Does your desire to travel and find the best culinary experiences push you more and more to hidden places? Then Croma Lago situated on the shores of Lago di Vico (Lake Vico), is the perfect restaurant for you! In the heart of Tuscia, 60 km (37 miles) from Rome, this restaurant and stunning view will fill you with beautiful emotions and make you want to return.
Andrea Fanti, executive chef and one of the owners of the Croma Lago restaurant, brilliantly envisioned that a remote restaurant hidden within the natural reserve of the volcanic lake of Cimini Mountains, could be the right repose for travelers looking for fine food and unspoiled nature. And his intuition proved to be successful since Croma Lago is well-known and appreciated by all the best gastronomic guides.
It’s all thanks to his grandmothers
What makes Croma Lago’s formula successful is Andrea Fanti. This talented young chef also owns another restaurant in Nepi called Croma Terra. As the names suggest, the two restaurants recall the colors and flavors of the lake and the land.
Chef Andrea grew up between Florence and Viterbo. The desire to tell his origins through his cuisine comes directly from his life experiences and memories.
As a child, he loved to peek in the kitchen while his grandmothers were busy cooking tasty recipes. He still remembers steam billowing from pots and the smell of ribollita and acquacotta: soups of Tuscany and Lazio regions, containing bread, various local ingredients, and dressed with olive oil.
Chef Andrea spent the best moments of his childhood at the table with his family, especially during Sunday lunches — typical of the Italian tradition. Over the years, his passion for cooking has become a tribute to his grandmothers whom he considers his first teachers. Now the young chef can’t help but bring suitcases of past emotions to the table with his dishes. The intention is to leave guests with the legacy of an experience they will always remember.
However, Andrea Fanti is keen to emphasize that his work is a team game. Before each event, he holds many briefings with his collaborators to take care of every detail. Mutual trust and esteem make the team very close-knit. Certainly, these values positively influence the experience of Croma Lago guests.
The American experience
Andrea Fanti received his first long-term employment contract in the restaurant business, not in Italy, but in the United States. At only 18, he accepted the offer and flew to Miami to work at a restaurant on South Beach’s Washington Avenue. But unfortunately, in a few months, the experience turned out to be a little frustrating. The dishes he prepared with such passion were ruined by customers who would add sauces and condiments unacceptable to him. It was soon clear, that his idea of cuisine was not in line with American standards. He then returned to Italy to continue studies at the Academy Campus Etoile Boscolo of Tuscania.
After his studies, he worked in various parts of Italy collaborating with the greatest chefs. Then, a couple of years ago, Andrea started looking for a suggestive and unique place to open his restaurant. The beauty and quiet of Lake Vico made it a bewitching choice.
What makes Andrea Fanti’s cuisine so special?
Imagine an entrée of chicken liver mousse glazed with raspberry, sour onion, candied caper, and polenta chips — served on a stone. This bizarre culinary creation is not only delicious, but it is also a work of art! It talks about Tuscany through its ingredients and Tuscia through the lake stone used as a plate.
Chef Andrea loves to experiment by combining ingredients in unusual and original ways. Each dish is an expression of an artistic performance capable of surprising and filled with emotions. However, the ingredients used are simple, organic, and seasonal to ensure that each creation is always understood and appreciated.
Chef Andrea conceives Croma Lago as a theater where he has only one chance to stage his many hours of work. Nothing is recorded and everything happens live. It is always essential to maintain high standards, and mistakes are not allowed.
The most ambitious goal to achieve is to satisfy Italian travelers who seek culinary art with added creativity. Italians have always been used to good food. Making sure that their experience at Croma Lago is unforgettable, can become a real challenge.
Andrea’s eyes (so blue that they seem to reflect the pristine water of the lake) light up when he says that the greatest mission is to inspire emotions. Chef Andrea Fanti knows that he has won their hearts and achieved his goal each time travelers return.
Andrea Fanti’s Delicious Creations
Enjoying the experience at Croma Lago restaurant
With Stefano Polacchi (Author at Gambero Rosso International), Giuseppe Garrozzo (Author at Agrodolce and Count di MasterChef Italia – 4th edition), Letizia Malta (Author at Maagna) and Alessandro Creta (Author at Cookist)
Visiting Lake Vico (Lago di Vico)
Lake Vico is located between the municipalities of Ronciglione and Capranica. It is a volcanic lake, 500 meters (1640 feet) above sea level. It is part of a beautiful nature reserve in the Cimini Mountains surrounded by large areas of hazelnut and chestnut groves. Travelers can enjoy its beaches or go hiking, horseback riding, or cycling.
For more information about Croma Lago, visit www.cromalago.it
This article is a collaborative work by Giulia Marchetti of Italian Human Connections and Officinavisiva.
You can read this article also in Live in Italy Magazine