Working around the long-forgotten definition of luxury, the restaurant Il Malatesta is simple, and the owners infuse it with so much passion and love, that you'll scramble to discover the magic that surrounds this 'homely' place
By: Soumya Jain
Posted on: April 10, 2011
Working around the long-forgotten definition of luxury, the restaurant Il Malatesta is simple, and the owners infuse it with so much passion and love, that you’ll scramble to discover the magic that surrounds this ‘homely’ place.
Everyone has a different definition of luxury. For many, luxury is doing something which they usually don’t get the time to do. For others it is associated with glamour and opulence. Then there is another luxury which I recently realized: simplicity and grace.
Located on the coastal town of Muralto in the breathtaking Switzerland, the restaurant Il Malatesta taught me how you could be luxurious without being ostentatious. Il Malatesta is luxury because it gives you an experience which is unique, yet simply homely.
Mr Ruben Cecco, one of the owners of the restaurant, says it aptly, “We wanted to convey the feeling of being welcome in a friend’s home. The philosophy is the new luxury of simplicity.”
A labour of love of Mr Cecco (who looks after the creative part of the restaurant) and Chef Franco Malatesta, they both have years of experience in their fields. “We’re a couple and we wanted to share the passion we have for the kitchen. Franco with an experience of 15 years as a chef and I with my creativity and good taste always see beyond the lines,” explains Mr Cecco.
Located in a house that is more than 100 years old, Il Malatesta looks magical - exclusive and romantic. The style of the décor is simple, elegant but not luxurious in the conventional sense. It is nice but not excessive. The covered terrace overlooks the lake. Inside, the restaurant is divided into three connected rooms where the last, the smallest, is dominated by a fireplace. It creates a dreamy atmosphere that you will surely want to experience with your partner.
Their picturesque winery is worth sampling of course. It includes few exclusive Swiss and Italian labels, with some lesser-known varieties worthy of being discovered. The signature is the Merlot Riserva ‘The Malatesta’, which has been vinified on the farm of La Minerva Camorino.
Designed for 40 people inside and 35 outside, the restaurant does not aim to make it a huge place overrunning with diners. It is exclusive and intimately private.
Il Malatesta honours traditional cooking. The cuisine is set according to the season and the menu changes from month to month. A good way to ensure that diners keep coming back to sample the delectable food here!
Using only locally produced ingredients, the restaurant indulges in creative cooking, “because we enjoy cooking, it relaxes us, frees our imagination and gives us the sense of an ancient rite to share with others.” Mr Cecco continues, “All our dishes are homemade and worth tasting. Every day we prepare fresh tagliatelle and dumplings. Vegetables are selected according to the seasons. The meat is Swiss and strictly first class. Our fillet of beef is a must. The fish is fresh and cooked natural!”
Try their Ham fried dumplings; the dried meat of Mesolcina and rosemary panna cotta; and pan-fried scallops with fried carrots and yoghurt sauce. Your appetite will be wonderfully ready to sample some more of their homemade cooking with the lake creating a beautiful vision for your eyes.
The Risotto ‘Terreni alla Maggia’ with crispy artichokes and parmesan will delight you. It is quite an idea to bring two contrary ingredients in a dish. The parmesan softly melts in your mouth while the artichokes provide a tangy taste to the dish.
For the second course, as mentioned by Mr Cecco before, the raw fillet of beef, dressed in merlot sauce, red onion and potato, and leek pies is a must. Add the fillet of sea bream and julienne vegetables in your order, and you are done for the day. Don’t forget to sample a selection of cheeses from the Swiss mountains.
You can’t go back with having a Swiss dessert! So call the ‘Bonet’ Chocolate to your aid and couple it with white Merlot sabayon and vanilla ice cream.
Once here, you will want to settle down in this restaurant forever. And why not? You get to taste a newly prepared menu every month!
Coordinates: Il Malatesta, Via dei Pescatori 8-6600 Muralto, Switzerland
Timings: Lunch - 11.30 to 14.00
Dinner - 18.00 to 24.00
Closed on Tuesdays.
For information and reservations, call +41 (0) 91 730 15 24 or email at [email protected]