Piamonte between Torino & Asti this week
Hello Chowhounds ~
As a New Yorker, I was a frequent user of the Brooklyn board for a number of years, then we moved and we're now in France. Not as romantic as it might sound from afar, but it has it's percs food wise.
We're driving with our two boys 8 & 10 to Piamonte to spend four days. We're staying beteen Torino and Alba.
We're thinking about:
La Morra Cuneo, Italy
Osteria la Torre
I'm looking for local restaurants, that are not necessarily "gastronomic", more local family restaurants.
I read about a restaurant right on one of the plazas of the market in Asti, don't have the name in front of me, but it's as simple as "restaurant of the market" it's mentioned in Fred Plotkin's book. (latest edition
) When I looked it up on the web, it didn't seem to match the description. I'll find the name and post it tomorrow. Anyone know of or have experience with this restaurant?
It was mentioned as being one of the oldest restaurants in town and very simple in it's decor.
We plan to go to Torino to check out the cafés, chocolates, Ice cream... we might eat too.
I think we'll skip eataly this time to avoid the mall-like experience.
I have to buy some coffee beans to take back with us, the coffee where we are living near Geneva is not very good and I'm fiending for my old Vienna Sumatra roast from Porto Rico on Bleeker Street.
I'm also thinking of driving towards the coast into Liguria.
So any out of the way-up a mountain/dirt road-national park etc.- country restaurant you might know of either in Piamonte or Liguria (towards Savona) will be much appreciated.
Has anyone been using, http://www.2spaghi.it/ for reviews?
Thanks for reading!
re: Boston Bob
Just so folks know there is another opinion, below is what I wrote a year ago. We were up to Piemonte four times this spring, and had the opportunity to eat at Vignaiolo twice more, for various reasons. There is no comparison in both the quality and preparation of the food... Veglio, in our opinion, is much better than Vignaiolo. It costs more but is definitely worth it. One of the major differences is that Vignaiolo is in Santa Maria where there is one large hotel. It attracts lots of non Italian tourists and caters to them. Of course, La Torre in Cherasco, very close to La Morra, is far and away the best trattoria in the area.
From a year ago:
Lunch the next day at Osteria Veglio in Annunziata. I know some on this board much prefer Il Vignaiolo in Santa Maria, about three km. up the hill toward La Morra. We don't. For us there is no comparison. The ownership presence in the dining room is much better here as the two sisters are animated, engaging and in general don't appear to lose a step even with a full dining room (that is not the case at Vignaiolo). The dining room itself is more open, the tables spaced better and the decoration is more comfortable; the felling is one of warmth.
The most important difference is in the quality and preparation of the food. Even the bread (how do they make those addictive rolls? a triple rise?) In our opinion, the preparation is clearly superior here, as are the ingredients used. It does cost more (probably by a third), but well worth it. Had: carciofi croccanti, puree di ceci sopra un letto di spinaci, fonduta leggera; tajarin con sugo di carne; ravioli del plin cotto in brodo e serviti al tovagliolo; Coniglio con olive, the coniglio being a good example of the difference in the quality between here and Vignaiolo. A 2006 Mauro Veglio barbera. Very good wine list, reasonably priced (and with some 1996 and 2000 Baroli still on the list). A very good (written) menu. I don't mean to disparage Vignaiolo. It is a fine trattoria. We think this is better.
And two from this year (2012) about Veglio:
Osteria Veglio in Annunziata just below La Morra. It's always a treat to eat at Veglio, particularly sitting outside on the terrace overlooking the barolo vineyards as we did last Thursday for lunch. Tagliata of veal with Spring vegetables, minestra of Spring vegetables, an amaretti semifreddo and a 2007 Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia barbera. Can't get much better than that. Elio Altare was having lunch and when he was gone, I walked over to see what he had been drinking. Not much of a surprise, his own 1986 Barolo.
And again: Osteria Veglio. Unlike the last time a little more than two weeks ago, it was cloudy and windy so we didn't sit on the terrace. Basically the same menu as then with a few tweeks. Something that perhaps can help many of you who are either vegetarians or simply want a break from all that wonderful meat in and around the Alba area... Veglio always has seasonal vegetables on its menu in one form or other. And those vegetables have a lot of flavor and are cooked perfectly. There is always a minestra of seasonal vegetables. The other day there was also a millefoglie filled with cooked wild greens and a wonderful fondue. I had the tagliata of veal and the plate had perfectly cooked carrots, some late spring fennel and some fagiolini. My wife had a pasta with peas, asparagus and string beans. Another wonderful simple lunch with La Signora and the wait staff just as nice as can be. Note: for whatever reason, we enjoy Veglio more at lunch than dinner.
I had already read your voluminous comments! Thanks for all the info.
The restaurant in Asti I was thinking of is:
Trattoria al Mercato, corner of Campo del Palio
Has anyone been here?
It was described as a real "down home" place.
We're leaving a day early, tried to get through to Osteria Veglio but with no answer.
Going to try again from the road tomorrow as well as Osteria la Torre since we're staying about 20 minutes between the two in Vergne for our first night. Then we move north for the rest of our stay to an Agriturismo between Poirino and Asti.
Trattoria al Mercato would not be the choice of restaurants I would send any of our guests to in Asti. Its very modern and convenient for market-goers lunch but nothing else. If you haven't already been through Asti try Brasserie Pompa Magna in the heart of the old town, also an enoteca, or L'Angolo del Beato, one of Asti's better restaurants.