After Venice and Parma we headed to Piemonte. These are our stories:
Lunch at Villa Tiboldi outside of Canale (127 Case Sparse). What an amazing property! It was an old estate that was transformed into a luxurious country hotel. The hotel is at the top of a hill with great views of the surrounding vineyards. After admiring the views, we sat at a lovely table outside where we could enjoy the views and the sun. We started with an amazing vitello tonnato. It was a paper-thin slice of rare veal, topped with a dollop of tuna sauce that was smooth like mayonnaise and half a soft-boiled quail egg. Big J had a lovely cheese soufflé that was topped with white truffle shavings. J had wonderful agnolotti very simply prepared. In my quest to expand my culinary horizons and conquer certain dishes from my past, I ordered a tomato dish that was essentially tomato aspic with layers of eggplant and cheese topped with a white sauce. It was a gorgeous dish and very tasty! The boys each had a gorgeous tenderloin of veal topped with porcini – very good. Although the waitress brought us the lovely dessert menu (and graciously allowed me to keep one), we were too full from the fantastic food to enjoy dessert.
Dinner near our hotel at La Rosa dei Vini (4 Localita Parafada, Serralunga d’Alba). La Rosa is a lovely restaurant and we sat in a large room surrounded by windows – the views must be amazing during the day! In spite of a very boisterous Butterfield and Robinson group dining near us, we had a very enjoyable dinner with a wonderful waiter and nice wine list. J had a great vitello tonnato (twice in one day? Why not!). The tajarin con ragu was very good and M had an amazing raw mushroom salad.
We had lunch at a truffle-hunter's house and then dinner La Libera (Via Elvio Pertinace 24, Alba). We had a fantastic meal, including a couple of lovely salads, very good tajarin con ragu, vitello tonnato, etc. The star of the night, however, was my raviolo and was the best dish I had on the trip, hands down!! The raviolo was filled with a bed of spinach/ricotta which was topped with a gorgeous golden egg yolk. The pasta was so thin that you could see exactly the layers of the filling. It was accompanied by a simply butter sauce and it was topped with a pile of black truffle shavings. Truly, I cannot adequately portray how spectacular the dish was – indescribable. After the raviolo, I was in such heaven that I can’t remember what we had for dessert.
Lunch at Vincafe (Via Vittorio Emanuele, 12, Alba), which is a cozy 2-story restaurant in the center of the town. We ate in one of the downstairs rooms – a bit like eating in a brick-lined cave – but in a good way! We were all craving greens after our previous days’ Piemonte binge, so we had a wonderful bunch of salads.
Dinner at Ristorante Bovio (Via Alba 17bis) on the outskirts of La Morra. The building is set at the end of a long driveway and the restaurant overlooks the vineyards below. There were tons of windows, and a nice terrace that would be fantastic in nice weather. One of the problems, however, with so much glass and other hard surfaces in the restaurant is that it got really loud, with two large tables surrounding us. We guessed that they were wine groups in for the truffle festival and boy did they have a good time! In spite of the noise, we had a great dinner, including a fabulous risotto covered in while truffles and the most amazing roasted quail “salad” that had sliced asparagus, shaved parmesan, a lightly fried egg and was topped with black truffle. Divine! To honor our visit earlier in the day we had a ’99 Altare Barolo, which was a very good wine. The meal ended with a cheese course of selections suggested by our server from their fantastic cheese cart.
Very good lunch at Eataly in Torino at the Salumi counter – yummy prosciutto, mortadella, salami, culatello di zibello and buratta, followed by a chocolate tasting at the Guido Gobino store (Via Lagrange 1). Amazing.
Our final dinner of the trip was at Tre Galline (Via Bellezia 31) in Torino. It was a very interesting and yummy dinner. I had a fantastic spinaci sformata and J had a fantastic gnocchi con fungi. I had a very interesting lavender risotto, which was very good other than the taste of chewing on a potpourri satchel! I should have ordered the bolito misto, which looked fantastic!
Thanks for making it through my report - feel free to ask questions!
Via Elvio Pertinace, 24, Alba (CN), Piedmont 12051, IT
Via Alba, 17, La Morra (Cuneo), Piedmont 12064, IT