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Il Gatto Nero – Cernobbio, Italy

November 7th, 2009 · No Comments

Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy
Recommended by a friend who had been to Cernobbio before, we made a reservation about a month before coming to Cernobbio. The lady at the local tourist office told us it would be a short walk up from our hotel, but after walking up the mountain 20 minutes from our hotel, and realizing it would be another 20 minutes away (it was hot, we were not in walking shoes), we retreated down the mountain to get our super-fun Cinquecento to take us to the restaurant.

This restaurant has spectacular evening views of the lake, particularly if you can snag a table out on the veranda (caveat – this is also where smoking diners choose to dine). The food is average/above average but the price is definitely above average – you are paying for the view. That being said, the carnaroli risotto with zuchino and bacon finished off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil was a savory flavour combination which hit the spot. The shrimp and asparagus risotto was slightly heavier and richer with a definite seafood base which might turn some off due to its strong fishiness. The wild sea bass cooked mediterranean style was a generous portion of two fillets of fish but it was rather underflavoured for my tastes – although this could be due to the type of mediterranean dish that I chose- being cooked (slightly overdone) with olive oil, olives and capers. The tastiest bit was actually the small anchovy that was laid along the side of the plate.
Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy
The vitello tonnato was delicious. This dish is almost-rare slices of veal served with a sauce that is basically a mix of tuna and mayonnaise, although I suspect it is much heavier on the mayonnaise than on the tuna. Of course it was delicious! Cold slices of veal with mayonnaise flavoured with a hint of tuna, served with olives – no big surprise that I found it tasty. I’d have this dish again, but for the unadventurous or unadvised, if you haven’t had this dish before and are expecting some kind of hot veal steak, you may wish to stay away. Not for the average North American palate.

The wines varied in price with an extensive list of full and half bottles. Our major complaint here was the dessert – 12 Euros for a tiny glass of cantaloupe sorbet with a few bits of chopped fresh cantaloupe sprinkled on top. Really – I have no problem paying money for good food – but this wasn’t good food, nobody put any effort into its production or presentation, and this is the kind of dish that no restaurant should serve, ever.
Il Gatto Nero - Cernobbio, Italy
The restaurant is also quite busy and relatively loud. Overall, if you are looking for a view with some rather pricey food then maybe this is the place for you. Most of the antipasti were €10-€20, primi were around €15-€20 and most of the secondi were €20-€30. Personally, I would rather get better food elsewhere and hike up to a viewpoint at another time….and as an FYI, the restaurant has a €5 per person cover charge. Service was fine, if a bit gruff; the food came quickly, but we never felt rushed to finish our meal.

Look – it’s a tourist town, full of rich people and rich tourists. This is a nice-enough restaurant with a great view of the lake and town. Go, enjoy the view, don’t expect wonders from the food, and enjoy your evening. It’s not a place for bon vivants, but I don’t think we were expecting it to be. Just remember to take a cab or to drive – or at least, wear your walking shoes – it’s further than it looks on the map.

Il Gato Nero
Via Monte Santo, 69
22012 Cernobbio (Como), Italy
Tel: +039.031.512042

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Tags: Italian

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