 17th-century building in the heart of Stresa, La Piemontese is one of the best places in town. Service is excellent and the wine list is terrific. Try the spaghetti with "melted onions." Dress up and take money.
Phone:  03.23.30.235
Hours:  Closed Sunday and Monay nights from October through March
Credit cards accepted:  AE, MC, V
Main courses from:   13EUR

Ristorante Pescatore, Vicolo del Poncivo 1
As the name suggests, you?ll find plenty of fresh fish in this small restauarnt in the historic center of Stresa. But you may not expect to find it prepared in the Spanish manner. The chef hails from Galicia, so you?ll find lively fish soups, stews, and paellas from that region. If you prefer, you can have it grilled with your choice of sauce. There?s a tiny patio too.
Phone:  03.23.31.986
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 6PM to 10PM Friday through Wednesday
Credit cards accepted:  MC, V
Main courses from:   13.50EUR

Taverna del Pappagallo, Via Principessa Margherita 46
If you have the yen for a pizza, this is the spot. The Ghiringhellis make the best one around. The Taverna also turns out reliable standards and a good gnocchi. The garden?s a very pleasant place to dine. And you?ll get good value for money here.
Phone:  03.23.30.411
Hours:  11:30AM to 2:30PM and 6:30PM to 10:30PM Thursday through Monday
Credit cards accepted:  No
Pizzas from:   4.25EUR
Main courses from:  9.30EUR

Trento
Alla Cantinota, Via San Marco 22/24
This restaurant with a beautiful dining garden is walking distance from Trento?s castle. Good regional specialties and very pleasant ambience.
Phone:  04.61.23.85.27 Reservations recommended
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 8PM to midnight Friday through Wednesday
Credit cards accepted:  
Main courses from:   7.75EUR

Valdobbiadene (Conegliano)
Al Pesce, Via Erizza 287
Not surprisingly, this restaurant specializes in fish, but also serves fowl and game.
Phone:  04.23.98.02.96
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 7PM to 11PM Wednesday through Sunday; no dinner Sunday night
Credit cards accepted:  
Main courses from:   10.50EUR

Venice
Al Covo, Campiello della Pescaria, Castello 3968
This charming little restaurant in a quiet Castello neighborhood is run by Cesare Benelli and his American wife Diane, who will walk you through the menu. The decor is rustic and romantic. But the food is the real draw. The menu changes daily, according to what?s fresh at the market -- Al Covo has no freezer. And dishes are prepared without butter or animal fats. Try updated versions of Venetian seafood classics. The antipasti are particularly good.
Phone:  04.15.22.38.12 Reservations recommended
Hours:  12:45PM to 2:15PM and 7:45PM to 10:15PM Tuesday through Friday
Credit cards accepted:  No
Main courses from:   19.75EUR
Fixed price lunch from:  26EUR

Boutique del Gelato, Castello 5727, Salizzada San Lio
The best ice cream in Venice. You?ll have to wait, but it will be worth it.
Phone:  04.15.22.32.83
Hours:  10:30AM to 8PM daily
Credit cards accepted:  No

Caffe Florian, Piazza San Marco 56
Sit at a table on the Piazza San Marco, listening to the orchestra and watching the world go by and you probably won?t care that you?re drinking a $5 cup of coffee. A Venice institution since 1720, the Florian was a favorite of Rousseau, Goethe, and Byron.
Phone:  04.15.28.53.38
Hours:  9:30AM to midnight daily; closed Wednesdays off season
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Coffee:   5.20EUR

Da Crecola, Santa Croce 1459, Campo del Piovan
Though Venice isn?t known for its pizzas, when you get a craving, Da Crecola serves the best in town. The pretty canal-side terrace is another plus and there are imaginative toppings that will appeal to vegetarians. Service can be slow when it?s busy.
Phone:  04.15.24.14.96
Hours:  closed Tuesdays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Pizzas:   5.20EUR

Do Forni, Calle dei Specchieri, San Marco 468
Though the food here can be hit or miss, the President of Italy lunches here whenever he?s in town. So how bad can it be. The front part of the restaurant is a wood-paneled recreation of an Orient Express dining car. The back is rustic with beamed ceilings. It?s just a few minutes walk from Piazza San Marco. Stick with the fresh seafood.
Phone:  04.15.23.21.48 Reservations recommended
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 7PM to midnight daily
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   15.50EUR

