The great strength of Ristorante La Marianna is its brilliant host and chef,Tiziano. The setting is beautiful, right on the shore of Lake Como, with meals outdoors on the terrace in good weather, and the staff are friendly and helpful. But it is Tiziano with his imagination, inspiration and industry who makes this a restaurant like few others. Don't expect a choice from a dozen pasta dishes; Ty will explain to you with mock regret that "This is a non-democratic menu - you can eat anything you like, as long as it's what I give you." Don't be put off - what Tiziano gives you are the very best of local ingredients, beautifully crafted into the most imaginative interpretations of traditional dishes. Nothing is ever the same twice - Ty will blame this on 'unreliable suppliers'. But it's much more to do with his inexhaustible imagination and incredible knowledge of just about everything there is to know about food. Each evening (closed Monday) there is a different themed menu: the lake, the countryside, the garden, Grandma's kitchen . . . Ingredients and dishes change as the seasons change. Each course, every dish, is an experience. Some are simple and instantly recognisable - but perfectly prepared and presented - others are so subtle and unexpected, you just think "How did he do that ?" (And if you ask him, Ty will take pride and pleasure in telling you: he wants his customers to love their food as much as he does - and he speaks at least four languages.). Did we mention wine ? Ty must be the terror of the local wine merchants, with his relentless search for exactly the right selection at the most reasonable price. Again, just ask - he will offer you the best wines to complement your meal, without any expectation that you should buy the most expensive from the list. Our best advice is - Don't be put off by the unusual format of the menu, just let Tiziano guide you through it. Try everything. Go back again. And again ! Every night !! The best way to do this, by the way, is to stay in the lovely little B&B above the restaurant, run by Ty's wife Paola, who must be the kindest, gentlest, most helpful hotel manager in the world.
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