I enjoyed a wonderful meal at Ristorante Al Portone and would highly recommend it if you are in Lugano. The ambiance is elegant but unpretentious and the food was delicious. I began with a complimentary amuse bouche -- a surprising sweet and savory eggplant mousse -- followed by agnolotti with ricotta and truffles, lamb, a local Ticino merlot and tiramisu for dessert. Each dish was excellent and it was one of the best meals I've had. What really set Al Portone apart, however, was the warm and impeccable service. Soon after being seated, Mrs. Carré came to the table, welcomed me by name and spent a few minutes in conversation. I was dining alone and throughout the meal service was exquisite but not overbearing. At the close of dinner, Mrs. Carré brought Chef Carré to the table and we spoke a bit more about the meal, the restaurant and my visit to Lugano. They called for a taxi and Mrs. Carré saw me out, even holding an umbrella as I dashed for it in the rain. This is fine dining with the warmth of a family restaurant. Buon appetito!
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