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Apr 20, 2011 10:50 AM

Piemonte Help

Greetings to everyone,

May I ask for help or updates for restaurants.

We are staying in Acqui Terme in June. We will travel for great food. Can anyone provide updates on the following restaurants (Antine, Da Cesare in Albaretto della Torre), or other advice? We dined at Da Cesare about 6 years ago and loved it, but haven't seen any recent news or updates. I am somewhat concerned about how it would be now given his age and health.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Antine, and are considering it for a lunch (8 people). We also dined at Della Posta and enjoyed it; though found the meal to be quite "heavy" and overwhelming....couldn't eat for two days afterwards. We are going in June. Last time we went at the end of October for white truffle season. This time it will obviously be quite different.

Any advise is truly appreciated!!

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  1. Here is what I posted a year or so ago.
    Dinner. Antine’ in Barbaresco. We’ve been going to Piemonte (a lot, perhaps on average three times a year for more than 30 years) and this is by far the biggest disappointment. Next door to Gaia. Saturday night and only three tables of two (including us). Perhaps that is because “La Signora” is so off-putting. Not one smile the entire evening (and as you can see from posts in other threads on Piemonte, it’s not the first time). Just unpleasant, as in “I never wanted to be in the restaurant business” unpleasant. Very good menu. We ordered three courses and La Signora was a bit taken aback, as if no one does that there anymore. The antipasti (lumache and coniglio “four ways”) were very good, but why those plates which look so unbalanced that you think they’re going to topple? The primi, really poor! The “homemade” maccheroncini could have come out of a box and the Tajarin were an embarrassment (A few miles down the road in Isola D’Asti is Il Cascinalenuovo, also highly rated in Gambero Rosso and also with a star in the Michelin. Cascinale puts Antine’ to shame as far as cooking goes and certainly in terms of ambiance). I won’t bother anyone with the main courses and dessert; mediocre and not worthy of a restaurant with this reputation. A bottle of 2004 Albino Rocca’s Barbaresco (Lareto) for 68 Euros was delicious, as well it should be. One other thing to give you an example of how this place is run. We have never, ever been in restaurant of this purported character where a radio (yes I mean a radio!) was playing through the loud speakers, with a program full of talk radio, and La Signora didn’t give a damn. Simply unbelievable. Perhaps the radio was on to cut the monastic atmosphere in the dining room. We would never go back and would tell friends to stay away. People should go to Il Cascinalenuovo

    1. I just posted my Piemonte report from our trip in October that you might want to take a look at.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ekc

        Thanks to both of you. The update on Antine' is a great "warning". the other notes, and reviews are very helpful- thanks a ton!

        1. re: mbemery

          No problem - you are going to have a fantastic time! The food in that region is wonderful!

      2. Mberemy, sorry we can't be of much help here, haven't eaten at either Antine or Da Cesare. We fell in love with Rabaja in Barbaresco 10 years ago and always send out guests there never had one negative comment and they have a fabulous view over the Tanaro river and facing Roero hills.

        I have read that Da Cesare is only open for small groups and very expensive, but don't know for sure.

        The last time I ate at Trattoria della Posta they served me a plate of overcooked mushy pasta and that did it for me! Rina and our friends all had a good time, but I was not impressed by the "tourist" atmosphere, reminded me of La Contea in Neive. I would rather go a few kilometres on and eat at the superb little Osterie della Gemma in Rodino, very cheap and bring your own wine if you want something fancy, but authentic local Piemontese.

        But if you are staying in Acqui Terme, thats a long haul over to the Langhe, why not try the wonderful and unexplored (on this board) cuisine of the Southern Monferrato? Acqui has a famous restaurant, I Caffi, although to be honest I was very disappointed last time I ate there, they wre much better when they were in the hills at Caffi. I have heard that the Il Giardino in Melazzo a few klicks away is a hidden gem, and if you head over to Nizza Monferrato my favourite has always been La Rotonda (Via Migliardi 9) plus the Barbera Enoteca La Signora in Rossa serves lunch on weekends. Try Bardon on the old road to Canelli or La Violetta nearby on the road between Calamandra and San Marzano. Also like La Stazione in Santa Stephano, and if you want to splurge try Da Guido in the Relais San Maurizo where Lidia Alciati was still cooking the last time we went.

        Look forward to your reviews!

        PS I don't know why the links to my reviews of Rabaja or Gemma are not showing up.

        Da Cesare
        via San Giovanni 38, MO, Spilamberto, Emilia-Romagna 41057, IT

        La Rotonda
        Via Migliardi 9,, Nizza Monferrato (Asti), Piedmont 14049, IT

        I Caffi
        Via Verde (angolo v.lo Del Voltone,1), Acqui Terme (Alessandria), Piedmont , IT

        via Madonna Assunta, Pigna Imperia, Liguria 18037, IT

        1. Since you travel for good food, there is an "undiscovered" jewel of restaurant in Mondovi' called Il Baluardo. The restaurant is only a few years old and was just awarded a Michelin star thanks to the outstanding chef/owner Marc Lanteri.

          Il Baluardo
          piazza d'Armi 2, Mondovi Cuneo, Piemonte 12084, IT