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A pink shiny classic porcelain bonbonniere. This was the only thing on my table that caught my attention when I arrived at Lido 84, a unique Italian restaurant located by lake Garda. Is it filled with tiny snacks, sugar cubes or simply nothing? I was about to find out the answer to my question when one of the restaurant owners came to welcome me.

I guess I had to wait before satisfying my curiosity since some creative delicious bites had just landed on my table. All I cared about now was exploring new flavours and interesting wine pairings but also learning more about this colourful and unusual place.

I went for the ‘Oscillazioni’ menu, which, according to restaurant Lido 84, is ideal for all the curious food lovers that are happy to let their curiosity ‘swing’. Speaking about curiosity, I was still curious to find out what was hiding in that pink porcelain bonbonniere! I was about to finally solve the mystery, when the first course arrived.

This was just the beginning of an unexpectedly creative and delicious Italian lunch. I just knew that for the following couple of hours, I would be enjoying some of the best pasta dishes I had ever tasted and not only.

The menu at Lido 84 has an amazing flow, and somehow every dish prepares you for the next one. But the best part is the ingredients that Riccardo Camanini selects for his creations; it is not only about prestigious or ‘highly respected’ ingredients. Quite the opposite I would say.

He takes some of the most ‘humble’ or everyday ingredients and by adding a touch of imagination he manages to transform them into something truly unique and delicious.

Have you ever tried spaghettoni with fresh yeast? What about cacio e pepe ‘en vessie’? Simply perfect! They say that in Italy there are more than 300 pasta dishes depending on their shape, ingredients and cooking style. I haven’t tasted them all, but I am sure that Lido 84 serves some of the best ones.

Seven dishes, a few glasses of wine and a couple of hours later not only I was amazed by the food itself but I was also surprised how accurately the owners of Lido 84 had managed to describe their menu in a few words: ‘swinging between sharp tastes and charming contrasts’. And that’s exactly what it was.

This beautiful dining experience ended with a big goodbye smile from Riccardo Camanini himself. Is he going to be one of Italy’s top chefs? Yes… but then, who am I to judge! All I know is that I can’t wait to go back there and try some more of his creative dishes. And for those who wonder if I solved the pink porcelain bonbonniere’s mystery, yes, I finally did. But I’ll let you discover the answer yourself!

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