Villa Fiordaliso

Riccardo Camanini
Riccardo Camanini
Country: Italy
City: 25083 Gardone Riviera
Address: Corso Zanardelli, 132
(+39) 036520158
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays midday and 10/31 through 2/10
Price: 100/170 €
Tasting menu:: 105 €

  • Risotto de erizos de mar y microvegetales
  • Risotto de erizos de mar y microvegetales

Located in a palace on Lake Garda, this Relais & Château lends itself to contemplation and solace. The Tosetti family, who personally attends to the hotel and dining room (Max), has entrusted their successful gastronomic project to Riccardo Camanini, a truly passionate chef who demonstrates a remarkable sense of reflection. As a testimony to the perceptiveness of his accomplishments, he infuses flavor in the fish of the lake, while the presentation exhibits an unprecedented originality: in a crystal jar, as if it were a preserve. The diner removes the lid, takes out a few hot pike filets which have been prepared by heat injection in order to preserve their intrinsic qualities – overwhelmingly juicy – and places them on the plate along with one, two, or three spoonfuls of the sauce in which they are served: extra virgin olive oil with confited lemon and capers, an embossing that achieves a flavorful grace and unctuousness in the fish. As a complement, they serve fried scales of the same pike together with rustic stone-ground polenta in a porcelain container designed in accordance with the aesthetic ideal. A high level of intelligence, wisdom, audacity, and extraordinary professionalism is evident behind this recipe.

Riccardo applies his cleverness with versatility. An example of sublime simplicity is found with the eel – the best we’ve tried in years – : roasted slowly over coals, similar to a giant stuffed escalope of veal, very gelatinous on the inside with a golden exterior, it oozes fragrances of olive wood. The sublimation of product and preparation. So grandiose that it needs nothing more than a few garlic cloves confited in duck fat to culminate this deifying work.

Beforehand, varied and qualified chapters of pasta and rice were served. The sea urchin risotto with micro-vegetables convinces without provoking an overly enthusiastic response. The same can be said about the smoked “guitar” spaghetti with oil, garlic, anchovy and sheep’s milk cheese of Fossa, a lactic formula of abundance that is more gourmand than gourmet. The warm Burrata cheese cream with confited cod, oil and borage flowers, or the San Remo prawns with eggplant puree and herbal gazpacho are two appetizers that confirm the intention and idiosyncrasy that distinguish the chef.

The desserts are very technical and sensitive: the tiramisu foam is an ethereal delight, while the crème brulé demonstrates astonishing inconsistency.

In short, a solid establishment with a culinary project in development, with personable dishes that recall basic and historic flavors in which harmony is an unalterable behavior. It scores between 7.5 and 8, within a remarkable framework in which everything is submerged in the depth and beauty of Lake Garda.