One of the highlights of my recent trip to Lake Como was my experience dining at L~Aria restaurant at the newly opened Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the shores of the breathtaking lakeshore. Set in a separate lakefront glass building, a short walk from the main hotel. This is the property’s formal restaurant. Although it serves breakfast daily, at dinner it transforms into a refined, elegant gastronomic temple that is Michelin worthy. We received highly personal service and hospitality from the moment we arrived. Under the guidance of executive Chef Vincenzo Guarino, we were taken on a taste adventure.

You are offered a tasting menu or a la carte. This is not Nona’s cooking, although the food is approachable, it’s artfully prepared. The chef delivers regional specialties with the freshest flavours and a modern twist. So for instance, when I want to order tomatoes for my starter I get a delightful plate called Green Me Five, a field salad with five types of tomatoes that are bursting with flavour, eggplant, basil sponge and caper powder. Or Green Gold, a creamy risotto with watercress, smoked eel, lemon jelly and “crusco” pepper powder. The sea bass covered in a basket of zucchini, and zucchini foam. The chef serves a tender wagyu sirloin with a yellow peach brunoise accompanied by horseradish potatoes and spinach. It is not often I find good beef in Italy. The chef was artistic and creative and the Mandarin Oriental creates the ultimate stage for him to express his talents.

There were a half dozen choices of dessert. With chocolate, fruit, gelato and gluten-free selections.

You can dine indoors or on the romantic terrace. Either way, you will be treated to the most spectacular views. Finding well-dressed guests and old-world glamour, you will be treated to a luxurious evening that you will not soon forget.

Happy dining,

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