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PIEMONTE - La Rosa Dei Vini or Trattoria Della Posta

Hello all-

I am looking for a nice, romantic lunch with (preferably) outdoor seating with views over vineyards. My wife and I will be traveling to the Alba area in mid-September and are looking to fill a Tuesday lunch spot. We would enjoy a nice view and a great dining experience. La Rosa Dei Vini comes recommended from our hotel but I have seen great reviews of Trattoria Della Posta on this board (and other sites). Can anyone make a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Just as a further note - we plan to dine at I Bologna on Wed night so I am thinking the Tuesday lunch should be fairly different than the food/atmosphere of I Bologna. Thanks.

    1. Rosa dei vini is very good, we used to send our guests there until we found Trattorie Cascina Schiavenza behind the castle in Serralunga, which IMO is better and cheaper then Rosa, and has a outdoor deck with great views, but is closed on Tuesday. If it were me I would go to Osterie Vignaiolo in Santa Maria on the road up to La Morra - its still fabulous several years after being "discovered" by NY Times, and less expensive then Rosa, which packs in bus tours.

      Funnily enough I have never eaten at Della Posta, but its in the middle of town so no views.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Villasampaguita

        Thank you for the info Villasampaguita. I will certainly look into Osterie Vignaiolo as I have heard great things about it. Ciao.

        1. re: Villasampaguita

          Trattoria della Posta is not in the middle of any town, but outside a town in a fairly rural setting and there are lovely views from the main dining room. I had a wonderful lunch here last year and would highly recommend.

          Also liked Osteria Vignaiolo very much; it is more casual than della Posta. It is hard to go wrong in this area!

          From my report:

          TRATTORIA DELLA POSTA, Monforte d’Alba (a few km outside the town, in the countryside). Closed Thursday, and Friday lunch).

          We arrived at Trattoria della Posta with high expectations, based on the multitude of reviews I had read during my research. We were not disappointed. This place fulfills every element that we could want in a restaurant—great local fare, warm service, lovely surroundings, no pretension of stuffiness. And prices that are most reasonable. I only wish that we had had time for a second meal here; we certainly would have returned but their scheduled closing days did not allow this.

          The restaurant occupies the ground floor of a country house.

          There are a couple of dining rooms, including the two front rooms which I think are the nicest—a couple of window tables offer a fine view. Furnished with antiques and a library of food-related books, the restaurant is elegant but not at all ostentatious. Tables are large and there is ample space between them. The place was only about half filled on the April Tuesday afternoon we were there. (But after lunch, the German couple at the next table proceeded to confer with the owner about a group dinner planned for late September; reservations are a must in high season)

          http://www.trattoriadellaposta.it/eng...

          Considering how much we had looked forward to our lunch here, we had a rather small meal:

          After placing our orders, we received complimentary crudi (raw fish) of swordfish carpaccio, lightly dressed with a lemony vinaigrette.

          For my antipasti, I chose Bagna Cauda. (15 euro) This was undoubtedly not the most exciting choice, as we discussed don the related Alba thread, but I was determined to sample as many Piemontese classics as I could, and there is probably no dish more representative of the local cuisine than this preparation of raw vegetables accompanied by a warm, anchovy-laced dip (bagna cauda, or "warm bath"), a relative of the Provencal anchoiade, that reflects the historical links between Piedmont and France.

          Had I thought out my selection in a bit more depth, I would have realized that this dish would have been better ordered when the famous peperone (red peppers) of Asti and Cuneo and cardi gobbo (“hunchback” cardoons) of Nizza Monferrato where in season, later in the year.

          But although bagna cauda is a trademark dish of the region, it is not frequently found on restaurant menus, being more of an end-of-harvest extravaganza prepared at home. Nevertheless, it was delicious—a plate of red peppers, fennel, and endive surrounding the deep cup of bagna cauda. Although the vegetables were not in their prime, I could not resist dipping into the anchovy-and-garlic-laced “bath.”

          My partner chose the vegetable soup, a chunky puree presented in a handsome copper pot-- excellent, if lacking excitement.

          He proceeded to the agnolotti del plin, one of the two quintessential Piemontese pasta preparations—delicate “pinched” ravioli (usually made with rabbit or veal) in a light butter sauce.

          Fabulous!

