If you're in the Minamiuonuma region of Niigata and looking for a place to eat with a romantic atmosphere, La Locanda Nella Foresta certainly delivers. The restaurant is located in a charming wood cabin styled building, and from inside you're able to enjoy a picturesque view of the surrounding mountains and rice fields.
It may have been evident from the restaurant's name, but the cuisine here is Italian. There are menu sections dedicated to pizza, pasta, and meat dishes, as well as wine, coffee, and desserts. On our most recent visit we opted to share a few dishes, including their sausage pizza, fettuccine bolognese, and penne arrabiata, along with a few glasses of their house wine. We also split some tiramisu over coffee after our meals. Everything was delicious and made to order, and perhaps most amazing of all, we were the only people in the restaurant on the evening we visited! Granted, it was a weeknight, but it still made the atmosphere even more memorable.
Prices for meals here are quite reasonable, too. We spent around 8,000 yen for everything we ordered, and volume-wise it was a lot of food. Even though the restaurant feels very intimate and romantic, we've also visited on other occasions with our children -- they do have high chairs and are very accommodating to families.
This is definitely the kind of place that you visit initially for the food, but ends up seeing you linger around as a result of the views. If you can time your visit to coincide with sunset, you won't be disappointed!