It’s my last day at the Lake Garda, and so far I haven’t had much luck. The place (Tignale) where I wanted to go for the second day in a row turned out to be unreachable on Sundays, and while stupidly waiting for the bus I missed quite a few opportunities for a daily boat excursion. At the end of the day, I am in Limone – which is always a safe bet – and my expectations are low.
Still, the god of Brettljause had listened to my prayers (not that I had many). Accidentally I landed in a place that had its cold starter actually served on a wooden board and with butter! Whether that had anything to do with the hotel owner’s wife being German I don’t know, but the dish ended up being the closest thing to a Brettljause that I have ever tried south of the South Tyrol.
It looked more impressive than it really was. The pickles came on their own plate and were literally swimming in the “extra virgin” olive oil. The hotel prides itself on having its own herbs garden, and the pickles were spicy indeed, the cucumbers especially. The mushrooms looked too suspicious though, and I did not risk trying them for the sake of being capable of writing these words, but quite possibly, they were very good, too.
The Brettl contained two types of standard Speck (both totally acceptable), some Italian salami (extremely good), a few slices of Chorizo (weird, but OK), some soft cheese with a not-very-strong taste, a pretty generic ham, and some white “Lardo” Speck, which turned out totally disappointing. Its taste and texture were similar to the fat in a “normal” Speck, including the effort required to chew it. It was chewable, I admit, but the process was anything but pleasant.
Although listed in the “starters” section of the menu, this cold plate was far from being small, and if you, like me, are eating alone, taking it and nothing else is completely sufficient. There are better Jausen around, even in Italy, but the view from the restaurant’s terrace is very beautiful, and the waiters/owners are friendly. Going to the Lake Garda may not contribute much to the Brettljause experience, but if you are anyway there and dying for a Brettljause, Al Rio Se is not a bad option at all.