Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Dinning at Grinzane Cavour Castle
Dinning at the Castello Grinzane is a must for anyone who would like to re-live a little bit of history in modern elegance. Reservations are a smart thing and required to even get near the place in October and part of November (white truffle season). The auction for the largest of these beauties usually occurs at the castle annually and hosts a multitude of VIPs who populate the town of Alba as well. There is a quaint and convenient hotel, Casa Pavesi just meters from the castle offering unique room décor, breakfast on the terrace, bar and cozy reading rooms.
The dinning room at Grinzane Castello is not only an elegant atmosphere but the service is professional and discrete. High heels beware walking up to the castle, if one parks below it can be a wicked challenge on the rounded rock road as well as, taking the path towards the entrance and the uneven floors and steps once inside. This place was meant for climbing and sensible shoes plus, getting to the bathroom or better said, navigating the steps to the bathroom after a few glasses of wine can be an issue, especially when you really need to go. ;-)
While gazing up and through the windows from inside, over the expanse of the vineyard-clad hills beyond, she could not help but breathe a little bit of the history within these walls.
Dinner consisted of tagliolini with sausage ragù (sausage from the Roero region) a bottle of lively Barbera, hand-rolled bread sticks and a main course of Brasato al Barolo. Brasato is one of the ultra famous dishes from this area and is truly a must-try. The meat is soaked in Barolo wine, cloves, juniper berries and garlic for 12-24 hours then removed from that marinade and slow baked for 1½ in fresh Barolo but not before performing a sauté of carrot, celery and onions, browning the meat and then bathing it in Barolo.
After all that food no one needed dessert but they insisted with a few complimentary cookies and of course we did have to imbibe in an outstanding grappa! The waiter brought the bottle to the table after we told him a little bit about our taste preferences; he suggested this one and poured two generous glasses offering us, on his wallet, a second. God, a second glass would have done this little lady in, she would have needed a stretcher to get down the stairs.
While seated outside on the benches in the gardens encircling the castle, the night air was cool (blissfully) and the night birds extremely busy. Something came whizzing by her head at a speed so fast her hair flew up and her ears were buzzing from the speed with which this creature flew. Who knows what it was, certainly not an owl of any sort and not a bat. The lights across the valley to the other hill town were mesmerizing and suggestive, music floated up from the tent party near the hotel, laughter and the clink of glasses while toasting; all elements adding to the ambience rendering the experience even more suggestive for a creative mind. The past oozed around us with the pride of the people of the town for the place they live and for the traditions they protect. Romance, romantic dinning, sensuous, warm, sexy, suggestive, hot, steamy, languid, escorts, red roses, venetian mask, antiquity