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Casale Monferrato?

Anything good to eat in Casale to kick-start our Piedmont adventure?

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  1. Why Casale Monferrato to kick-start?

    12 Replies
    1. re: allende

      Picking the car in Malpensa in the morning and driving to Serralunga d'Alba so I figured its a good place to stop for lunch. The Duomo and the old Synagogue caught my attention as well, not to mention Krumiri Rossi cookies! Other ideas are welcome, especially if its not an easy place to stop for a few hours (Parking, ZTL ,etc)

      1. re: Ziggy41

        We do the drive all the time. It's easy.

        Depending on what time you get out of Malpensa, I'd eat at Bardon. From Malpensa to Bardon is two hours. No problem parking.

        1. re: allende

          That was my initial plan... straight to Bardon. Now I'm on the fence

          1. re: allende

            Hi Allende.

            I'm a first time poster to CH, so apologies if this is a terribly uncouth way to communicate! But after spending the last couple of days trawling all of your generously informative Piemonte posts, I have a feeling you are the right person to help me!

            We have one lunch opportunity in the region while driving from France to Verona, and I really want to get it right!

            Most of your posts seem to centre around the southern areas on the Piemonte, whereas our route will take us through the more northerly parts.

            My wishlist is for something memorable (low key through to fancy - very flexible) in a scenic, rural setting, not too far away from major thoroughfares such as the SS24/E64/A26, skirting around the northern edge of Torino (Rivoli/Venaria kind of areas).

            Or alternatively around Ivrea, as we can also take the A5 through the Alps down to meet the A26/E64.

            Just to complicate things, I would definitely consider going the long-way through Asti/Alessandria for the right pit stop though!

            Does anything spring to mind?!

            Again, apologies for hijacking someone else's thread.

            With many thanks from Australia!

            1. re: papercardboard

              Hi papercardboard,

              No apologies needed. This is a good way to communicate.

              Let's assume you go SS24/E64/A26, skirting around the northern edge of Torino (Rivoli/Venaria kind of areas).

              From Torino you can go Novarra, Milan, Bergamo, Brescia and then on to Verona. Or you can go from Torino to Asti, Piacenza, Brescia and then on to Verona.

              Both ways are approximately the same distance. In the latter case, you avoid getting near Milan and the possibility of a lot of traffic. Torino, Asti, Piacenza, Brescia is, normally, the easier route. We've done both many times and much prefer the latter.

              Of course if you do that route (Torino, Asti) you have the added advantage of eating just outside of the northern Langhe. You can get off the Autostrada and have lunch at Bardon which is not far from the Asti/Alba exit. After lunch, get back on the Autostrada and continue to Verona via Piacenza

              If you take the Torino, Novarra, Milan route I'm sure there are places around Novarra that would be enjoyable. As many times as we've tried, we've never found a really excellent place... so we stopped trying a number of years ago.

              Hope this helps. If you have ny other questions, don't hesitate to post.


              1. re: allende

                Hi Allende,

                Wow - thanks for your super prompt response. Your tips regarding the different routes are most helpful and much appreciated.

                In regards to Bardon, I notice that a similar distance from the Autostrada is Il Centro, and not too much further on is Veglio.

                Can you please tell me... am I getting the wrong impression from photos posted online of all these establishments, that Il Centro and Veglio benefit from a more 'scenic' location?

                The rest of our week in Italy is going to be spent in cities, and I have conjured up this, perhaps unobtainable, vision of enjoying wonderful food in a beautiful setting in the Italian countryside. My week in Panzano-in-Chianti four years ago has spoiled me, I'm afraid!

                Is there a nice outlook from Bardon, or even better, an enjoyable outside area to lunch in if the weather is good (early September)?

                Are Il Centro and Veglio's views available to be enjoyed while dining, or are they only to be glimpsed upon arrival and departure?

                If the views do not factor into the whole experience, then Bardon is the clear winner.

                Thank you very much for your time and generosity. I agree with many other posters that CH should bestow you with a special award for services rendered.

                Warm Regards

                1. re: papercardboard

                  Hi papercardboard,

                  I think you're getting the wrong impression re Centro. There is a nice view from one of the dining rooms if you're seated by the window. However, that's a very minor point with regard to the restaurant.

