Ristorante da Enzo: Traditional Ticino Grotto with a fine-dining twist
Text: Jessica Holzhausen | Photos: Ristorante Da Enzo
Ticino has a few rather magical spots to its name and the traditional Grotti restaurants are most certainly among them. Ristorante Da Enzo’s garden is a natural paradise that seems to be cut directly into the surrounding rocks, making it an ideal place to enjoy a fine-dining experience influenced by Mediterranean cooking and fresh produce from the Alps, combined with the hospitality of a family-run business.
Ristorante Da Enzo lies in Ponte Brolla at the entrance to the Maggia valley close to Ticino, the wild archaic part of the region with its untamed streams, abundant palm trees and vegetation, close to the mountains. The landscape combines the mild climate of the Mediterranean with the roughness of the Alps. The often family-owned Grotti, with their typical regional cuisine, are an essential part of this unique region.
“My parents established Ristorante da Enzo in a traditional Grotto,” says Sergio Andreatta, who after studying business took over the restaurant with a fresh new perspective. Both parents still help out, though, and especially father Enzo keeps a close eye on the family business.
The restaurant’s garden is practically tropical, with bamboo and palm trees, rose bushes and bare rocks. With great effort, the owners have set up artwork in the garden space. The protected location makes the garden an ideal place to dine outside, even in the evening hours after dark – from May until late September. For the colder days, meanwhile, the restaurant has a cosy indoor space with open fireplace.
The dishes reflect this unique atmosphere and the long Grotti tradition. Fresh local and seasonal produce is important, explains Sergio Andreatta: “We create a new taster menu every day,” he reveals, depending on what local suppliers have to offer. That is why many of the guests are regulars: there is always something new to discover.
The Mediterranean menu includes meat from the Alps and fresh fish: a delicate veal cutlet or spaghetti with lobster, juicy tomatoes in summer and earthy mushrooms in winter. “Risotto is also always present in Ticino cuisine. We are close to Piermont, after all, where risotto was originally invented.” The kitchen team is given free rein to use its creativity to develop new taste experiences – which of course will get a final approval by the head chef first, before being served to customers.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email