Located in a former outdoor swimming pool also known as a “lido”, Lido 84 Ristorante overlooks stunning Lake Garda.
Lido 84 Ristorante lies right along the shoreline of Gardone Riveria, one of the many main towns of the lake. Chef Riccardo Camanini, who was another contributing chef at In Situ, opened the restaurant in 2014 and within six months he earned a Michelin star. The restaurant’s decor pays tribute to 1960s art deco with an intimate yet casual feel with indoor and outdoor dining. No indoor dining was available when we visited but the outdoor seating was beautiful.
Chef Riccardo’s food is influenced by the bounty of seasonal ingredients you’d find in north as well as fish from the lake. They offer a tasting menu as well as à la carte and of course we went with the tasting menu route.
An interesting combination of ingredients started off the meal with this trio of amuse bouches. The toasted bread scented with oregano was the favorite by far.
Breadsticks make another appearance as we’ve had them at almost every fine dining restaurant during our trip. The sherry, tomato, and strawberry drink was refreshing.
Raw oysters were on top of a vibrant grapefruit sauce that had hints of Timbut peppercorn (similar to Sichuan peppercorn). The fig leaf was smoked which added a nice aroma and essence.
Cod fish was paired with local lake fish trippa and was perfectly tempera fried. It was finished off with a honey drizzle and topped off with salty trout roe.
One of their signature dishes is a dish we had in our archives at In Situ. Spaghettoni, a thicker spaghetti, is simply dressed in butter and fresh yeast. It might sound like a strange combination but the butter with the funky yeast flavor made for a delectable dish.
This was another winner where the black garlic risotto had an intense umami taste. The frutti di bosco (mixed berries) sauce added that brightness and acidity needed to cut through the richness of the risotto.
There are two types of sweetbreads: either the neck/throat glands or the “heart” from the pancreas gland. While I’ve only tried the neck/throat type of sweetbreads, this was my first time having the heart sweetbreads. While the size was a little off-putting as it was much larger than the normal sweetbreads I’ve had, the flavor was actually quite good. The sweetbread was very tender and had a nice crust on the outside. The raw carrot tartare on top with mustard seeds added freshness.
Another signature dish of chef Camanini is the cacio e pepe en vessie where all the ingredients are put in the pig’s bladder raw and then cooked in a bain marie for around 30 minutes. While the flavor was completely reminiscent of the classic pasta dish, cheesy and peppery, the texture is very particular by using this cooking method.
The final savory course was a rich lamb dish with homemade brain mayonnaise, sweet apricot, and capers.
Another famous dish of the restaurant was an interpretation of a traditional dessert from the area called torta di rose, a rose shaped cake. With a caramelized exterior and fluffy interior, this croissant like cake was served with a thick Vov-based zabaione (Vov is a type of Italian cream flavored liqueur) and an aromatic sprinkle of Garda lemon zest.
The last dish of the meal was a sweet bruschetta where the “bread” was a thin delicate tuile covered in various fruits even including cherry tomatoes.
Lido 84 Ristorante showcased some exciting dishes with various flavor combinations which I’ve never had. The venue and the atmosphere was a one of a kind experience with gorgeous views of the lake and service was also top notch so my overall rating is an 8/10.