Some Quick Restaurant Reviews in Piemonte

Trattoria della Posta – Monforte d’Alba

I would like to report that this icon restaurant of the Langhe is still cutting edge and presenting traditional Piemontese fare with the flair that made them famous, but unfortunately my last two visits have been a little disappointing. The restaurant moved base from the centre of Monforte a few years back to a much bigger site on the road to Roddino, and it seems that what they may have gained in space and expensive furnishings they have lost in lost in warmth and, most importantly, cutting edge food. Moreover, you get the distinct impression this is a restaurant resting firmly on its laurels but I guess while the Beemers and Benz’s keep filling the carpark that’s not going to change anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong here the food is not bad and the wine list has the requisite number of Piemonte’s best and brightest, I just think that if you travel around the world to visit a region renowned for its food and wine and you’ve only got a few days to indulge, then maybe there are better places to go (check out future blogs for those).

La Coccinella – Serravalle

What a great restaurant! About 15 minutes drive from Serralunga or Monforte d,Alba this small restaurant run by three brothers epitomises all that’s great in a cutting edge Piemontese restaurant; genuine hospitality and warmth, great produce put together with respect for tradition but with freshness and imagination and, of course, a brilliant and well-priced wine list.

The room is also warm and inviting with well spaced tables, excellent stemware and superb service led by two of the brothers (the third is the head chef) who speak perfect english and offer assistance in a friendly and informative way. They listen to what you like in wine and suggest something appropriate rather than just selling you what they want to sell. In food too, they’re happy to walk you through some of the more difficult items on the menu. All the food’s good and its not all about the staples like Vitello Tonnata; when we were there recently I had a dish that featured small prawns and white fish carpaccio’d around a fresh Burrata cheese. Doesn’t sound like it would work but it was absolutely brilliant. We drank Principiano Barolo 2007(normale) from Serralunga; a traditional style showing gorgeous aromas of flowers and iron minerality and a palate that’s beautfiully balanced with ripe fruit complexed by underlying mineral and a gentle tug of well-covered tannins.

Make sure you make this part of your Piemonte experience and make sure you book…always a good policy in Italy.