What is an Osteria?? It's a simple Italian restaurant serving wine by the glass as well as regional/traditional cuisine. In this case, the one I went to was a Osteria-Enoteca, where they sold also wines by the bottle, to consume during the meal of to take home.
Alba, a picturesque town in the heart of Piedmont that's renowned world-wide for its succulent white truffles, Barolo and Barbaresco wines is where Osteria dell' Arco located. It was quite hard to find as it's tucked away inside a residential building near the central Piazza. The place was packed with locals and some tourists (as usual I normally make reservations just to be sure) so it was a good thing we had reservations.
I started the meal with 2 very traditional Piedmont dishes: Carne Cruda all Albese Batutta al Coltello (Raw Meat Alba style hand cut) and Vitello Tonnato (Chilled veal with Tuna Sauce). Both dishes are very typical Piedmontese cuisine and looking beside me, I could see that many tables of the locals had ordered the same thing.
The Carne Cruda, one of the most basic I've tried. No capers, no Perrins, no Tabasco, no anchovies - basically just raw beef with a little lemon, salt and pepper, which is the traditional Piedmontese way. They serve you Olive Oil on the side, which you are supposed to pour on the meat and mix all together. Simply a wonderful perfect dish. The Vitello is thinly sliced Veal with a light Tuna sauce...very traditional from this region also. For wine, I had Roero-Arneis, a typical grape of Piedmont from the Roero area in the Province of Cuneo.
For main, we had: Lingua Arrosto con Peperone e Salsa Verde (Roasted lambs Tongue) and Tagliata di Fassone (Ox Fillet). Again very traditional Piedmontese dishes, which is what I was really looking for..
As seen on the pictures above, the presentation is very simple. They focus on the quality of the ingredients rather than the fancy presentations. The Lingua was excellent, a little crisp on the outside but soft and juicy on the inside..this was the best dish of the meal and I wish I had ordered this as my appetizer also...that's how good this was. The Ox Fillet was actually also very good, quite tender and tasty, and cooked rare-medium rare, the way I like it. With these dishes I had 2 glasses of Barolo, which was a great match for the dishes I had.
With no more room for dessert, we paid the bill and had coffee in the main Piazza, al fresco..a perfect way to end a meal like this.