Review: La Veranda Restaurant Lugano

Review: La Veranda Restaurant Lugano
Al Fresco Dining at La Veranda Restaurant, Lugano, Switzerland

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La Veranda Restaurant at the Splendide Royal Hotel is located in Lugano, in Italian speaking Switzerland. Lugano is a little over a 1 hour train ride from Milan, making it an easy day trip from Italy.

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La Veranda Hours

La Veranda Restaurant is open daily for lunch, from 12noon to 2:30pm, and for dinner 7-10:30pm. Since there's limited outdoor seating, I recommend making reservations in advance if you'd like to dine al fresco, with a view of the lake. Our emails to restaurant@splendide.ch were replied to promptly, confirming our reservation.

La Veranda Restaurant Menu and Food

La Veranda's menu changes seasonally, so expect some new and different dishes than the ones on this menu, which was from summer 2019.

La Veranda Lugano Menu-Appetizers
La Veranda Lugano Menu-Pasta
La Veranda Lugano Menu-Flambe Dishes
La Veranda Lugano Menu-Fish Dishes
La Veranda Lugano Menu-Meat Dishes

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La Veranda has a kids' menu, which we made use of to order two dishes for our son, since he was ravenous. Given that appetizers are on the regular menu are in the ~CHF 25 range, and mains are CHF 42-70, the kids' menu is excellent value, with pasta and risotto dishes for CHF 10-14.

La Veranda Lugano Kids' Menu
La Veranda Lugano Kids' Menu

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After ordering, our server brought us a bread basket, with several types of rolls and focaccia. All of the breads were fresh and tasty, but the focaccia was easily our favorite.

Bread Basket, La Veranda Lugano Review

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We asked for a reasonably priced local Ticino white wine recommendation, which turned out to be this excellent Il Bianco Di Chiara, a white Merlot:

Il Bianco Di Chiara Ticino White Wine
Local Ticino White Wine

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There was a vegetable amuse bouche that was fine, although not memorable.

Amuse Bouche, La Veranda Lugano Review
Amuse Bouche, La Veranda Restaurant, Lugano

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We shared an appetizer of zucchini blossom stuffed with mushrooms, with a truffle sauce. It was beautifully plated, with generous shavings of truffles, and very good, although ultimately I've had better zucchini blossom dishes.

Zucchini Blossom Stuffed with Mushrooms, with Truffle Sauce, La Veranda Lugano Review
Zucchini Blossom Stuffed with Mushrooms, with Truffle Sauce, La Veranda

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Our son's first dish was a gorgeously hued saffron risotto, a specialty of this region and Milan. Simple, but so flavorful, and as you'd expect, perfectly cooked. It also looked to be a regular size first course portion–an even better deal than expected from the kids' menu. This happily allowed several tax bites from the parents.

Saffron Risotto, La Veranda Lugano Review

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Our son's other dish was a Pennette with Bolognese Sauce, also simple and hearty, but well made. And our friendly server indulged our son's desire to have it with a great deal of Parmesan, freshly grated over it at the table.

Penne with Bolognese Sauce, La Veranda Lugano Review

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My husband and I also chose pasta dishes and shared them. This ravioli with eggplant and cherry tomato was as delicious as it looked, so much so that I wished there were a few more ravioli on the plate.

Ravioli with Eggplant and Tomato, La Veranda Lugano Review

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The gnocchi with lemon and clams was my choice, which my husband was a bit dubious about, as typically he doesn't care for seafood combined with pasta. He made an exception in this case, however, as it was an incredibly satisfying dish.

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The dessert menu had several choices and also a cheese plate option, but we were in the mood to share the molten chocolate cake dessert, which the menu stated took 15 minutes to prepare. I therefore ordered it just as we were finishing up our savory dishes.

Unfortunately, the 15 minutes turned into 20 minutes, then 25 minutes, and 30 minutes. I kept asking about the dessert, and was told it would arrive soon. Finally, annoyed, I asked for it to be taken off our bill. They did ultimately deliver it to our room, nonetheless, the ice cream melting, and the cake was delicious and molten inside–but unless you're happy with a very leisurely end of the meal, I wouldn't risk ordering it.

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The Verdict

We had an excellent dinner at La Veranda, at least until the protracted wait for the dessert. We focused on the pasta dishes and risotto, which were all superb. The appetizer of zucchini blossom with mushrooms and truffle sauce was fine, but I've had better zucchini blossom preparations. The local Ticino white wine was especially nice, and since so much of Swiss wine isn't exported or is hard to find, I recommend trying a local selection. Service was attentive and professional, and if back in Lugano, we'd return–but probably not risk the wait for dessert by again going early and skipping dessert.

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