Restaurant Flipot in Piedmonte
- Victor Domenech
I'm looking for some feedback on Restaurant Flipot located in the town of Torre Pelice southwest of Torino. I'm going there on June. Also any reco's on restaurants in the Barolo/Barbaresco area? I'm staying in Alba for three nights.
In March, we ate at Trattoria Antica Torre in Barbaresco. It appeared to be the only restaurant in that tiny town at the time. That meal may be the best we ever had in Italy (5th trip) among several memorable ones. The food was extra good in the town of Barolo too, but the wine is my best memory there. All our food in the Piemonte was outstanding and this after we went to Florence just to eat to start our trip.
I agree, Trattoria Antica Torre is one of the best dining experiences I have had in Italy. It is also a great deal, considering the quality and quantity of food combined with very reasonable prices.
A little up the road, in Tre Stelle, you can spend a night in a wonderful agricultural farm, Cascina Delle Rose, and dine in a restaurant practically across the street. I forgot the name of it, but it's the only one in town, serving traditional local cuisine. Very elegant, sophisticated food served in a beautifully decorated dining room.
Giovanna, the owner of the Cascina Delle Rose, made reservations for us in that restaurant and mentioned to them that we never tasted white truffles before. As a result I consumed a plate of pasta that was invisible under the mountain of truffles. We washed all the food down with a variety of wonderful local wines produced by none other than Giovanna herself.
Just outside of Barolo, in Annunziata Della Mora, there is another agrotourist farm well worth checking out. The owner's wife (Maria Rosa, I think) cooks opulent rustic style multi-course dinners. The only caveat is that she needs minimum 8 people to make it worthwhile, but in all the years we stopped there, we were never turned down because of shortage of eager diners. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of that farm, but it's on a right side, about half way as you climb the hill to make it to Barolo.
Had lunch at Flipot yesterday. The town is uninspiring and the restaurant itself looks very implausible from the outside. Driving from Turin made us pretty nervous as it's a nondescript hour of flat industrial estate. But as you get to the end of the road which is Torre Pellice, and the foothills of the alps, things begin to look up. There were definitely moments of sheer inspiration coming from the kitchen. I ate the bet snails I've ever had - served 3 ways, first deep fried in cornmeal (mollusc version of chicken in a brick, not sure... ) second sauted with walnuts, and wild thyme, which was superb, and third in a consomme with kick-ass fennel. Just fantastic. Main course of partridge with foie gras was as good, and multi fiesta of chocolate to finish with tobacco, sechuan pepper and all kinds of goodies. Other parts of the meal were closer to piedmontese traditional cooking - a tagliatelle with wild boar ragu sounded conventional but the tagliatelle was made from corn, river trout was cooked in bark and juniper and served with a freshwater crayfish. We avoided the set menu at E80 and went a la carte which I'm sure turned out a bit more expensive, but definitely a good decision. And they were endlessly patient with our broken Italian and did their best to help with French which was conceivably worse. Wine recommendations perfect. They don't serve wine by the half bottle or glass but unfalteringly opened a Barolo to drink a glass with the pasta and charged only E7 for the glass.
In the end, great food, wonderful people, weird location!
My dad is a good friend with Walter, the owner, and Walter's wife Giselle. We had a 10 course tasting menu there once. I recall a small casserole of local tiny new potates, that were baked with some stock. They brought the covered casserole to the table, lifted the lid, then cracked two quail eggs over the potatos, setting the eggs, sprinkled with fleur de sel.
In Barbaresco I personally prefer Rabaja to Antiche Torre, but they are both very good and others rave about Antine or Vecchio Tre Stelle.
Likewise on the road to La Morra, I think the Osterie Vignaiolo in Santa Maria is superior in food and cheaper then Osterie Veglio in Annunziata. If you want a real authentic gem of a traditional Piedmontese restaurant at incredibly low prices, try Osterie Gemma in Rodino.
I can't tell you about Flipot as I haven't eaten there, but if you prefer high-end expensive restaurants, then try Doumo in Alba, Guido in Pollenza or Gener Neuv in Asti. But for my money Al Enoteca in Canale is highly rated fine dining at half the price and superb.