> SlowTrav > Italy > Restaurants > Reviews > Lombardy

Sirmione: Il Girasole

Via Vittorio Emanuele, 72 Sirmione , Phone: 030.9191.82
Closing day: limited to Saturday lunches in January and February, otherwise open for lunch and dinner every day

Reviewed by: Stefania from OR, review #3056

When: 2008

Deliriously delicious local seafood and produce

Directions: Follow the main pedestrian path down the length of the peninsula toward the main attraction, the Terme di Catullo. You'll find the welcoming veranda on your right hand side.

As I was exploring the lakes of Lombardy this July, I stumbled upon Il Girasole of Sirmione on Lake Garda. I found that, though situated in a zone highly frequented by tourists, the restaurant offered a sophisticated menu of local delights. I was traveling alone and this seemed to catch the attention of the waitstaff and made them curious and extra attentive.

Since I had decided that this meal was to be my big splash out on an otherwise low-budget trip, I ordered things I would never have the opportunity to savor in my usual environs. I tried an extraordinary sampler of local seafood that included crayfish, two smoked fish and spoonful of freshwater caviar. The portions were ideal for sampling and not over indulging on a hot summer's day. Unable to resist the luscious dessert menu, I opted for the vanilla pastry with local fruits of the forest.

Chef Riccardo Genovesi was kind enough to offer a view of his kitchen and a description of his methods of acquiring the freshest produce. When I asked him for advice in creating the best limoncello, he explained his recipe and gave me a sampling of both his house-made limoncello and coffee liqueur. I've never tasted anything comparable!

About an hour after leaving the restaurant, I realized that in my distracted curiosity, I had neglected to pay my bill! I sprinted back, hoping to catch a staff member before the establishment closed for the afternoon. Chef Genovesi said he had known that I was the kind of customer that would come back when I remembered. I knew I was in the presence of gentility, because neither he nor his staff would have ever reminded me or tracked me down.

I highly recommend both Sirmione and Il Girasole!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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