Marina Restaurant – Ascona

Marina, along with the Eden Roc Hotel, look like they were transplanted from South Beach to Ascona. An absolute time trap, in the most beautiful way. Just look…

The menu was posted on a surfboard outside of the placid lake.

The inside of the restaurant was absolutely stunning. Pure beach vibes, though the restaurant totes itself as promoting the Italian lifestyle of leisurely meals and lounging. Not sure that the decor or the menu (dim sum??) did that for me, but it was still a really lovely restaurant. As this was the resort’s causal outpost, I visited on three occasions.

There are three areas of the restaurant- the beautiful indoors, terrace, and a grassy area with a few tables and a lot of lounge furniture. My introduction to the restaurant was Sunday lunch where I was seated on the restaurant’s terrace. Ask for shade when you book your reservation.

I opted for a simple green salad and the mezze, which you can order for any number of people. Shout out to solo travelers! Everything was phenomenal. In this moment, I decided I’d order this on repeat for the days ahead, but didn’t….but, should have.

One evening, I also ate here for dinner and sat inside at the window. It was comically desolate with just four other tables. Another couple entered and made eye contact with me, we both just laughed at the absurdity of the private restaurant. I probably wouldn’t book this for dinner as it felt a little sad, but it’s an excellent choice for lunch.

To start, I had two pieces of shrimp dim sum and a mixed salad. Again, whyyyy with the salad corn!

I was quite torn with the mains and they were quite pricey, so I took the waitress’s advice and ordered the spaghetti vongole. This isn’t something I normally eat, so I don’t know that I can quite compare it, but it was eh, fine? The pasta seemed fresh, but there was an abundance of pesto at the bottom, which seemed strange. The clams in shells were fine, but I wasn’t sure about the clams out of the shells so I avoided. Overall, a strange meal.

The tiramisu found me for dessert and was rather delicious. Rather than a traditional tiramisu, the coffee component was found in ice cream, which I quite liked. The whole thing was quite rich and would be best served with a dining companion.

On my final day, I ventured around the corner from the pool and sat in the casual grassy area at a table since I was in a cover-up and half damp from a swim. The service this day was terrible, but I did find myself with a bar menu that had this gorgeous caprese salad option, a forever favorite of mine. It was absolutely delicious. The tomatoes were perfectly treated with a balsamic glaze and the cheese was delicious but far too abundant for the tomato ratio. Again, this would be great shared between two.

Overall, Marina was a charming restaurant, perfect for snacks with friends or an beautiful lunch outside. Just don’t be fooled that it makes sense as a nice vacation dinner, the staff’s neon turquoise pool pants should be your first sign that they’re meant to be seen only in day time.

Thoughts?

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