          I skipped a primo and followed the bagna cauda with one of the house specialties: Il Cosciotto d’Oca Ripieno del suo Fegato Grasso (25 euro) —roasted goose leg stuffed with its own liver. I had never tried goose before, but I will certainly try it again. Perfectly cooked.

          For dessert: A molten chocolate cake with orange syrup (8 euro
          )Heavenly.

          With water and one glass of wine, the bill came to 74 euro.

          Clearly, this restaurant is an essential stop. In good weather, tables on the terrace offer a stupendous vineyard view.

          Permalink | Report | Reply
          erica May 03, 2009 02:52PM

          Here is the link to the full report, which includes Vignaiolo:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6168...

        2. Do you have a car? I can suggest this one, have eaten twice over 3 years. The food is simple (casalinga) but good and the setting is exactly as what you are looking for: http://www.trattorianellevigne.it/ing/
          they *are* open on tuesdays, ignore what it says on the site - but you do need to call ahead and make reservations.

          5 Replies
          1. re: vinoroma

            Thanks so much Vinoroma. We actually wanted to book Trattoria Nelle Vigne (we have a car) but were informed by our hotel that they are closed on Tuesday. I will contact the restaurant directly however.

            How does TNV compare to Della Posta. I know TNV has wonderful views of vineyards - but is they food as good as Della Posta or La Rosa Dei Vini??

            Thanks!

            1. re: Searching4Dunny

              I stand corrected by our Langhe restaurant experts, my excuse is that I confused Giardino da Felicin which is in Monforte town with La Posta outside of town, that's what you get for prowling the board in the early morning hours! Actually I haven't eaten at either and also yet to go to Nelle Vigne which has stunning views, but I'm still waiting for feedback on the food, just too many restaurants in Piedmont! Nelle Vigne is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays, according to the Langhe restaurant guide, but IMO you its hard to top Osterie Vignaiolo unless you plan to step into the 100 euro a plate top-end restaurants like Guidos or Doumo.

              1. re: Villasampaguita

                I wrote this a few weeks ago.

                L’Osteria Vignailolo in Santa Maria, a few km. from La Morra. We had high expectations. It was fine but nothing special. Typical Piemontese trattoria/ osteria menu (pick out the dozen most popular Piemontese dishes… they were all there…and I don’t mean that as any criticism). Fairly well executed, but just a cut above any decent trattoria in that part of Piemonte. Decent well priced wine list. Service was efficient, but formulaic. Not much “ownership presence" even though it is, of course, family owned. We walked in after eight; 90 % filled. That’s strange? All Germans and Swiss already on their second course.

                Much better meal at Rossobarolo in Barolo, where we've gone twice in the last two months. Better menu, better prepared, as good a wine list, great presence in the dining room, about the same price.

                1. re: allende

                  Oh well, different tastes for different folks, that's the problem with any restaurant when it gets too popular I guess, but if you are not jaded with Piemontese cuisine Vignaiolo is still a great deal and with the outdoor tables, I love it and so do all of our guests.

                  I prefer to get off the Langhe tourist trail and look for trattorie in the many little towns of Piedmont, its hard to go wrong. I have reviewed some in the last year on this forum, such as La Gemma in Rodino and Merlone in Castagnole Monferrato. Be warned that you will be the only foreigners in these places, only Italian is spoken and the meals will be what the cook has prepared that day, no menu. But you will be amazed by the superb food, nothing fancy, just well prepared classic Piedmontese dishes, and the absolute cheap price.

                   
                   
                  1. re: Villasampaguita

                    One of the places that we enjoyed in that category was in Verduno, at Agriturismo Ca de Re. I would highly recommend that place for anyone looking for inexpensive Piemontese home cooking. There is little choice on the menu (two or three options for each course) but it hardly matters, as everything we tasted was superb.

                    CA DE RE--Verduno:

                    A majestic 16th century castle dominates the tiny (population: about 500) village of Verduno, about a 30-minute drive from La Favorita.

                    http://www.comune.verduno.cn.it/eng/p...

                    The castle is home to the Castello di Verduno winery as well as the Castello di Verduno hotel; guests are housed in the 18th-Century addition designed by famed Baroque architect Filippo Juvarra, the designer of most of the palaces commissioned by the House of Savoy.

                    http://www.castellodiverduno.com/eng/...

