On my very first day of my holiday in Italy, I took a call from my CEO – I’d received a promotion that I didn’t even know I was up for. Woah! What a lovely surprise and killer start to a gorgeous vacation. If you can be lucky enough to align major life perks, I’d highly recommend it. So excited for the week ahead, and career ahead, I had to celebrate. That’s how I landed at Michelin starred chef, Gualtiero Marchesi’s La Terrazza restaurant at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo.
I’d gotten as dressed up as my suitcase allowed and had a romantic table for one over looking Lake Como. The restaurant was clearly a special occasion spot as the table to my left enjoyed a full cake and massive bouquet of white roses. Inside a couple held hands in their private room while they were serenaded by a cellist. Rose petals adorned the floor and a candelabra sat on their table. Imagine any cheesy, over-the-top romance scene from a movie and then line them all up to happen in the same restaurant. That was La Terrazza and damn was I jealous, in the best way of course.
Since my table was missing the googly eyes component and probably even just a mild return text, I opted to fall in love for these oblong, colorful water glasses. I emailed the restaurant about it after the meal and they connected me to the shop where I could purchase them, but for 110 EU each, I decided to enjoy this photo instead.
I started my meal with a glass of rose that seemed to last forever, which was fantastic. Then, I was presented with tiny pastry cups filled with various pudding-consistency stuffs. Not my favorite thing I’ve ever had, but they were pretty.
Then, came this beautiful tuna tartare for an amuse bouche.
I opted for a tasting menu with wine pairing that were all absolutely delightful. The first course was shrimp with black truffles, served an a black mirror straight from 1985 and a glass of Livio Felluga pinot grigo. Very delicious and fun presentation.
The next course was the dish the restaurant is most known for- saffron risotto with gold leaf float. While it was good, it didn’t make me go back for a second bowl as the ladies did at the table behind me. It was served with a glass of Bellavista Santissima.
After the course was cleared, I was presented with a diploma. Or. Rather, the risotto was. Apparently, for every dish plate of this risotto served, after the first 100,000, they kept track with certificates. Therefore, the lady behind me received two (a masters?) because she consumed too. This felt very Italian and I went ahead and hung it on my wall with my school degrees.
For the main, I had veal and wilted spinach. Plain wilted spinach in need of salt is a lot of spinach…but the veal was quite nice. It did have foie gras AND black truffle involved, so it was quite intense. Again, felt very 1980’s, but I enjoyed a few bites of the luxury bits and mostly just ate the veal. It was served with a glass of Le Difese Toscana.
For dessert, I had a custard whose name escapes me. It was served with fried pasta noodles. The bite of sweet was nice, but there wasn’t a ton of flavor and the noodles became soggy rather quickly. For a digestif, I turned down dessert wine because it’s not my favorite, and was presented with a new cocktail they were trying for the menu. They asked my help in naming it. The cherry flavor brought up a couple of strong contenders, but I never found out how it ended.
All in all, the experience was great. The view, service, wine, and food were overall fantastic. I’d try to order a few things outside of the tasting menu next time, but I would definitely return for the overall vibe. This is the perfect special occasion restaurant on Lake Como and you don’t have to bring your own rose petals.