Hey friends and followers. It has been too bloody long, but setting up a new company, finding wines, importing wines, and SELLING wines :-) on top of the daily tasks of life, has been a lot more work than I imagined, and the posts here have been very infrequently to say the least. Spare time has been used to recover rather than writing down memories and recommendations. My plan is to try to get back on track with this blog, inspired by a reader who said she missed my writing here. But good news is that the wine business is fun and doing very well and the customer base is rapidly growing with many new tastings and events coming up.
But I know – I have a lot of catching up to do, and I will start with one of the latest GREAT experiences I shared with my family.
We visited the Garda Lake area, which was a first for me by the way. It was out of season and therefore we had the chance to experience the area without the hazzle and stress that peak season brings.
I might come back to Garda later here, but will share with you an experience I got to choose, having googled and tripadvisored around to see what would be fun to visit. Few restaurants stood out. But this one certainly did. From the way their internet site is build up with photos and descriptions of all dishes (and may I add, the photos do not lie, that is actually how the food looked for real) to the funny comments made and the general vibe and humor in the text blew me away .
The chefs here do not try fancy cooking – but they cook with great produce and love for simplicity and make certainly great combos.
The Vecchio Mulino Beach Bar is run by a young couple, Fabio and Pamela. It is described by many as the best place to eat at the lake.
Arriving early, – we sat down and started with some water and a beautiful bottle of my new favourite white – Lugano grapes.
The service was not quite ready for us since we arrived fashionably early but the waiter made sure we were being served cold drinks with an eye for detail. Menus were handed and stuff explained.
The food is mostly served Tapas style and priced at 4,50 to 13 eur per dish, most around 6 eur. Now that is a price level we would wish to have around here.
First we were served a home baked bread
Food arrived, I will show you what we chose:
Described as “Burrata Cheese on a red Pepper fondue with Porcini Mushrooms” – it was amazing. The creamy cheese hidden a bit here on the photo. That was a GREAT start – 9p.
We were sitting in the hot sun – so the basil leaf deco soon looked very tired :-) The dish – “Lake Fish Meat Balls with our Signature Fishermans Sauce and Salsa Verde”. More basic, and the sauce more chunky and not as liquid and smooth as on the picture in the menu book. And I think if its a signature sauce – then it should be same – or at least similar every time you serve it :-) Little complaint, taste was good :-) 7p
Simple and impressive way of presenting it I think. “Grilled Vegetables with Thyme Oil” – 8p.
“Fried Anchovies stuffed with Pine Nuts and Sage”. 8p. Loved it, this was all doing the sun justice and another white – the same :-) was ordered.
“Shrimps and Tequila Risotto with a tender heart of Acacia Honey and Tangerin”. Best risotto ever, perfectly creamy, and the taste ever so delicate. Astrid was over the moon for this one – 10p.
Cooked to perfection on the grill. This “Pink Pepper Sea Bass served with a Fennel and Garda Olive Oil Yoghurt sauce” – a nice finish, but not hitting the top marks of some of the other stuff. The pink pepper a great combo with the rest. 8p.
From the moment we entered till the moment we left we felt sure that this restaurant would provide us with a great lunch and felt at home in the laid back but attentive service level of the staff. The bar, the al fresco dining, the lake, the great tapas style food, which made room for many tastings. The wine list was a little on the small side, but I’m sure most of the wines are very carefully picked with an eye for detail and taste. Most bottles were 15-20 eur anyway, which is an outstanding price/quality level. The outside looked great, the inside was a bit disturbed by the “plastic” looking windows that were kept I guess only for the winter/spring season. I am sure they are gone come summer season. But siince we had 24 degrees we had only too much sun to worry about.
The high rating on tripadvisor is fully justified. This little pearler comes with our highest recommendation for basic, great food with fresh ingredients and freshly prepared ingredients and decoration. Small flaws like seeing the side skewer with lemon and what do I know on some different dishes do not change the fact that we would love to eat here once a week if we could. We wish Fabio and his team all the best and are sure they are looking for busy times and lots of success.
The boys had a final dessert, the missus broke a glass and I lost my credit card, but that is another story :-)
My rating for this visit: Food 8p (10), service 4.5p (5), ambience 4.5p (5), 17p (20).