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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lunch in Cuneo-Osteria della Chiocciola

The province of Cuneo is located in extreme northwestern Italy, in the Piemonte region. It is 45 minutes by car southwest of Torino. The capital city of the province is also called Cuneo. As we drove into town I read on a sign, "Cuneo: La Province delle Castangne" (The Province of Chestnuts.) We were searching for a place to have lunch and found this place via The Slow Food Guide to Osterie of Italy.

Osterie are simple eating establishments, generally they are less expensive than trattorie. They usually have local dishes and a restricted menu. The wines are often local and moderately priced as the mark up in osterie tend to be much less than in trattorie and ristoranti.

I once went to an osteria in Milan that served great fried risotto. The waitress told me I could not have any if I did not finish my salad. She was 70 and her mom, the cook, was 90! Needless to say I ate my salad right up.

I ordered the tasting menu and Deme ordered the Chiocciola menu. Mine had 5 dishes and his had 4. I tasted half of every dish before I passed it along to him and he did the same. Thank goodness the portions were not too large or I would not have made it out the door.

Without further adieu, here were the dishes we liked best.


Pate di fegatini con crostone=Liver pate with crostini. This pate was dense and sweet not bitter or gamey tasting at all.


Carne cruda battuta al coltello=Hand chopped raw beef. Many times this dish in made with a special type of cow or veal that comes only from Piemonte. I never used to eat this in the U.S. but love it here.



Sformato di carciofi=An artichoke dish in which the artichoke is placed in a form of some sort usually with and egg base. Artichokes are in season now in Piemonte and this is a very common way to serve them.



Risotto alla versa=Risotto of Verza ( a type of cabbage) Our favorite dish on the menu, hands down. The risotto was perfectly al dente, the verza was flavorful, it had just the right amount of cheese and the broth did not overpower the flavor of the vegetables.


Sorbetto di ananas=Sorbet of Pineapple. I loved the texture of this sorbet. It had just a touch of liquor in it and was a pleasant end to lunch.



As we went to pay the bill, Deme spotted some old Gambero Rosso food guides. We opened one up and spotted his name in it.


Osteria della Chiocciola
Cuneo-Via Fossano, 1
+39 0171 66277
Closed on Sunday
Reservations not needed but recommended. The tables are set on the second floor as the first floor features a generous wine cellar in which you can taste and purchase wine.

All contents copyright 2004-2006.
All rights reserved.

3 Comments:

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Crystal said...

I'm sorry, but that food all looks really scary.

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger Mona said...

Did she just say the food looks scary? Wow I'm writing in to tell you how amazing it looks! Wish I could have been there!

 
At 3:53 AM, Blogger Typesetter said...

Miiii! Non ci posso credere! You have been at Tullia's place! She's a kind of myth. She is known for some great things she happened to say at customers. Once a guy saked her "What kind of wine do you serve?" She answered (in very strict milanese) "bianch e ros" (white and red), the guy insisted "yes, but wht kind of red wines? "Vin ros!". Another time a woman, after being recited the list of dishes, asked "How is polenta served" and Tullia replied "La pulenta l'รจ quela che foo mi: se la voeur la magna se la voeur no la magna no" (it's polenta like I do it, either you want it and eat it or you don't want it and not eat it). I LOVE her!

 

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