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Piemonte report (verbose)

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After Venice and Parma we headed to Piemonte. These are our stories:

Lunch at Villa Tiboldi outside of Canale (127 Case Sparse). What an amazing property! It was an old estate that was transformed into a luxurious country hotel. The hotel is at the top of a hill with great views of the surrounding vineyards. After admiring the views, we sat at a lovely table outside where we could enjoy the views and the sun. We started with an amazing vitello tonnato. It was a paper-thin slice of rare veal, topped with a dollop of tuna sauce that was smooth like mayonnaise and half a soft-boiled quail egg. Big J had a lovely cheese soufflé that was topped with white truffle shavings. J had wonderful agnolotti very simply prepared. In my quest to expand my culinary horizons and conquer certain dishes from my past, I ordered a tomato dish that was essentially tomato aspic with layers of eggplant and cheese topped with a white sauce. It was a gorgeous dish and very tasty! The boys each had a gorgeous tenderloin of veal topped with porcini – very good. Although the waitress brought us the lovely dessert menu (and graciously allowed me to keep one), we were too full from the fantastic food to enjoy dessert.

Dinner near our hotel at La Rosa dei Vini (4 Localita Parafada, Serralunga d’Alba). La Rosa is a lovely restaurant and we sat in a large room surrounded by windows – the views must be amazing during the day! In spite of a very boisterous Butterfield and Robinson group dining near us, we had a very enjoyable dinner with a wonderful waiter and nice wine list. J had a great vitello tonnato (twice in one day? Why not!). The tajarin con ragu was very good and M had an amazing raw mushroom salad.

We had lunch at a truffle-hunter's house and then dinner La Libera (Via Elvio Pertinace 24, Alba). We had a fantastic meal, including a couple of lovely salads, very good tajarin con ragu, vitello tonnato, etc. The star of the night, however, was my raviolo and was the best dish I had on the trip, hands down!! The raviolo was filled with a bed of spinach/ricotta which was topped with a gorgeous golden egg yolk. The pasta was so thin that you could see exactly the layers of the filling. It was accompanied by a simply butter sauce and it was topped with a pile of black truffle shavings. Truly, I cannot adequately portray how spectacular the dish was – indescribable. After the raviolo, I was in such heaven that I can’t remember what we had for dessert.

Lunch at Vincafe (Via Vittorio Emanuele, 12, Alba), which is a cozy 2-story restaurant in the center of the town. We ate in one of the downstairs rooms – a bit like eating in a brick-lined cave – but in a good way! We were all craving greens after our previous days’ Piemonte binge, so we had a wonderful bunch of salads.

Dinner at Ristorante Bovio (Via Alba 17bis) on the outskirts of La Morra. The building is set at the end of a long driveway and the restaurant overlooks the vineyards below. There were tons of windows, and a nice terrace that would be fantastic in nice weather. One of the problems, however, with so much glass and other hard surfaces in the restaurant is that it got really loud, with two large tables surrounding us. We guessed that they were wine groups in for the truffle festival and boy did they have a good time! In spite of the noise, we had a great dinner, including a fabulous risotto covered in while truffles and the most amazing roasted quail “salad” that had sliced asparagus, shaved parmesan, a lightly fried egg and was topped with black truffle. Divine! To honor our visit earlier in the day we had a ’99 Altare Barolo, which was a very good wine. The meal ended with a cheese course of selections suggested by our server from their fantastic cheese cart.

Very good lunch at Eataly in Torino at the Salumi counter – yummy prosciutto, mortadella, salami, culatello di zibello and buratta, followed by a chocolate tasting at the Guido Gobino store (Via Lagrange 1). Amazing.

Our final dinner of the trip was at Tre Galline (Via Bellezia 31) in Torino. It was a very interesting and yummy dinner. I had a fantastic spinaci sformata and J had a fantastic gnocchi con fungi. I had a very interesting lavender risotto, which was very good other than the taste of chewing on a potpourri satchel! I should have ordered the bolito misto, which looked fantastic!

Thanks for making it through my report - feel free to ask questions!

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La Libera
Via Elvio Pertinace, 24, Alba (CN), Piedmont 12051, IT

Bovio
Via Alba, 17, La Morra (Cuneo), Piedmont 12064, IT

 
 
 
 
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  1. Thanks for taking the time to post this and your other reports. I had lunch at the Vin Cafe in Alba about 10 years ago and ate downstairs as well. The restaurants & cafes in the PIemonte region serve some of the best food in Europe. Thanks for the memories.

    1 Reply
    1. A fantastic and very informative post - thanks for taking the time!

      1. Excellent report, thank you. I am looking forward to our return trip to Piemonte this fall, and am absorbing all the information. We had dinner at La Libera 2 years ago (I particularly remember their wonderful version of vitello tonnato) and I am trying to decide whether to go back there or try one of the many other wonderful places instead. Decisions, decisions ...

        1. EKC hardly verbose at all compared with me (-:

          Was this from your previous trip or a new one?

          14 Replies
          1. re: Villasampaguita

            But Villa, you are a much better writer than me! This was from our trip in October 2010. It was truly a fantastic "foodie" trip and I really am looking forward to returning to Piemonte someday to eat some more! This year we are returning to Rome for a couple of day - looking forward to binging at Roscioli - then Venice for a couple of days - returning to Antiche Carampane for crabs - then exploring Friuli region for a week. I am curious how Friuli will measure up to Piemonte!

