We saw this restaurant during a walk around town; it's hard to miss, right on the main square with a picture-perfect setting on the shores of the lake, looking out across to the island. "Tourist trap" we thought, "the prices will be high and the food only average".
So we'd planned to eat at another restaurant for our first night in Orta San Giulio, but as it happened it was closed that night. So we ended up at Ristorante Venus anyway, and managed to score ourselves a table right on the lake's edge. What a perfect setting for an evening meal, looking over the water to the island as the sun slowly sets and the lights on the island make it even more magical. Definitely a beautiful spot. But what about the food and service?
So we were very pleasantly surprised; despite our low expectations we found both the service and the food very good. Even the prices were not unreasonable, especially compared with some of the other places in town. We had a couple of drinks, one main course dish each and a coffee - all for 48 euros. The waitress was very accommodating and we almost felt like we should apologise for having had such low expectations of the place.
We lingered over coffee as the lights on the island became brighter, and the ducks on the lakeside finally decided to head to their roosts for the night. In the end we were glad that the other restaurant (which had only indoor seating) was closed that day.
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