Fiaschetteria Toscana, Campo San Giovanni Crisostomo, Cannaregio 5719
There?s nothing Tuscan about the cooking here, despite the name. The building was originally a storehouse for oil and wine imported from Tuscany. With its rose-colored walls and candlelight, the downstairs dining room is cozy and romantic. Anything with seafood is a good choice, as are the veal scallops. The wine list and desserts -- most of which are prepared by mama -- are terrific.
Phone:  04.15.28.52.81 Dinner reservations required
Hours:  12:30PM to 2:30PM and 7:30PM to 10:30PM Wednesday through Sunday; 12:30PM to 2:30PM Mondays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   4.25EUR

Gran Caffe Quadri, Piazza San Marco 120
If you can?t find an outside table at Florian, this is the next best thing. Balzac and Proust were regulars, and the view?s pretty much the same.
Phone:  04.15.22.21.05 Vaporetto San Marco
Hours:  9AM to midnight daily; Closed Mondays off season
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Coffee:   5.20EUR

Harry's Bar, Calle Vallaresso, San Marco 1323
No trip to Venice is complete without a visit to Harry?s. To look like you know what you?re doing, forego the upstairs dining room and eat in the bar at one of the bench-like tables. That?s where you?ll see Woody Allen, Gore Vidal, or other celebrity regulars. Order a Bellini (invented here), or following in Hemingway?s footsteps, a Bloody Mary. The food here is way better than it has to be, simple, and overpriced.
Phone:  04.15.28.57.77
Hours:  10:30AM to 1AM daily; closing at 11PM off season
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main Courses from:   41.50EUR

Harry's Dolci, Fondamenta San Biago 773, Isola della Giudecca
Marginally less expensive than Harry?s Bar, Arrigo Cipriani?s other restaurant is nicely located on the islet of Giudecca. The terrace with its breathtaking views is the big draw and even if you dine inside you can watch the traffic on the lagoon. Try the carpaccio, invented by Arrigo?s father Harry. And save room for dessert. As the name suggests, there are lots of sweets to choose from. You can get them from the separate pasticerria if you prefer.
Phone:  04.15.20.83.37 Reservations recommended
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 7PM to 10:30PM Wednesday through Monday; closed in winter
Credit cards accepted:  
Main courses from:   15.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  39.80EUR

Hosteria Ai do Ladroni, Ramo del Fontego dei Tedeschi
One of the best spots in Venice for "cicheti," the local version of tapas. You?ll have a hard time finding a table, but you can belly up to the bar and meet the locals.
Phone:  04.15.28.10.46
Hours:  8AM to midnight Monday through Saturday
Credit cards accepted:  DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   7.75EUR

Locanda Cipriani, Piazza Santa Fosca 29, Torcello
Owned by a member of the legendary Cipriani restaurateur family, the Locanda succeeds on location alone. The setting on the sleepy island of Torcello is ideal. You can arrange for a boat transfer from Piazza San Marco for 30,000ITL if you want to go for an overpriced but memorable meal. But it?s best for lunch when the terrace is a little slice of heaven, as former guests Ernest Hemingway, Queen Elizabeth, and Audrey Hepburn would no doubt testify.
Phone:  04.17.30.150
Hours:  Open for lunch and dinner daily except Tuesday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   10.50EUR

Locanda Montin, Fondamenta di Borgo, Dorsoduro 1147
During the 1950s and ?60s, Peggy Guggenheim and artists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko were regulars here. Today, it?s overpriced and coasting on its reputation. Why recommend it? The arbor courtyard in back is still a little slice of heaven. Order a simple piece of grilled fish and you?ll likely enjoy the experience.
Phone:  04.15.22.71.51 Reservations recommended
Hours:  12:30PM to 2:30PM and 7:30PM to 9:30PM Thursday through Sundays; 12:30PM to 2:30PM Tuesdays; closed in mid-August and January
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   8.30EUR

Osteria alla BotteCalle de la Bissa
This Venice wine bar behind Campo San Bartolomeo has great "cicheti," the Venetian version of tapas. You?ll run into plenty of locals here.
Phone:  04.15.20.97.75
Hours:  11AM to 3PM and 6PM to 10PM Wednesday through Monday
Credit cards accepted:  
Main courses from:   7.75EUR

