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Aug 13, 2013 01:47 PM

Alba on Sunday and Monday

It seems that almost all Alba restaurants mentioned on CH are closed on Sunday (at least for dinner) and Monday, except for Vigin Mudest which in recent years has gotten poor reviews. What is one to do? How far from Alba must one go to find a decent place that's open?

Even if one does the day's main meal out in the country at lunchtime, can anyone suggest wine bars or informal places (pizzerias?) in town for a small evening meal?

Any and all suggestions and advice (short of rearranging the itinerary, which we're considering) would be appreciated.

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  1. The Vin Cafe wine bar on one of the main streets in Alba is worth a visit for a casual meal. I don't know if it is open Sunday or Monday.

    1. It seems to me that when we were there from Thursday to Saturday (twice), there were a few places that were closed Thursday, but (I think) open on Sunday and Monday. I will do some research and get back to you tomorrow.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        @ chowtraveler

        Many (most?) places around the Alba area are not closed on Sunday night and Monday. Wednesday and Thursday seem to be the preferred days of closing.

        There is very little (nothing?) to be gained eating in Alba... if you want a very good meal. Around the area, not far away, are some wonderful places, trattorias and restaurants. For example, Osteria Veglio in Annunziata (just below La Morra) is open Sunday evening and Monday and it is a pleasant and easy 20 minute drive from Alba. I don't have my guides in front of me, but I think Il Centro in Priocca is open as well. It is 25 minutes away. Da Bardon, the same thing. About 35 minutes and really worth it. Boccodivino in Bra is open both days in September and October; in other months, only Monday.

        Look at my postings for Piemonte and you'll find plenty of places to eat on both days. I would suggest getting out of Alba. The great Piemonte places are out of the city.

        1. re: rrems

          If you don't want to drive at night, you can get a very good meal at La Libera in Alba. Otherwise, Il Centro in Priocca (closed Sunday, open Monday) is well worth the trip, as is the simpler La Torre in Cherasco. We also liked Cascina Schiavenza in Serralunga d'Alba. If you read Allende's posts you will find a wealth of detailed info. I have also posted detailed reports. Be sure to go back a couple of years in your searches, as these places don't change much.

          1. re: rrems

            Correction to my post above:

            La Libera is closed Sunday and open Monday.

            Il Centro is open both days.

        2. Thanks to all three responders (so far) for their helpful suggestions. We've already read as many of Allende's (as well as DavidT's and rrems') detailed posts as we can find, and do plan on visiting several of the out-of-Alba places they recommend. We greatly appreciate these (and other) posters' expertise and their willingness to share their experience and judgment.

          But it is an unfortunate fact that, as rrems recognizes, it is difficult or inadvisable for some people to drive at night, especially on small unfamiliar unlit roads. Such people still may want a very good meal, but therefore prefer to book the country places for lunch rather than dinner. Which leaves the need for at least a light or simple in-town evenng meal. And with all respect, it also is a fact that every one of the 6 Michelin-listed restaurants ln Alba itself, including La Libera, is closed on Sunday, and all but one on Monday.

          So my question still is, Can anyone suggest a couple of wine bars or other informal places (even pizzerias) in Alba itself for at least a small Sunday or Monday evening meal? (VinCafe definitely will be a possibility, as its Website says it's open "daily 12:00-23:00." Thanks, DavidT.)

          7 Replies
          1. re: chowtraveler

            just to throw out names, havent been to the region at all, places in Alba town from Gambero Rosso:2012 open Sun OR Mon eve (you should check further
            Osteria dell'Arco (closed Sun)- 2gamberi trattoria (also in Slowfood)
            Enoclub (closed Mon) - has winebar Caffe Umberto as well
            Dulcis Vitis (closed Wed lunch and Tues
            La Libera (closed Mon LUNCH and Sun) (Slowfood Also)

            GR's Lowcost guide also lists La Mafalda, a trattoria (closed Sunday)

            There are reports on earlier threads of other places folks have liked in Alba - you might draw some more suggestions from there to reseach further if you just put "Alba" into the box above.


            1. re: jen kalb

              Jen, Thanks for jumping in. Interestingly, Enoclub is stated in Michelin (on-line) to be closed for Sunday "diner" as well as Monday, and the restaurant Webste seems not to say anything at all about closing. My notes on dell'Arco said closed Monday too, but on re-checking the restaurant Website I see I noted wrongly. This is definitely useful to know, for which I'm grateful. (You're also right about La Libera, but that of course might be tough to swallow -- so to speak -- after lunch at one of the reknowned country places.)

              I have indeed searched "Alba" on the board, and gotten lots of good info but unfortunately not on this particular question. I wish I had access to Gambero Rosso. Is there an on-line version, a la viamichelin? If so, it's eluded me.

              On a different topic, I've enjoyed your posts on Brooklyn, in connection with visits to my son, a foodie in his own right, who although a Northern Virigina native is now a confirmed if not downright chauvinistic Brooklynite. (I'm an ex-Bronx boy myself.)

              1. re: chowtraveler

                Gambero Rosso has an iPhone/iPad app and also one for Android.

              2. re: jen kalb

                According to La Libera's website, they are closed Sunday but open for both lunch and dinner all other days.

                1. re: rrems

                  Unless I'm misreading the Website (which is possible), La Libera is open on Mondays only from 20:00-23:00 -- which would suit us fine if we're still up for a full dinner after a full lunch in the country, but other interested readers should check this.

                  1. re: chowtraveler

                    your are reading it correctly


                    ps - did you say when you are travelling? that page says that they are open every day of the week in the month of October.

                    no reason to feel you have to eat a full dinner - you can certainly choose to have a lighter meal and omit courses you are not up to at a restaurant of this sort - or any restaurant for that matter - if you wish.

                    1. re: chowtraveler

                      You're right, and my apologies to Jen, I misread it, but at least they are open Monday nights, which is what is important, as you will be having lunches outside of Alba anyway. And, as Jen says, you can order as much or as little as you like. They will not make you feel uncomfortable if you do not have a full meal.

              3. Ristorante Osteria La Liberia is opne for Monday dinner. Somewhat upscale Piemonte fare, but excellent. Highly recommend and best to make reservations.


                1. Thanks again to all posters for their observations and suggestions, especially to Jen for the names from Gambero Rosso.

                  One question remains unanswered, though -- Is there an on-line version of Gambero Rosso? If so, it has eluded me.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chowtraveler

                    there is a Gambero Rosso app but I am struggling with it a bit - I suspect I will have to subscribe to get full functionality. Ive not been able to access the restuarant list online maybe someone else has been more successful.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      I thnk the Apps now have "in app purchases" - the App itself is free, but then you pay for all the listings, or for much less one region at a time.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        I don't have the app, but I have been using the Kindle version, which has proven quite helpful when we're in the area and wondering about a restaurant, or are at the table and are wondering what the recommended dishes are.