Located in the tiny village of Soriso near Lake Orta in Italy, Al Sorisso isn't the sort of restaurant that travellers would stumble across accidentally. Yet it has fed and watered plenty of famous names.
Its fame is mainly thanks to the talents of chef Luisa Valazza whose innovation and passion in her kitchen has deservedly earned the restaurant two Michelin stars.
Whilst Luisa looks after the gastronomic side of things, husband Angelo, who does a mean Huddersfield accent, sees to the needs of diners front of house.
The décor and ambiance at Al Sorisso feels like it comes from another era where fine dining was a formal affair and could possibly do with lightening up a little. However, the food is a revelation, even for a Michelin star restaurant.
Dishes are created using local, seasonal products; some are stunningly beautiful in construction. A plate of red Sicilian prawns with zucchini salad, mint, almonds, lime and mustard alioli had an artistic oriental quality about it whilst a dish of stuffed, freshly picked porcini mushrooms looked more like a woodland setting for a scene from a fairytale.
I don't think I've ever seen such lovingly and imaginatively presented food whose taste lives up to and exceeds the promise of its looks.
With two Michelin stars it shouldn't come as a surprise that it isn't cheap to dine at Al Sorisso. The average price of a dish is €40. However, a meal at Al Sorisso was a gastronomic high on a trip full of memorable culinary experiences.