I am not easily surprised by restaurants, but here I found something out of the usual character. This restaurant is just around the corner of one of the top places for those enjoying food, the Pollenzo Castle, home of the Univerisy of Gastronomic sciences. At street level, the room is rather large an in the local style. Greeted by a charming waiter, we are escorted to our table.
First surprise, no written menu. The maitre 'd recites a short menu. I am not a fan of this way, which has somehow become usual in certain places. But I don't complain, as I know from other description that prices are reasonable. We have not negotiated this, but I noticed that at the end the bill says "fixed price dinner", so I suspect this was the deal. They should be clearer with their customers, because it's not a bad idea, but one should be informed beforehand.
I go for a starter of asparagus en croute with sesam seeds and a helping of basil majonnaise. Fabulous. Perhaps this preparation leaves the asparagus too dried up, but it somehow works well. My guests have raw meat with marinated egg, just perfect, nice and souple. The wine is an exceptional Barbaresco and I thought it was not a good choice of mine with my starter, but that was not a mistake at all. Of course it goes really well with my guests' starter.
The main course is a tagliata steak that comes with some coste cooked with raisings and lemon skin, as well as the 7-hours-low temperature cooked vitella (veal) comes for my guests. It's not usual that the vegetables steal the scene from the meat, but the cook must be a genius, because he or she has transformed a poor vegetable in something unforgettable!
Superb dessert closes the dinner. Wow! Even the coffee is very nice.
It's not a Michelin-starred restaurant, it's too off the mainstream to get there, but it's a very nice choice if you are in Langhe, near Barolo and Asti. The price is really reasonable, the wines are surprisingly low priced, the overhead must be a ten euro over the department store price, in other restaurants I would have paid 60 euro a 34 euro bottle here, and it was well worth any euro-cent.
In sum, one of the best experience in the last months, surprisingly good and for a right price. Kudos.
Two suggestions: better explanations of the deal; please have the smoking area farther away from the entrance, especially in summer the smell of cigarette smoke at the restaurant is definitely something I am not nostalgic about.
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