Desenzano – Osteria La Contrada

lake garda cover small

Old Port – Photo © DonnyJ

Recommended: Restaurant

Via Bagatta 12
Tel. 030 9142514
Closed Wednesday and Thursday lunch
Open: lunch and dinner
Holidays: variable
Seating: 40 + 12 outdoors
Prices: 30 euro, wine excluded
All credit cards, Bancomat

Via Bagatta is a quiet little street which leads from the porticos to the upper part of Desenzano and is home to this tastefully decorated restaurant with just a few tables, owned by Marta Zancarli. She is committed to promoting the local area and its produce, and her menu revolves around specialties from the lake.

The antipasti, for example, include fish like pike in salsa and marinated trout and char terrine. There are also cured meats from local artisanal producers. On our visit we then sampled the lakefish-filled ravioli al pescato di lago and garganelli with trout ragu; as well as some tasty bigoli made with a press the traditional way, then tossed in salami pesto, and the excellent tagliolini with Valle Sabbia Bagoss (a Slow Food Presidium).

The main courses included a light mixed fry of lake fish and river prawns with zucchini tempura. Highly recommended are the pike alla pescatora and the roast whitefish. For those who prefer meat, there’s roast quail, in season stuffed with porcini, or rack of lamb with aromatic herbs. A good Italian cheese board and a millefeuille with fresh fruit or chocolate cake provide the perfect finish.

The meal is accompanied with good Wines from the area or various regions of Italy

Courtesy in part of  Osterie e locande d’Italia Slow food editore

To see in Desenzano…

Just around the corner in Via Castello, Cavallaio sells fresh fish from the lake, plus wonderful sardines perfect for grilling.

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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