                    In 2000, the former home of the estate manager, just outside the castle walls, was converted to an agriturismo that has hosted, among others, Prince Charles. The women of the Burlotto family are renowned for their cooking, as well as for their wines, and the agriturismo’s restaurant, Ca de Re, is a member of SlowFood.
                    Here is a photo of the dining room, where we had booked a table:

                    http://www.castellodiverduno.com/eng/...

                    There is no written menu; prices for the various courses (primi, etc) are posted at the entrance and are very reasonable. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.

                    We were met and shown to a table next to the massive hearth in the dining room, decorated with whimsical figurative paintings. Very little English is spoken and the menu was recited orally by a young woman who I presume to be the daughter of Gabriella Burlotto, who presides in the kitchen. We were given a small choice of items for each course; if you are a squeamish eater, it would be a good idea to phone ahead to inquire about the day’s dishes.

                    We began our dinner with one of each of the two antipasti:

                    Frittatta of fiore di zucca (zucchini flower frittata)—very good, if not my favorite way to begin dinner

                    Polenta—I hesitated when I heard this recited among the antipasti but my fears of being served something boring were quickly abandoned with my first taste. Mounds of soft polenta rested under an extraordinary sauce, the components of which are a guarded secret, according to our hostess. Among the ingredients that she divulged are red peppers, anchovies, passata di pomodoro, and garlic. The local red peppers, which had been put away at last harvest, imparted a sweetness to the sauce that transformed this into a miracle of simple Piemontese home cooking. Worth the trip!

                    For primi, we were offered Gnocchi,, ravioli, or tagliatelle with a choice of sauce: Burro; sugo; or pomodoro e basilico. (Butter, meat sauce, or tomato and basil). I chose the ravioli with butter sauce—excellent. My partner selectd tagliatelle with meat sauce. Equally good.

                    For secondi, we shared one of the two offerings: Roast rabbit.
                    Very tasty. We also shared a vegetable, the details of which I cannot remember.

                    With two glasses of one of wines produced on the estate, and water, the total amounted to a most reasonable 38 Euro.

                    An ideal spot to sample local Piemontese home cooking. There are tables both iin the dining room, and outside.

          2. I have only been to Piemonte once, last year, but it was so wonderful we are planning to make another trip next year. We had lunch at I Bologna and dinner at Trattoria Della Posta, and both were excellent but with different styles. TDP is more traditional, I Bologna is updated traditional.

            1. Hi searching, after you have ploughed through all the verbose replies, I would say that if you are not feeling adventurous, stick with della Posta. If you want to get off the beaten track, there are wonderful little trattorie and osterie all over Piedmont, including the Langhe area, and its hard to go wrong.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Villasampaguita

                Thanks Villa. Yes, there seem to be a lot of options in the region. I will search a bit more before making my decision. Thank you to all for your informative replies. I look forward to visiting Piemonte!

                1. re: Searching4Dunny

                  Have a wonderful trip!

                  VSampaguita: Verbosity is what CH is all about. Sorry mine offends you!

                  Curious as to why you are recommending Della Posta for someone "not feeling adventurous." The food there is far from mundane.

                  1. re: erica

                    Ciao Erica, and nice to hear from you again too.

                    actually I was just coming back to the poster's original question that's all. And I don't recall saying anyone was mundane, all I said was that so many people on these and other forums end up going to the same restaurants that have been recommended so many times, but there are so many other little restaurants just off the beaten track waiting to be discovered, its hard to go wrong in Piedmont (with one or two possible exceptions), except for maybe ones expectations based on other peoples perceptions. .

                    Miriam-Webster:

                    Main Entry: ver·bose
                    Pronunciation: \(ˌ)vər-ˈbōs\
                    Function: adjective
                    Etymology: Latin verbosus, from verbum
                    Date: 1672
                    1 : containing more words than necessary : wordy <a verbose reply>; also : impaired by wordiness <a verbose style>
                    2 : given to wordiness <a verbose orator>
                    synonyms see wordy
                    — ver·bose·ly adverb
                    — ver·bose·ness noun
                    — ver·bos·i·ty \-ˈbä-sə-tē\ noun

                    Now I don't remember pointing to anyone in particular. Non fa d'una mosca un elefante.