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“Wonderful little place”
Review of Il Cavatappi

Il Cavatappi
Ranked #1 of 33 Restaurants in Varenna
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Reviewed 3 June 2014

I was on a walking tour in Italian Lakes area and one of our guides recommended this little jewel. He was absolutely right. You MUST reserve, especially for a party bigger than 2. The place is tiny - probably fewer than 20 seats. But because of that, and the wonderful attention of the sole front of the house staff member, dining here is like being a guest of a family. A family with a very talented chef, of course. Food, service, wine were all magnificent. A highlight of my visit to Varenna.

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Thank SBS50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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356 - 360 of 655 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2014

During our three night stay in Varenna we had the opportunity to try several local restaurants and Il Cavatappi ("the corkscrew" in English) was by far our favorite. Everything was perfect: a small intimate restaurant (only six inside tables), interesting menu, efficient friendly service and warm inviting surroundings. Their menu features all fresh ingredients plus local produce & seafood. I chose the swordfish which was extremely fresh and covered with a delicious sauce of fresh tomatoes, capers & olives. My spouse chose one of their delicious pasta dishes plus grilled vegetables which were unique in that they were not dry, but moist and flavorful with tasty chickpea crackers. Everything was absolutely delicious! We learned that the chef is vegetarian which is probably why he takes such great pains making sure the vegetable dishes retain their peak flavor. We found one of the main advantages of this restaurant is its small intimate size. At least when we had dinner here all guests were couples. I don't think they can accommodate large groups which is a godsend since they can often be loud and overbearing (a problem we noted in other Varenna restaurants). A truly wonderful experience which we highly recommend.

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Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2014

The old Cavatappi intimacy is celebrated in a rinnovated and elegant new image. The chef (Riccardo) and the maitre (Giuseppe) have rebuilt a new great place through a special attention to details,overcoming the random behaviour of the previous owner
The menu is rich of italian peculiar ingredients prepared with great care, tastefully and well presented with a strong attention to the foreigner expectation. The starter "verdure alla griglia con farinata di ceci" is a taste explosion bringing to an imaginary trip from Liguria to Sicily. The local fish "lavarello" with italian "radicchio" and pumpkin sauce are a memory of the lake. The offer is distinguishing as quality, taste and attention from the other conventional place. Wide wine selection without shooting for high price and an overall excellent price for high quality. A relaxing experience trough a tastefull journey across italian cousine.

1  Thank Emmaxel2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

After reading the TA reviews saying how good the previous restaurant owner was and how it is under new management, we were sceptical of going to this restaurant, but due to strong winds and unseasonably cold temperatures, we stumbled into the closest restaurant to the hotel. Boy were we glad! Only a tiny place with one chef and one odd looking waiter, this 2 man show worked wonders on a full restaurant. The food was absolutely sensational, and so was the service! What a find! Don't know what the previous restaurant was like, but I give this one a 5 star rating! If you like sophisticated Italian food with a twist, look no further.

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Thank Miki K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

It is with great sadness that I inform my fellow travellers that Mario, the chef proprietor of Il Cavatappi, has sold the restaurant and retired. This cosy restaurant with just five tables was widely considered to be the best in Varenna, popular with tourists and locals alike. Sadly, the new proprietors have failed to reproduce the explosion of flavours that Mario managed to achieve from simple but excellent quality ingredients. I visited recently and had the starter of Ravioli with Pesto. The pasta was too thick and the sauce was bland and uninteresting. My companion agreed and felt that it was necessary to refer back to the menu to remind ourselves what it was we were eating. The main course of lamb was tender but the accompanying sauce was flavourless and my companion's steak was perfectly cooked but the sauce mediocre. I can only report that our meal was no better and no worse than any of the other restaurants in the town and that previous reviews need to be disregarded.

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2  Thank Reprint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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