“A bottle of red, a bottle of white, it all depends on your mood tonight. I’ll meet you anytime you want in our Italian restaurant.” Pop music legend Billy Joel sang that line a few years ago in his hit song Scenes From an Italian Restaurant. Now local foodies can make their own scene thanks to a new restaurant that opened in Christina Lake last month.
Transplanted Venetian Lorenzo Sommaggio moved to the area after several years of living in Florida, where he also owned and operated an Italian restaurant. He had no problem coming up with the name of the restaurant, Il Lago, which means “the lake.”
“We do most Italians foods and do it by order,” he said. “Everything is fresh.”
Sommaggio came to Christina Lake even though he had never been there before. After researching on the Internet and coming for a visit, he and his wife decided on making the move.
“I saw there was a big Italian community here in Christina Lake and Grand Forks and no Italian restaurant,” he said. “I saw there was a space for rent. So I remodeled it and everything has gone very well.”
Sommaggio and his wife like the community and find everyone to be very friendly.
The restaurant is open from 3 to 9 p.m. from Thursday to Monday. The restaurant is located in the Christina Lake Village at 19 West Lake Drive. He anticipates being open for lunch for pizza and sandwiches in the fall. Sommaggio is also hoping to open the bar/lounge next door soon as well.
For now, Il Lago offers traditional Italian cuisine such as chicken marsala, chicken ricotta, linguini, spaghetti and lasagna.
“We also sell a lot of seafood,” he said. “We have a seafood plate with everything on for $19.99. We have shrimp, scallops, clams and calamari over pasta with salad or soup and bread.”
Sommaggio also added that the fettucini is very popular. “A lot of people like Alfredo,” he said. “We make is special here by order, not premade. We make shrimp and scallop Alfredo.”
Of course, the old Italian standby spaghetti and meatballs is always very popular at Il Lago. Sommaggio said Italian food remains popular due to its heartiness and simplicity.
“Italian food is tasty and simple,” he said. “There’s not too many ingredients inside and it’s not too expensive.”
The restaurant opened on July 23 and business has been quite good, says Sommaggio.
“I’m quite surprised for a small town,” he said. “We’ve had people come from Grand Forks and Trail as well. People like it.”
Sommaggio said they haven’t had too many tourists yet because they haven’t put a sign up on the highway but he anticipates that will come soon.
Sommaggio was busy recently making breakfast, lunch and dinner for the 25 visiting firefighters who were staying at the motel next door.
“I was happy to do that,” he said. “These people are very nice. It was no problem.”
Il Lago also has orders for pick up as well as doing birthday parties and opening specially for groups of 15 or more.
You can order for pick up or make reservationas by calling 250-447-9797 or you can just stop by the restaurant and have a great meal.