Osteria da Fiore, Calle del Scaleter, San Polo 2202
Da Fiore is tops in town. During the Venice Film Festival, it?s packed with celebrities. The rest of the year, it?s packed with Venetians who come for the most imaginatively prepared seafood in Venice. Try small prawns from the Adriatic, spider crab, turbot, or sea bass. Service is great.
Phone:  04.17.21.308 Reservations required
Hours:  12:30PM to 2:30PM and 8PM to 10:30PM Tuesday through Saturday; closed a few weeks during August and December
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   23.50EUR

Quadri, Piazza San Marco, San Marco 120-124
Above the Piazza San Marco cafe of the same, name, Quadri is one of the most romantic restaurants in Venice. Reserve far enough in advance to secure a window table and you?ll look out over the Basilica and enjoy the sounds of the orchestra wafting up from the square. The food is surprisingly good, but very expensive. Service is world-class. Dress up and come for a once-in-a-lifetime splurge.
Phone:  04.15.28.92.99 Reservations required
Hours:  Noon to 2:30PM and 7PM to 10:30PM Wednesday through Sunday; also open for dinner on Tuesdays
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   21.75EUR

Trattoria da Fiore, Calle delle Botteghe, San Marco 3561
Great for pasta or a mixed grill of frief fish, this San Marco trattoria is a good spot for an inexpensive meal.
Phone:  04.15.23.53.10 Reservations recommended
Hours:  Noon to 3PM and 7PM to 10PM Wednesday through Monday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, V
Main courses from:   10.50EUR

Vini da Arturo, Calle degli Assassini, San Marco 3656
When you?ve has as much seafood as you can eat, this tiny (seven-table) trattoria offers a break. Pasta with cream sauce, pork schnitzel, beef in a Dijon cream sauce. Food is fresh, nicely presented and service is cordial. End your meal with home-made tiramisu.
Phone:  04.15.28.69.74
Hours:  Noon to 2:30PM and 7PM to 10:30PM Monday through Saturday; closed during August
Credit cards accepted:  No
Main courses from:   14.50EUR

Verona
Antico Caffee Dante, Piazza dei Signori 2
You can get great risotto, pasta, or other traditional dishes at this stylish brasserie right on Piazza dei Signori. The desserts are very good, as is the wine list. And there?s a non-smoking section.
Phone:  04.59.52.49
Hours:  Noon to 2PM and 7PM to 3AM Tuesday through Sunday
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   10.50EUR

Arche, Via Arche Scaligere 6
If you didn?t get enough fresh seafood in Venice, you can get another taste here at Arche. The Art Nouveau dining room is attractive and the location near the Scaligeri tombs is convenient. But the real draw here is Giancarlo Gioco?s family recipes. One of the best restaurants in Verona. The building dates from the 15th century.
Phone:  04.58.00.74.15 Reservations required
Hours:  12:30PM to 2:30PM and 7:30PM to 9:30PM Tuesday through Saturday; also open for Monday dinner
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   15.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  44EUR

Bottega del Vino, Via Scudi di Francia 3
A wine lover?s paradise, Bottega del Vino has an 80,000-bottle cellar. You can choose from around 60 wines by the glass. The food, which features traditional regional cooking, is good. And the atmosphere is friendly and convivial.
Phone:  04.58.00.45.35
Hours:  Noon to 2PM and 7:30PM to midnight Wednesday through Monday
Credit cards accepted:  
Main courses from:   7.75EUR

Ristorante Il Desco, Via Dietro San Sebastiano 7
This is the best spot in town for a less traditional meal, beautifully prepared and artfully presented. Service is first-rate, the wine list is great, and the 16th-century palazzo is splendid. Everything that comes from Elia Rizo?s kitchen shines, including the desserts. A great spot for a splurge.
Phone:  04.55.95.358 Reservations recommended
Hours:  12:30PM to 2PM and 7:30PM to 10PM Monday through Saturday; closed from late December through early January
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   15.50EUR
Fixed price menu from:  77.50EUR

VeronAntica, Via Sottoriva 10
If the weather?s fine, elect to dine on the romantic terrace of this pretty townhouse off a cobblestone piazza. Nice pastas, fresh seafood, and pleasant service.
Phone:  04.58.00.41.24
Hours:  Noon to 2:30PM and 7PM to 10:45PM Wednesday through Monday; open daily from noon to 10:45PM in July and August
Credit cards accepted:  AE, DC, MC, V
Main courses from:   7.75EUR