My partner and I just spent three days based in Alba, and enjoyed three dinners and two lunches in the Langhe. I had done extensive research on CH and give sincere thanks to allende and other esteemed posters, without whose help I may not have been so successful. Here is the report:
The first dinner was at Osteria Veglio in La Morra. Set on a hillside, the Osteria has a terrace with a view over the valley, but it was a bit chilly so we sat in the very attractive dining room.
Dishes we tried:
Agnolotti with meat filling
Pappardelle with lamb ragout
Raspberries with vanilla gelato
Everything was just right. The vitello tonnato was perfect, rosy veal with a delicious tuna mayonnaise, agnolotti were light as a feather, and the raspberries were plump and sweet, with a huge scoop of wonderful gelato. We had a lovely bottle of 2015 Barbera d'Alba from Renato Ratti, for 14 euros. Total bill was 100 euros.
For Sunday lunch, we headed to Trattoria Marsupino in Briaglia, about a 40 minute drive South of Alba.
This restaurant is rustic but elegant, and the dishes show real creativity. We had:
Carpaccio of sturgeon
Testina di Vitella (parts of veal head, including cheeks and gelatinous parts, in Barolo sauce)
Capretto al forno (roasted baby goat)
Liquorice mousse with lemon sauce
All pretty good, the sturgeon was nice to find as it is seldom seen, the goat was a bit tough and had a lot of bone, but was tasty nonetheless. The standout was the dessert. We only ordered one to share, but the kitchen sent out an extra, and we devoured them in minutes, they were so good. An unexpected combination, but a very clever one. With coffee we were served a nice plate of mignardises. The wine list is noticeably more expensive than the other places we went to, but I chose a 2006 Langhe Rosso, "Yeta" from Farigliano, which was very rich and full-bodied, for 23 euros. Total bill was 106 with water and coffee.
For dinner, we drove to Ristorante Rabaya in Barbaresco. We had some difficulty finding it, GPS was not very helpful, but after driving into town and asking at another restaurant for directions, we found it easily. There was a nice terrace, but again too chilly to eat out there.
Dishes we ate were:
Salad of guinea hen (faraona) with shaved fennel
Cauliflower soup with prawns
Agnolotti with shaved black truffles
Sweet and sour rabbit
We shared the generous portion of guinea hen. The agnolotti were smothered in a blizzard of truffles, which made the dish special. All very nice. The wine was a 2014 nebbiolo from Barbaresco. Total bill was 100.
On Monday, after a morning visit to Acqui Terme, we proceeded to lunch at Ristorante Belbo da Bardon in San Marzano Oliveto, near Canelli, where we were surrounded mainly by senior citizens having lunch as their main meal of the day, just like we have seen on trips to England. Dishes were:
Gnocchi with meat ragu
Fresh local Peach in Moscato wine
Chocolate panna cotta in coffee sauce topped with nuts
I had hoped to try finanziera and this was the first restaurant that had it on the menu, so of course I ordered it. I love organ meats, so this was quite a treat. It was mostly sweetbreads, there was liver, little meatballs of some kind, several parts I could not identify, mushrooms and peas. I could eat this every day. With a 2013 Barbera "Mati" (14 euro), coffees and water, the total was 81.
Dinner that night was at La Coccinella in Serravalle Langhe. It's a bit of a trip from Alba, but well worth the journey. An elegant room, warm and professional service, and superb food make this very special. We had:
Tagliatelle with seafood
Canneloni with duck topped with mushrooms
Rolled roasted goat
Fried veal with fried zucchini and mushrooms
Croccante of gianduja
We had a bottle of Grignolino d'Asti, which was only 13 euros and an exceptional wine, a bit more delicate than most of the others we've had, really delicious. Total with wine and water was only 86 euros.
For a more complete report with hotel and sightseeing info, and photos, visit my blog: