The high point of our short stay in Garda, Italy, along the beautiful lake of the same name, was a surprising dinner at the Trattoria al Graspo. It was almost full and we got the last table on the sidewalk. The other clients were mostly locals, talking and eating and generally having a good time.
Always eat where it’s busy, is a rule for safe dining in a strange place, so we sat down and a nice young man asked us if we wanted white or red, warned us that there was no menu and only fish and when we didn’t get up to go, they started bringing the plates. One after another until the chef got tired. Let me see if I can remember what was in all these lovely fishy dishes.
Squid with tomatoes and yellow bell peppers – it was dressed with a bit of oil, lemon juice and herbs
Octopus Salsa and Sardines with sweet carmelized onions with grapes
Carpaccio Seabass with raddicio
Tempura with shrimp, calamari, sardines served with lemon
Sea bass with rice and fennel
Mussels in white wine
Anchovies with potato / anchovies filet in lemon juice and shrimp in cocktail sauce
Scallops, cooked shrimp, snail, and raw shrimp on lettuce with a pesto dressing
Pasta with squid and mussels
Polenta with whitefish cream and curried tuna or maybe it was makrell
I actually sighed when they came with this last dish because we were getting really full and had sat there for a couple of hours now. Definitely enjoying our visit, but ready to hit the sack after a long day of driving over the Brenner Pass. The waiter smiled and said “Last one”, I guess he was also a little tired of running back and forth to the kitchen.
Cherries, chocolate cake and cookies with double espresso and lemon crème
It was a perfect meal with just a little of everything. As you can see they didn’t have a set of matched anything. Our glasses, the plates were mix and match from modern to grandmas cupboard to military aluminum. It worked.
I actually didn’t even notice until I looked at the pictures, that it was such a hodge podge.
The chef Luca strikes me as the kind of person you would definitely want to know if you were living in Garda. He came out several times to see if everyone was enjoying themselves. When we left he gave us a bottle of wine with his own lovely picture on it and wished us a nice trip.
I can’t even remember how much we paid for the meal, which makes me think that it was so reasonably priced that it didn’t call for archiving. Luca’s place is located at the top of the walking street in Garda at the round-a-bout which makes for some interesting people watching while you are eating.