Ristronrante Il Cavatappi, Varenna – Food Review

One of the great things about staying at Airbnb is the ability to actually explore smaller towns where hotel choices are a little more limited, and that was the case for Ms. Buddha and I at Varenna. We arrived around late afternoon into Varenna and the friendly people at the Airbnb suggested some of the restaurants in Varenna and thus we decided to take a roam around the town a little before stopping for dinner.

Very Italian

Because the view was just too fantastic, we decided to walk closer to the coast which brought us closer to the more touristy areas and also the ferry stop at Varenna – the town itself is quite walkable (although a lot of stairs) and very tranquil – which is wonderful if you’re looking to relax.

Without really knowing it came across the door and noticed the name on the door matched one of the restaurants recommended to us earlier.


It wasn’t time for them to be opened, but I peered through the window and saw who looked like a manager preparing for the dinner session – he was really friendly and waved me in to see how he can help. Asking for a table for 2, he offered us a table in the alley (outside) and said he will be ready in 30mins – given how friendly he was, it was hard to say no. So we walked around for another 30mins (along with buying some water at the local corner store) and came back a little later to a very welcoming manager plus his fantastic staff.

Specials menu
Starters menu
Mains menu

We looked through the menu and ordered our dishes, and a glass of wine (Red for Ms. Buddha and a Rose for me) whilst we wait.


The staff came back soon after with our starters, with me picking the Culatello Salami with Cheese which was absolutely fantastic – Italians know how to curate their meat and the cheese had a very strong flavour (which is something I’ve grown to like). Ms. Buddha’s dish (Baked melted cheese with egg and fresh tomato) looked even more amazing and when she took a bite, I could tell from her face she’d one the dish selection again – the cheese looked perfectly melted and the eggs apparently added a depth to the flavour that the dish needed.

Culatello Salami
Baked melted cheese with egg and tomato

Being impressed already, the incredibly friendly staff came promptly after finishing our starters to ask how we were (of course fantastic) and we continued to enjoy our wines while we waited for the next course. The wine was just house wine – but heck, in this surrounding with perfect service – anything taste good!

The staff soon came back with my Beef Fillet with potato gratin and Ms. Buddha’s Fillet Trout with asparagus. I have to say that I won on this purely because of the fact that the meat had a very good beef taste (not just fat) and potato gratin was cooked with a lot of flavour whilst still maintaining a lot of the texture. Ms. Buddha was also very pleased with the trout and it looked like they cooked it to just the right level – which is always difficult with fish.

Fillet Trout with asparagus
Beef Fillet with potato gratin

With our bellies mostly filled, it was time for desserts and Ms. Buddha went for the full on Chocolate terrine and I went for something similar to an affogato. Both were fantastic – and a perfect end to the evening!

Chocolate Terrine


If you’re visiting Varenna and are looking for a place for dinner – this place is absolutely recommended – and if the owners ever read this, thanks for the fantastic evening – your team is top notch!


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