Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alba & La Piola - Food & Wine Adventure

Wandering the infamous town of white truffles and fabulous wines, she realized she had a one-way ticket to paradise, Alba in the province of Cuneo. In the historic center, exists a great eatery called la Piola.

Across from the Chiesa di S. Giovanni or, il Duomo there is this simple and el
egant little place to eat under the old portico. They have also placed a permanent “greenhouse” for dinning right on the piazza; this little glass house is fully enclosed with air conditioning and in the summer heat, it is a blessing to sit there and enjoy the view, eat and stay cool. The tables are set up with huge, fun and colorful charger plates with ultra comfortable chairs to rest in (such a rarity in Italy, and a change from the classic Osteria chair).

The menu offers excellent dishes typical to the region with nice, courteous waitresses and waite
rs serving everything very promptly. For starters, an assorted cheese plate was a must just to sample the local cheese creations as well as a fabulous insalata russa. Tagliolini with an oil and garlic or “white” sauce of ground rabbit dressed this homemade pasta, which was out of this world! There were also agnolotti made with a mix from a roast of various meats and these were dressed in the sauce of the roast, something Snow White had never tasted before in all her days in Italy. The sauce was limpid gravy per se, light in weight and exquisite in flavor. The agnolotti are a type of tortellini except the ends are brought together at the center of the “cushion” and pressed together. Some other versions of these wonderful homemade agnolotti are with the ends pulled together similar to a sack as if tied with string at the top. All this fare was accompanied by a nice chilled white Roero Arneis another great white wine produced in the Roero hills above the river Tanaro; and since this was gastronomic play-time, dessert was a must, which was accompanied with a wonderful Moscato d’Asti by, none other than the Piglet’s favorite, I Vignaioli di S. Stefano. Dessert was the classic Bunet; a type of chocolate pudding with crushed amaretti.

Now these little pigs will be off for some other adventure shortly so stay tuned...

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