Better late than never trip report :) This was such an amazing trip!!! I think I gained 10 pounds. The best parts and flavors are ingrained in my soul but I'll do my best to remember the specifics.
First off, Varenna & the lakes. The first day we arrived, all sleepy and happy and the sun was shining. From here the weather turned rainy and gray which kind of put a damper on things but we persevered! The food choices here were pretty miserable & very touristy (I had been warned).
The first night we tried to have a proper dinner at ll Cavatappi which was this super adorable restaurant hidden down an alley which took us about 30 mins to locate. Reservations were a must, the place was packed & dinner started off promising with an eggplant olive mouse amuse but sadly ended up with some almost inedible frozen lake trout and eggplant lasagna. I was however thankfully a big fan of the local white wine (Lugana). We had a "pretty good" dinner at Monamour which we decided on trying after much debate and walking back and forth in the rain. It was a cold and rainy night and some baked gnocchi did hit the spot. Hubby had Eggplant ravioli which he enjoyed as you could really taste the eggplant, it was minimally prepared. I wouldn't be rushing back there but when in Varenna...it was a safe bet.
Bar Il Molo became our go to spot for spritz's and pizza overlooking the lake. The spritz's were great and the service was friendly. Couldn't beat the view.
The best meal we had in this region was a lunch in Bellagio at Bilacus. Beautiful seating area on the patio outside with nice views. Hubby almost died at first bite of his suckling pig. He described it at as being similar to pork belly but with slices of ham inside, crispy on both sides & served with sweet onions. I had the penne arribiata which was light, fresh, and tangy with a deep heat to it. Gorgeous rocket salad, spicy and perfect.
Other tasty bites had in the region were some "street food" (round artesian sandwiches) and craft beers at Tigellabella in Como. Also, memorable was when we ordered some Americano cocktails waiting for our boat back to Varenna and the surprise of the massive Aperitivo spread that came along with it :). First of MANY!