Piemonte and the Langhe

My wife and I returned to Piemonte for nine days late last month. While the visit was marred by some health issues, we managed to make all nine of our dinner/lunch reservations, mostly returning to the restaurants that we have loved over dozens of trips to the region. New this trip were meals at Agnulot in Verduno and I Rebbi just outside of Monforte d’Alba. Both were solid; we certainly will return to each. Two of our stalwarts , I Bologna (Rochetta Tanaro) and Trattoria della Posta (Monforte d’Alba) were disappointing. Both had significantly reduced the scope of their menus and on the whole, their food was mediocre. We had excellent dinners at Osteria Veglio (Annunziata); Pane e Vino (Cherasco); Trattoria Coccinella (Serravalle Langhe) and La Torre (Cherasco). And our lunch at Repubblica di Perno (Perno) never really left the gate, as the whole clientele was forced, mid service, to move their cars because of local construction.

While all the restaurants we attended were busy, we were told by several of the owners that they were struggling to find personnel, especially in the kitchen. Hopefully these challenges will pass.

Best dishes: Tagliarin with a wild boar ragu at La Torre; baked, stuffed onion at Pane e Vino; vitello tonnato at La Torre; tuna stuffed pepper at Veglio; tagliatelle with venison ragu at Veglio; risotto al barolo at I Rebbi.

Best wines: Elio Grasso Barolo, Gavarini Chinestra 2011 at Veglio; Prunotto Barbera d’Alba Pian Romualdo 2020 at Trattoria della Posta.

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Thanks for this update PHRodgers. It was much due to your guidance that my cousin and I had a wonderful introduction trip to the area in the spring. We had a similarly disappointing experience at Trattoria della Posta, but a fun and delicious Sunday lunch at I Bologna FWIW. We both ate the roasted lamb chops as our main course, and they were very delicious. Something special went around as a cheese course, and we got in on that too. Altogether a fun and delicious lunch!

We ate at Veglio twice as we were staying up the street (grazie again for that suggestion!), and loved both our meals, but the meal/restaurant I most often find myself day dreaming about is the lunch we had at Pane e Vino. We had a late lunch, and were soon the only diners in the place. I suppose this could have felt awkward, but the welcome and attention that the host gave us erased any self-consciousness I otherwise might have felt. We had snails, two kinds of pasta (memorable tagliatelle w/ragu that I am dying to try this winter to try and replicate, well at least come close), some other kind of fish (sorry it’s been a while.). Anyway, unexpected and really excellent.

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Glad to be of service!! Hope that you can get back soon.

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