On this trip to Italy, I was hoping we'd find a number of restaurants small local restaurants with reasonably-priced great food and wine. Il Vicoletto is just the type of place I was looking for. We arrived on a cool and rainy June night, so we opted to eat inside in the nicely-appointed dining room, although a few hardy soles were eating outside. Service by the two women in the front of the house was friendly and efficient. Food was excellent: light-as-air gnocchi in a simple fresh tomato sauce, burratta cheese-filled ravioli in a light sauce which didn't detract from the delicate flavor of the cheese, and perfectly-prepared lamb, served sliced on the plate with an eggplant sauce which was flavorful but complementary to the lamb. And while it seems every restaurant in Italy is on the warm/molten chocolate cake/souffle kick, few do it very well -- but this Valrhona chocolate souffle with a soft interior was right on the money; perhaps not local cooking, but a wonderful finish to the meal. A nice wine list featured wines from all the major regions in the northern half of the country; we enjoyed a modestly priced (22€) 2008 Barbera D'Alba which was quite good. There is a free parking lot around the corner, although finding your way in the narrow streets in this part of the town can be a little hit-or-miss if you're driving. Il Vicoletto delivered just the type of meal we were looking for -- very good food, reasonable prices, nice service. The menu has enough variety (we skipped the appetizer course completely, because we weren't hungry enough for a full 4-course meal; there were fish and beef selections on the menu as well) to satisfy most groups of diners. If you're in Stresa, a nice meal awaits at Il Vicoletto.
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