Going in april and looking at the following as possiblities for meals. If it is nice weather, would like to have something at lunchtime outdoors with a view. Would appreciate any thoughts. We will probably only have 4 meals and don't want them all to be over the top expensive. Thanks!
Trattoria Cascina Schiavenza
Agriturismo Ca de Re
Osteria Gemma in Rodino
Al Enoteca in Canale
La Luna nel Pozzo and La Contea in Neive
Also, has anyone stayed in Vecchio trestelle or Villa Lauri?
Local Piemonte friends recommend Gemma but I haven't eaten there.
In Castiglione Falletto, a Barolo area hilltown, I've eaten well at Renza's with its outdoor patio. Can't recall the prices but it seemed reasonable.
In Barbaresco at Ristorante Rabaya, a little more expensive, a friend invited me for lunch of a series of their wonderful appetizers with aromatic Arneis white wine. Lovely with magnificent views of hills and vineyards from their shaded deck.
Of the ones you list, I have tried Ca de Re and Il Vignaiolo and had excellent meals at both. Ca de Re was the least expensive meal of any we had during a week I spent in the area in 2009; dinner for two with wine cost less than 40 euro.
There is no printed menu but you can choose from a couple of dishes for each course. The cooking is highly competent home style and I would have no hesitation recommending the place. This is what I wrote at the time:
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:
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. Outdoor tables do have a view. The village of Verduno is achingly picturesque.
Here is what I wrote about lunch at Il Vignaiolo; it buried within my comments about other places we ate during that week, in 2009. I listed some of the prices from the menu so that may help you.
We had a look at the menu at La Contea, because we had considered dining there. Prices seemed high and, from their written menu descriptions, the dishes seemed, to me, to be quite elaborate, veering on the overly fussy. But again, we did not dine there so take my comments with a grain of salt.
Nice list of restaurant/osterie, although we were sadly disappointed with La Contea.
Vignaiolo and Schiavenza have outdoor tables that I know of if the weather is cooperating.
If you can get to Gemma on Tuesdays that the day they have their pasta "bee" in the big kitchen downstairs.
Waiting for your report!