            1. re: ekc

              @ekc, this was a really enjoyable report. As a matter of housekeeping You might want to think about removing the extraneous links to Rome and Venice your post above created since this thread is really about Piemonte, right? (see what it does to the map) Looking forward to hearing about your upcoming trip to Friuli, particularly

              btw Im adding a couple for the places you visited. thanks again for the great report!

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              La Rosa dei Vini
              Localita Parafada,4, Serralunga d'Alba, Piemonte 12050, IT

              Villa Tiboldi
              Tiboldi Case Sparse, 127, Canale Cuneo, Piemonte 12043, IT

              Tre Galline
              Via Gian Francesco Bellezia, 37, Torino, Piemonte 10122, IT

              1. re: jen kalb

                Thanks for the heads-up Jen. I removed the links that got inserted in my reply. And thanks for adding the links - I couldn't figure out why they didn't magically appear like the others!

                1. re: ekc

                  the links dont appear until somebody adds the info to the database (I added these last night). You can add the info while you are posting by hitting manage your links and following the instructions. there for adding a new restaurant (if an appropriate choice or link does not appear in the pulldown menu) or alternatively you can open a separate window on the Restaurant page and use the search blanks (name of restaurant, town,IT) to search for/create a new restaurant entry by following the prompts there. I usually use that method since it enable me to put more info in and also the direct entry method can be uggy) I thnk that once a restaurant in the database has been linked in a post it will keep coming up on its own, but I am not really sure.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Thanks Jen - I will try to remember for next year's report!

            2. re: Villasampaguita

              Hi EKC,

              you were in Piemonte last year and you didn't call us for a glass of wine and a chat, shame on you!

              I hope La Libera didn't serve you frozen peas as they did once to our guests!!!

              La Rosa Dei Vini was a favourite of ours once, but we switched to Cascina Schiavenza behind the castle in Serralunga, not that there was anything wrong with Rosa, but we think Schiavenza is better and more reasonably priced choice, and no bus tour groups.

              Bovio is the new version of the venerable Belvedere beloved by Matt Kramer on the Piazza in La Morra, neither of them I have tried. Did you ever eat at the old Belvedere, I would be curious for a comparison?

              I love Tre Galline too, thats where we discovered Montecenesio Blue Cheese, one of our favourites.

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              La Libera
              Via Elvio Pertinace, 24, Alba (CN), Piedmont 12051, IT

              Bovio
              Via Alba, 17, La Morra (Cuneo), Piedmont 12064, IT

              Tre Galline
              Via Gian Francesco Bellezia, 37, Torino, Piemonte 10122, IT

              1. re: Villasampaguita

                Next time Villa, because we will be back!

                No frozen peas at La Libera - just the amazing raviolo!

                Cascina Schiavenza was on our list, but we ended up at RDV because it was literally 5 minutes from our hotel (Il Boscareto) and we had had a long day, starting in Parma, then lunch at Villa Tiboldi, then a tour/tasting at Malvira, then at wine tasting at our hotel with Silvia Altare. So much food and wine and so little time!

                This was our first trip to Piemonte, so we have not eaten at Belvedere, but it certainly will be the first of many! Tuscany? What Tuscany?!?!

                1. re: ekc

                  Where are you planning to eat in Friuli Venezia Giulia?

                  1. re: barberinibee

                    We haven't yet developed our eating plan for FVG - any suggestions?

                      1. re: barberinibee

                        Thanks - I forgot about your report. Love it - grazie mille!

                  2. re: ekc

                    Sorry EKC I did confuse you with another frequent poster whose initials are very close!

                    1. re: Villasampaguita

                      No problem V - I'll still stop by for a glass of vino next time I am in the area though! :-)

                  3. re: Villasampaguita

                    Villa,
                    I've eaten at Bovio and the Belvedere (under its new owners). Our expereince was that Bovio was superior to the "new" Belvedere. We stayed in La Morra for 8 days, and all the locals we talked to recommended Bovio over the "new" Belvedere

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                    Bovio
                    Via Alba, 17, La Morra (Cuneo), Piedmont 12064, IT

                2. Thank you for the review of Villa Tiboldi. We've been drinking a lot of Malvira' wines lately and it would be nice to have a lovely restaurant near by to go to.

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                  Villa Tiboldi
                  Tiboldi Case Sparse, 127, Canale Cuneo, Piemonte 12043, IT

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: AprilTwoCats

                    April, try Al Enoteca in Canale.

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                    Al Enoteca
                    Via Roma 57, Canale (CN), Piemonte 12043, IT

                    1. re: Villasampaguita

                      Villasampaguita, thank you for the recommendation.
                      Yah know, everytime I think I've seen the perfect restaurant setting in the Piemonte, I see another. It is so hard to decide where to stay, which vineyards to visit, which restaurants to try. But that doesn't mean I don't want to hear about more!

                    2. re: AprilTwoCats

                      No problem April - attached is a photo of the outdoor terrace

                       
                      1. re: ekc

                        Beautiful, ekc. Thank you so much. It's hard to tell sometimes from a sponsored website if things are as wonderful as they seem. This photo confirms it.