There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in highly fashionable Ascona and along its lake promenade. But who knows about Restaurant Marina, located just a stone’s throw farther down by the lake? Better yet, who knows its star designer? He is into colors… and spaghetti!
In restaurants, it is mostly the star chef who is the star. Obviously.
But when the interior design is strikingly “different”, it may mean that one is eating there not just because of the kitchen but also because of the architect and designer.
This is what goes on in the Marina, the fish and pasta restaurant adjacent to the Hotel Eden Roc in Ascona. It is well known for its rooms decorated in accentuated colors in motley style. The guests seem to like it.
It is star architect Carlo Rampazzi who put his signature stamp on the design.
A chance encounter
As chance will have it, today he is sitting at the neighboring table with guests from Milan. Well, maybe a couple of tables away.
With my giant camera I try to draw attention to myself as a travel blogger as conspicuously as possible Katja, embarrassed, harrumphs to get me to sit down, while the server also looks slightly nonplussed.
But all my food photography and practically doing handstands achieve nothing. Rampazzi is too busy and holding forth with sweeping gestures about new projects.
So, I devote myself to enjoying my seabream, the dessert, the view out the window, and my espresso macchiato and then we depart. However, not without me passing noticeably close to his table.
Suddenly, he does recognize us, having run into us the previous evening in the Eden Roc. He actually invites us to come by his studio for a chat!
How that episode turned out is another story. To be exact, in this reportage from his Studio Selvaggio. “Selvaggio”, as everyone knows, means “wild” in Italian…
Mamma mia, hold on to your hats!
Back to Marina Ascona…
At all events, slightly dazzled by the master’s aura, I nearly forgot that I was there to begin with to introduce the restaurant.
Not much to look at from the outside, the Marina building sits in a prime location directly by the lake. Inside is a modern dining room flooded with light and a low-key atmosphere. Said star designer used subtle marine color tones on its interior (but that’s not all he can do!)
Hanging from the ceiling is an eye-catching chandelier and the host chairs — where the tab lands when it’s all over — sport a striking spaghetti design!
In the summer, it’s Mediterranean-style dining on the terrace under the sun umbrellas on the Lago Maggiore shore. The big boys moor their yachts in the house-owned landings; mere mortals like us park in the public lot right next door.
Connoisseurs will know to order the meat or fish dishes from the grill. This time, we give the fish and pasta specialties a try. And, in fact, they are outstanding!
The dessert we chose did not quite hit the same high note, but then it’s always good to have something you can still improve…
And, if you want to reach for an after-dinner libation, you can wave up the liquor cart. It, too, color-wise fits perfectly into the atmospheric ambiance!
Let it be noted that the prices are quite moderate, at least for anyone used to Zurich prices…
Restaurant Eden Roc Marina
Via Albarelle 16
6612 Ascona / Switzerland
Telephone +41 91 785 71 71
Click here for the website.
Opens daily at 10 a.m.
Reserve a table
14 Gault Millau points