Well, for anyone who is still interested, I have been to L'Oca Fola which is mentioned above. I loved it. The service was good, the food was good and the ambiance was very welcoming and warm. The wait-staff doesn't speak much English, but were very friendly and gracious.
I am not the "professional" chowhound that some of you are, but I can't imagine anyone not being pleased by the restaurant. For me, so much of the enjoyment comes from the excitement of just being in Italy and having a new eating experience.
I had dinner at Ristorante Mina two nights ago, and it was fantastic--an appropriate end to a ten-day road trip through Piedmont / Piemonte. Antipasti selections were especially wonderful, and it's nice to see Mina presiding over the place. Of ten days in Piedmont, we only spent two in Turin, and it really should have been more. Such a beautiful and interesting city, with very few tourists to boot.
I had a very nice meal (lunch) at Ristorante La Badessa. They attempt to recreate dishes from recipes found in religious houses. I had a delicious baccala and chick pea dish. The restaurant is in one of Turin's many palazzi.
Ristorante La Badessa
Piazza Carlo Emmanuele II, 17H
Turin and Genoa are probably the two largest cities in Italy that get the fewest (American) tourists. I am not sure why that is. In 7 trips to Italy, I have only spent an afternoon in Turin and have never been to Genoa, so I am guilty as charged!
What I saw (and tasted) of Turin was very inviting. I would certainly like to return some day. My guess is Genoa is equally appealing.
David, don’t miss Genoa. Just walking down the street, my wife and I could smell the delicious aromas that we followed for 2 blocks to a small shop in the older section serving an onion topped focaccia. I still dream of that bread and have never had any better. On Sunday afternoon in the very oldest section of town, we found only one restaurant open. It was late for lunch, so the owner let the rest of the staff go home and he served us himself. He had been a bartender on a cruise ship before retiring to Italy to raise a family and spoke excellent English. I had the most outstanding example of Amatriciana ever. Again, it was the Genoa onions. He took us into his kitchen to show us his ingredients and the homemade tomato sauce he used from tomatoes he grew. Then he plied us with wine (a special recommendation from Trento) and digestives for over an hour after lunch before we could leave. Don’t skip Genoa.
Maybe we can get some comments on these places that I have on my list:
Reviews and pics of Antiche Sere, a SlowFood pick in Turin:
Website of Con Calma, another SlowFood pick:
Here are the other SlowFood picks in Turin:
Trattoria Valenza, Via Borgodora, 39
Sotto La Mole, Via Montebello, 9; website:
L'Oca Fola, Via Drovetti, 6D
Dai Saletta, Via Belfiore, 37 (recommended in F. Plotkin book)
I've read very good things about this restaurant, too:
L'Agrifoglio, Via Provano, 3B
More formal/expensive, I think, than most of those above:
Babette (menu with prices):
Gatto Nero, Corso Turatti, 14 (Tuscan food; recommended by Faith Willinger; Gambero Rosso)
C'era Una Volta (recommended by Willinger and much discussed on food sites; in all the guidebooks; some poor reviews by Italians on TA; very poor review from Chowhound):
Finally, here is a place with an excellent review on CH:
I would love to read comments on any of the places mentioned above, and on others in the city.
..one more from Faith Willinger's book is:
SanGiors, Via Borgo Dora, 3 (first floor, above the hotel)