Along the western shore of Lago Maggiore lies the picturesque town of Baveno, and within Baveno is Ristoro L’Angolo delle Fate, and inside this restaurant is beautiful cheese, house cured meats, and wines of the region.
We felt so relaxed in Baveno; strolling promenades, dipping in water, sipping espresso, eating pizza, playing in parks, riding ferries, taking pictures, smelling flowers; much to do with no pressure to do it.
Early on during our first evening in Baveno we began to see the few restaurants on the small piazza in the center of town slowly filling up. We walked passed a sandwich board for Ristoro L’Angolo delle Fate that said: “Un ambiente magic dove gustare e ritrovare i sapori delle Valli Ossolane Salami, Formaggi, Vini di alta qualita” pointing us off of the piazza into the direction of this hidden away gem. With our limited understanding of Italian even we could not resist what we translated to mean a magical ambience with meats cheeses and wine, and to our surprise this is exactly what they serve. I am amazed how a regional cuisine can help one with limited knowledge of a language understand the local dialect; now that we have enjoyed are evenings here we can simply translate the sign to read:
Wonderful Glorious Cheese, Incredibly Perfectly Cured Meats,
Delicious Affordable Local Wines, Vibrantly Sought After Condiments that Enliven the Palate,
and a Gracious Hospitality that only Master Craftsmen can Offer within a Magical Setting.
They serve primarily cold food and there are no warm courses on the menu, which is in fact a perfect way to taste
this region. Now that you are equipped with all the useful information you need, it will be so much simpler for you to choose their offerings, and what they offer is sublime.
We allowed Francesco and Daniela to serve us whatever they liked, and however much they wanted, our family of four were all excited, and they brought us out their best. They started us with little grissini and breads with a seperate selection of olives and croutons and cheese.
First of many cheese plates for our family of four. The experience we had this night is one of the best meals I have had. Every bite was fantastic. Each course was filled with flavors of the area. The wines were equally impressive.
I can only recommend this to any lover of food, wine, and good times; so basically anyone reading this blog.
They presented meat courses interpersed with cheese courses, and cheese courses interspersed with meat courses. Our evening was remarkable. They create their own verisons of these incredible meats and present them with the purest of simplicity. Thinly sliced and cured to perfection: Lardo, Pancetta, Prosciutto, absolutely amazing products.
Normally near the end of one of our vacations we tire of the cold meats and sausages, as they make up a large part of our groceries and we have been eating them often; in parks, on trains, in the mountains, on picnics for lunch, but
tonight it was like we have not been eating these for years;
they present such delicate complex subtle rewards in every mouthful.
This jam was absolutely perfect to accompany these delicate firm cheeses…and our kids loved it by the spoonful.
These condiments all captured the flavors of the moment: Beautiful Plump Juicy Sundried’s, Balsamic Onions; Sticky and Sweet, I would love to be able to make them half this good, Perfectly Ripe Roasted Peppers, Zesty Sweet Invigorating Relish. This was one of those nights when one wishes the meal would last forever.
So many have explained to me over the years that Italian Cuisine is based on simplicity and is rustic, and at times I can agree with that statement, but on this night there is so much more. So much depth, and knowledge, and understanding, and commitment that one must bring forth to be able to produce and also present artisanal products of this quality and show them with so much pride, and harmony, and passion. These products are presented exactly as they should be. The flavors we were experiencing are far from simple. This is when food truly becomes art; when (to repeat so many whom have said this before me) the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts; in this case this encompasses the whole experience. It is representative of the region; the animals, the milk, the grapes, the wine, and the producers the true artisans. Each plate and each glass of wine reflects this and they are so great.
As the evening progressed so did the selections. We were then presented with a Wild Boar Tenderloin with Arugula and Balsamic to drizzle over; three ingredients placed together in complete harmony.
|The Peak of Bettmerhorn
The next course that was brought to us was a complete surprise:
Before we traveled to this part of Italy we spent some days in Switzerland on the other side of these alps in the canton of Valais. The hiking and views were spectacular. We picked alpine strawberries and wild thyme. We enjoyed seeing the sheep and cows with their large bells and we wondered what it would be like to taste the cheese from cows that were grazing on these delectables.
What caught us by surprise was that Francesco brought out our next selection and he excitedly explained to us from where this next cheese comes from high in the alps of Switzerland in Bettmeralp. We then tried to explain that we had recently been there and had not tasted the cheese. This was such a thrill for us.
To accompany this Swiss Cheese from Bettmeralp, Francesco brought out his own Mortadella and he sliced it table side.
Francesco described his approach to his own mortadella.
The Chef’s Prize: It was truly an honor to be served this by him.
Soon out came the Gorgonzola. Complete Perfection!
This was such a wonderful evening dining amongst the fairies. The selections are divine. It is no wonder we why went back.
They are remarkable in all that they offer; truly masters of their craft. I recommend this experience to anyone in the vicinity of Milan and most certainly anyone staying in towns along Lago Maggiore. Reaching Baveno is quite easy by train and makes for a beautiful way to extended your trip.
Ristoro L’Angolo delle Fate
Via Torino, 5, 28831