My OCD-ness came in handy when we were last in Lake Garda. If I hadn't been on a mission to find the picture perfect restaurant I would have ended up eating dirty kebabs with 5 hangry cyclists. Instead we found La Dacia
Picture perfect La Dacia is a gorgeous restaurant in the Bardolino wine region, on the eastern banks of Lago di Garda. This family run restaurant is situated in the hills outside of Bardolino, looking over the Garda valley and Monte Baldo.
This place is one of those restaurants that you just hope to find when you are on holiday in Italy. The food is simple but delicious, the owners are lovely and are happy to chat to you about the region, and the location...well...the photos can say more than I can.
Image credit: Restaurant La Dacia
We were on holiday in the region in 2014 when we came across La Dacia. We’d been cycling that morning and were staying further up the lake in Malcesine. We were keen to dine out for lunch, so thought we’d drive down to the Bardolino area and see what we came across. The others in the car were getting fairly hungry (or hangry is more accurate) by the time we got to the town of Bardolino, and they were pretty much ready to stop at the next cafe we came across and down a kebab.
I had other ideas. I had this image in my mind of sitting in a lovely winery that looked over the lake or the rolling hills, sipping on a nice red and enjoying a bowl of pasta. I’m like a dog with a bone when I get an idea in my head, so I convinced all my hangry cycling friends to stop the car at the tourist information office so I could ask about lunch recommendations. They actually gave me a 5 minute ultimatum before they were driving off to find food down the road.
So I literally ran into the tourist info place, grabbed a map of the area and begged the woman behind the desk to show me her top places to eat that were within a 5km radius. Luckily she was lovely (and could tell I was on a mission) so she quickly recommended we try La Dacia which was not too far up the road. Thanking her I grabbed the map and legged it back to the car. I think they took off while the door was still open. Next time i’ll pack snacks.
We drove up into the hills towards Verona. As we got closer to our destination I started getting a feeling that we were about the hit the lunch jackpot. The area is simply beautiful. It was green and sunny and vineyards spotted the hills. As we drove into the olive tree lined driveway of La Dacia you could not wipe the grin off my face. Set up on a hill, you walk through a flower lined arch into a large front garden with a gorgeous view over the hills. Tables were set up on the lawn under the shady trees.
I looked at my friends smugly. Even they couldn’t deny that this place was beautiful, and they seemed to have forgotten their hangryness and were as excited as I was about whiling away the afternoon in such a lovely spot.
Thank you tourist info office, no kebabs for us today!
We were seated outside, and promptly ordered a couple of bottles of local Bardolino red, sparkling water and got settled in for the afternoon.
The food turned out to be as good as the location. We ordered a couple of antipasto platters and typical italian caprese and melon and prosciutto salads to start. I had a very simple fresh pasta dish for my main, but the others ordered steak and fish and all dishes were gorgeous.
With affogatos and limoncello to finish, this is pretty much how we all ended up.
The menu changes seasonally, but you can be assured that the quality is top notch and the wine list is extensive. Many of the wines are local from the Bardolino region - known for it’s light reds, perfect on a hot summer’s day. Belissimo!
The price was mid-range, it was quite reasonable for the amount of food we ordered. It is a family friendly place with a play area for kids, so the little one’s would be welcome here too. I’d say it would be lycra friendly...most places seem to be in Italy.
So if you are in the area I highly recommend dropping in to La Dacia for lunch. I will most certainly be back!
Take a look at the website for more information on menus and location: www.ristoranteladacia.com