Bellagio, Lake Como: Trattoria San Giacomo

by gigi on February 9, 2009

Jenkins and I took a short ferry ride to Bellagio one day and spent pretty much the entire day there. If Bellagio rings a bell to you, it may possibly be due to one of 2 reasons: (1) it’s where the Bellagio hotel from Las Vegas got its inspiration or (2) it’s where George Clooney owns a lakeside villa and is frequently seen vacationing there. Unfortunately, Jenkins and I never caught a glimpse of George except on this street-side poster of celebrity sightings in town: :)


We spent the day walking around town and enjoying the simple life. I think I must have eaten freshly-made gelato at least 2-3 time that day alone but in my rush to polish off my gelato, I forgot to take pictures. I have to report though that they were all very tasty with my favourite flavours being pistachio and hazelnut (nocciola).

We decided to stay in Bellagio for dinner since we had already tried quite a few of the restaurants in Varenna. One of our guidebooks suggested Trattoria San Giacomo for a laid-back and cheap meal and was open for dinner relatively early by Italian standards at 7:30PM so our decision was pretty much made for us.


Jenkins and I ordered a bottle of bubbly water and quickly started munching on the freshly baked buns our server provided for us.


Jenkins ordered the braised chicken with polenta. The chicken was cooked with a variety of vegetables including carrots, celery, and tomatoes. It was kind of funny but Jenkins said the chicken had an almost Asian home cooking taste to it. It’s his theory that home-cooked meals from Italian and Chinese meals have the same base ingredients and sometimes taste similar. :)The polenta did not have too much flavour to it on its own but soaked up all the delicious juices from the chicken, which made it quite tasty.


I checked out all the menu items on the seasonal menu and noticed that mushrooms played quite a big part in almost all the meals. I figured it must have been mushroom season in the region and since I was also craving pasta, I ordered the mushroom fettuccini. I can’t remember the type of mushrooms that were used but they had a very hearty texture to it and had a fresh taste that permeated through the pasta. The white wine sauce used was not heavy or oily at all and went excellently with the al dente pasta.


For dessert, Jenins and I shared the home-made tiramisu. It was quite simply made and had a light and slightly creamy texture to it from the mascarpone cheese. The tiramisu didn’t have any lady fingers on the bottom though but it had the coffee liqueur flavour mixed through with the mascarpone.


Altogether, it was quite an enjoyable meal. The restaurant was half full when we arrived but by the time we left about 1.5 hours later, it was fully seated and had a small crowd of people waiting outside. Good thing it was not raining that day so it was ok for people to mill about outdoors. :)

Salita Serbelloni, 45, 22021 Bellagio – Italy

Food: [rating:3.5]
Service: [rating:3]
Price: $$

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