An oasis of taste where you can find the best of Italian raw materials and a cellar of over 650 natural wines, a destination for wine collectors and enthusiasts from all over the world.
In the center of San Felice del Benaco, on Lake Garda, the restaurant has been an international reference point since 1999, as is it also very well reknown abroad, for true gourmets and drink connoisseurs.
Michele Bontempi, who continues the legacy handed down by his father, has in fact innovated the historic place by creating his “personal” collection of the very best Italian products and wines.
On the shelves, the real “pantry” of the restaurant (Dispensa means pantry in Italian), you can thus find truly extraordinary specialties and delicacies, selected with a preference for companies that pay attention to sustainability and the protection of the biodiversity of the environment in which they operate.
For the cellar, the abuse of hyperbole is not in fact an exaggeration: over 650 labels of mostly Italian and French wines chosen from small artisan producers who do not make more than 20,000 bottles a year. Like Gabriele di Pantelleria winery which produces 400 bottles a year of an extraordinary white from Zibibbo grapes or Jules Metras, a French producer of Gamay grapes that make only 2,000 bottles of its most precious Beaujolais. It is no coincidence, in fact, that wine lovers and collectors are Michele’s regular customers, precisely to research and taste the “treasures” that can only be found here.
The raw material that composes the restaurant’s signature dishes is, of course, equally exceptional: from the donkey ribs of Val Trompia, to the goat cheeses of Malga POF, to the Mantuan Friesian with 40 days of maturation (similar to Japanese Kobe), up to raw fish such as anchovies di lampara marinated at the moment, burrata with red prawns or shellfish plateux.
The interior is the result of Michele’s family tradition, many of the furniture is in fact from his grandparents, such as the cupboards, the vintage radios and the 1960 Lambretta, while the contemporary furniture is personally supervised by the owner himself, a great lover of cinema and modern antiques.
Let Michele guide you in a tasting, it will be a joy not only for the palate but also for the pleasure of enjoying the knowledge of a refined gourmet like there are few in Italy.
It seems that Michele has a good nose not only for wines, but also for art: on the walls of La Dispensa there are in fact works by great artists purchased by him who have seen their market value grow over time such as Walasse Ting, Giò Tomato and Mimmo Rotella.