                  Veglio, as henjef85 showed in some of his photos and description, has a wonderful terrace overlooking three of Barolo's key areas. If it is warm in early September, lunch will be served there. If it is not warm or if it is raining, it won't.

                  Veglio is farther away from the Autostrada exit than Centro and Bardon. To give you some idea, from Centro to Veglio is about half an hour.

                  We've never thought of these three places with regard to the views. Veglio has one, the other two don't, although if it is nice, Bardon will also serve on its terrace. The countryside in Piemonte is beautiful, but very different from Panzano.

                  Basically, if you go to Centro or Bardon, you're really going for the food and the wine lists. As I and others (henjef85 and Peter Rodgers) have mentioned, the food is different at Bardon from what it is at Centro. Bardon is a trattoria deep in the countryside. The food is delicious; no better plin or carne cruda or roasts in our opinion. Centro is a Piemontese restaurant, with a very high skill level with regard to cooking and an incredibly high "quality of ingredients." It is our favorite Piemontese restaurant and Bardon is our favorite Piemontese trattoria. Both are truly wonderful places, but very different.

                  If I were in your position and wanted to go for lunch on the way from France to Verona, I'd choose Bardon, but you can't go wrong with either one. One other note. Centro is, of course, open for lunch. The best times to go at lunch are on a Saturday or Sunday. On the other days, there are usually fewer people. We don't mind that at all. In fact, we like it because it gives us an opportunity to spend time with Enrico and Elide. Other people don't like restaurants that don't have many other people dining and that is what can happen at Centro during the weekdays at lunch.

                  Hope this helps.

                  1. re: allende

                    Fantastic. Thank you so much for your generous advice Allende - it is incredibly kind of you and much appreciated. I look forward to reporting back in late September! Cheers!

                    1. re: allende

                      Hello again Allende!

                      I have just called Bardon to reserve our table, and they are closed on the day we are passing through. So sad!

                      Il Cascinalenuovo and Il Centro add the least amount of time to our already big day of travelling, but Veglio's traditional Osteria nature really appeals.

                      In your opinion, is Veglio worth the extra travelling time for that 'classic' Italian experience?

                      If not, which out of Il Cascinalenuovo and Il Centro do you personally prefer for lunch?

                      With many thanks in advance!

                      1. re: papercardboard

                        I really can't tell you if Veglio is worth the extra travel time. Veglio is a very good Osteria, one of our favorites in Piemonte and five minutes from our apartment. That makes it easy for us. You've got a long trip. Only you can know if another half hour plus of driving, each way, is worth it.

                        Cascinale is not open for lunch except on weekends and in the fall. We like them both for lunch, but we prefer Centro as a restaurant. Note that Centro and Cascinale are very different from Bardon and Veglio.

                        BTW, what time of year are you going through Piemonte?

                        1. re: allende

                          Thanks Allende, your advice is very much appreciated!

                          We will be there mid-September - hopefully in time for a bumper fig season!! Fingers crossed!

                          Thanks again - very kind of you.

                          1. re: papercardboard

                            At that time, not sure Cascinale will be open for lunch during the week.

        2. I have yet to find an outstanding place in Casale M, however there is a very good restuarant, Il Gatto e la Volpe, in Oleggio, which is near to Malpensa on the back road to Novara , where you can pick-up the autostrada. I guess it depends what time you will fly in and pick-up your car.

          As Allende comments you can get to Bardon in two hours, so again it depends what time you leave the airport and if you want to take this restaurant in after your flight or leave it until you have un-jet-lagged.

          3 alternatives I can think about would be Il Cascinale Nouvo, get off A33 Asti-Alba autostrada at Isola d'Asti; I Bologna at Rochetta Tanaro not far from the Asti Est exit and A33 interchange, or come into central Asti, park on Pzza Alfieri and eat at one of the nearby restaurants TUIT at Eataly, or Tacabanda. Its 1.5 hours from Malpensa to Asti.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Villasampaguita

            Thanks for the info. I decided to go straight to Bardon and start this trip in style. Our location in south of Alba also dictates that it will be a bit more difficult to get to Bardon on other days.

            I also have I Bologna in my notes somewhere, perhaps due to a previous recommendation by you. Looking forward