I’ve visited Lake Como on at least five different occasions and my favourite restaurant was always Il Gato Nero, “The Black Cat”. It still is a popular restaurant with visiting celebrities and tourists. First of all the panoramic views of Lake Como are truly breathtaking. To arrive here you must drive up, up, and up the mountain of Cernobbio until you reach this destination. The restaurant is located on several levels. Make sure you request a terrace table and come early enough to enjoy the incredible scenery, as it really is one of the most beautiful settings in the world.

On this occasion, we were shocked to see how subpar things had become. We were stuck with a lackluster server, who spoke little English which is strange for this touristy establishment. He had no suggestions or recommendations on food or wine, and he was rushed. The restaurant was jammed packed and there was no social distancing during a pandemic. It took almost an hour to receive our first course. They saw how upset we were and eventually switched our server halfway through our dinner. What a difference, she was professional, knowledgeable, and charming. I only wished she took our order as she knew all the signature dishes, and we did make some mistakes with our order. The menu is huge and overwhelming. We hadn’t been in several years and really could have used some assistance.

So our wine was mediocre, and our pasta with truffles was surprisingly tasteless. The red prawn carpaccio with pistachios, burrata cheese, and raspberries was a better choice. The risotto with shrimps and Franciacorta wine was good but we had much better risotto dishes in Milan. The tiramisu at dessert was a good choice too.

Our dinner ended up being almost a three hour dragged out event that was twice as long as it should have been.

We were disappointed this evening and we had such high expectations. Would I ever go back? Yes, I am hoping this was just an exception and not the rule. Sometimes a restaurant has an off night. After all, if it is good enough for George Clooney and Amal …

I recommend either driving yourself or get a private driver to come here as it is difficult to find a taxi after you dine to return back to your lodging.

Happy dining,
Shanea

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