We are blessed to be within a short amble up the lake from one of the best restaurants on the Lake at Pallanza.

Ristorante Milano is intimate, the service warm and impeccable, and the food is a perfectly juded array of local fish, meat, game and vegetables.

After an umami-rich amuse-guele of home made salami with deep-fried courgette flower, the antipasti offer a wonderful choice of sea and lake food. Coregone is a local lake fish which has a firm, meaty texture and tangy flavour. Here marinated in balsamic vinegar in a plate of antipasto with tartare of trout and curried salmon.

The secondi include local beef, and even snails, though this evening we chose pigeon in marsala, cod and, below, grilled bass:

For the second time recently the Zabaglione alla Marsala jumped out from the desert menu. However, this evening it was done with Moscato instead, which gave it a light, more floral perfume than Marsala. But still very heveanly.

The setting is romantic or merely picturesque depending on your company, looking out over the tiny harbour of Pallanza, past the Borromeo Islands to the relatively glitzy lights of Stresa with the sun setting behind the mountains.

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