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Image 1: www.casavissani.it Chef: Gianfranco Vissani
Traditional: €100 International €155
À la carte menu: about €40 appetizer and €50 main course
Closed all day Wednesday, end of July, end of August, and Christmas.

Image 2: It was more than an hour drive north of Rome. The restaurant is not easy to find, in the middle of nowhere. It is a mansion right by the lake with dining room on the ground floor and rooms upstairs for guests to stay overnight.

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The restaurant has separate sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.

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The spacious dining room can seat up to 30 diners. It has a large glass window through which you can get a sense of action by observing the 20+ staff in the kitchen.

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Gambero Rosso and L’Espresso, the two most prominent restaurant ratings in Italy, have often ranked Vissani the best restaurant in the country. That's why we had to make a detour from our Rome trip to explore this most highly rated restaurant.

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We had the International menu and they suggested us a full bodied red wine from the region - 1990 Lungarotti San Giorgio, Umbria.

Image 7: Garlic salmon soufflé with a pastry rim. The intense salmon flavour with a creamy texture – very tasty! Strong garlic flavour but not overwhelming. They had a nice variety of warm bread: white, potato, rosemary, olive, onion, and a delicious bread stick.

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The soufflé came with a salad on the side. This salad dressing was light allowing us to get the true flavour out of each fresh vegetable.

Image 9: A delicate arrangement of baby aubergine, zucchini, langoustine, Porcini and finished off with a truffle sauce. It was delicious and needless to say the strong truffle aroma was divine. Langoustine was well cooked and well matched with all the ingredients.

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The langoustine dish was accompanied by a mini mascarpone cheese puff. Dipping it into the delicate truffle sauce was a lovely way to finish this course.

Image 11: A piece of fish resting on ravioli and tribe with onion sauce. It was a local fish from the lake, but the meat was not delicate enough, a bit mushy and chewy. Also, the sauce was dominated by a horribly sharp acidity. We simply could not finish the course.

Image 12: Risotto with mussel and chicken stock. This dish was just too intense, greasy, and salty. The rice was a bit too hard on the inside rather than “al dente”. We could not finish this course either.

Image 13: A rack of lamb was brought in front of us for a plating demonstration. Each dish was plated with two beautiful pieces of lamb on the bone and a mini spinach ricotta pie, decorated with asparagus, red pepper, and carrot; finished off with an almond rosemary sauce with a touch of olive oil. The lamb was remarkably tender and well cooked with a nice pink centre. The distinct almond sauce has a unique flavour to go with the lamb. A very good course!

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We were invited to their piano lounge to enjoy our dessert. They have drawers and displays of various coffee beans, tea leaves, liquors and cigars.

Image 15: The dessert was raspberry and fig sandwiched in between two thin layers of buttery puff pastry dusted with icing sugar. It came with an unusual strawberry omelette on the side, but still, a nice fruity way to finish our evening!

Image 16: And of course, some petits-fours for our tea.

No doubt it was a high quality meal (except for the fish) in a lovely setting. If I am back here again, I will definitely stay overnight to enjoy the surrounding area.

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