Day 15 – At Restaurant Rodrigo – A Family Affair
During my stay in Griante, Lake Como, I have had the pleasure of becoming familiar with the people and places where I go to have a bite to eat and to feel the vibe. At Restaurant Rodrigo, there is a very special sense of being somewhere between East and West. What I mean is that the restaurant is owned by a family who emigrated to Italy from Istanbul, Turkey. They serve delicious Italian food, not Turkish food because they have been here for the past 35 years. The father, Elvan, is the Chef; Cengiz manages the dining room while Tansu, the daughter, and her husband, Cem, serve with a very friendly and welcoming attitude. Last but not least, the mother, Ümmühan, seems so proud to have her whole family working together.
I had the pleasure of sharing a glass of wine with the family while taking their pictures in this landmark restaurant. Rodrigo Restaurant is located on the shore of the lake with a spectacular view of Lake Como facing Bellagio. The history of Rodrigo Restaurant dates back to the 1920s, which together with Hôtel Belle Vue, became a landmark and part of the history of Cadenabbia. Restaurant Rodrigo first opened as the luxurious Hotel Rodrigo which became one of the most exclusive places in Lake Como. The dining room is in Liberty Style which was used in a number of movie scenes. Liberty style, the Italian variant of Art Nouveau, was popular in large cities outside of Rome, particularly Milan, Palermo and Turin.
The family purchased the restaurant 13 years ago and is now a very popular place on via Regina. Rain or shine, the terrace is a great venue for lunch or dinner and where we celebrated the birthday of my friend, Vivianne, during her visit to Lake Como for the opening of my exhibition at Villa Carlotta. They kindly accommodated our group of eight people from Amsterdam, Germany, Geneva, London and New York. It was a memorable evening in Lake Como at Restaurant Rodrigo where the vibe is about Love, Family & Friends.