Wednesday, October 28, 2009

La Cantinetta de Maurilio, Barolo

Lunch this time was in one of my favorite areas in Italy: Piemonte. There are many towns in Piemonte (La Morra, Alba, Barolo, Barbaresco, etc...) and so far, I have been to two of them for spectacular meals: Alba and Barolo.

La Cantinetta was recommended to me by a friend I met some time ago through my blog, Giampiero, who works for a wine producer in Barolo called Mauro Sebaste, a boutique winery that produces around 100,000 bottles a year. As we entered the restaurant, I was a bit skeptical as the place was completely empty, and it was about 1 Pm, just about the time most Italian have lunch, but I decided to trust the recommendation of Giampiero, and good thing we decided to stay.

We decided to let Maurilio, the owner, to prepare a degustation for us for the appetizers. When he mentioned degustation, I thought that it would be the typical small plates, lots of design, creative stuff. Thank God I was completely wrong. He brought us a series of dishes, most of them he would serve directly in our plates, so basically we tried the whole menu of appetizers.

He served us first a typical Russian Salad (no pictures) which is a simple salad with vegetables mayonnaise and egg...very simple but a classic at least for me in in Spanish tapas bar. Next, we were served a Pate de Fegatini D'Anatra e Coniglio su Cipolle di Tropea Caramellate (a Pate de Foie/Rabbit with Caramelized Onions) served with Tonatto sauce, a sort of emulsion made with anchovies, Capers, Tuna, etc.. I have still no pictures of this since I was enjoying my meal too much. We enjoyed this with a fresh crisp Roero Arneis (their house white), a very typical white wine of this region and one of my favorites.

Now come the serious stuff..they served us: Pepperoni en Salsa Verde (Red Pepper, Pesto and a Quail Egg)..again a very simple dish which I continued to enjoy with the Roero Arneis. The pepper was somewhat Pickled and grilled and very sweet, a good contrast with the sort of pesto sauce.


Next, Leak Flan con Fondutta e Tartufi Bianco (a Flan made of Leaks, covered by melted Cheese and a teaser of White Truffles). A Very tasty flan made of leaks, strong Cheese and a few shavings of the coveted White Truffle, which is in season right now in Piemonte.


Then came the star of the Appetizers: Uovo in Pasta con Tartufo Bianco (Egg in Pasta with White Truffle). A simple big 'Ravioli' with egg Yolk inside, and a generous served of shaved White Truffles. As I proceeded to cut the Ravioli and take my first bite, the golden liquid of the egg yolk oozed out, a surprise for me since I forgot that the pasta had Egg..well a good surprise that is..



Following wit the theme of our lunch and on classic Regional Pairing, I asked for a 2003 Pio Cesare Barolo. The wine was all I expected from it, a typical classic Barolo, and a good match with our White Truffles.


Now on to the main course (Yes, what we had were just the appetizers) another classic Piemontese dish which I love: Carne Cruda (Steak Tartare)..I know I always have this but I just can't get enough of it..simple hand chopped meat, simply seasoned with Oil, Sal, Pepper and a dash of fresh Lemon Juice. This type of Tartare gives you a chance to taste the meat rather than the dressing that sometimes overpowers the taste of the meat.


The next and last two dishes we had were: Tortelli (small hand made Raviolis with beef) and Bocconcini di Cinghiale con Polenta (Wild Boar with Barbera wine Sauce and Polenta). The hand made pasta was great was served with a generous serving of Parmiggiano Reggiano and the wild Boar was superb, with a thick Sauce made of Barbera D'Alba wine, which gave this dish a very earthy feel.




Dessert was practically forced upon us, since we were very full from the huge meal that we just had, but how could we say no to Maurilio?? A selection of four classic desserts: Panna Cotta, Semi Freddo al Torrone, Flan and Brunet Tradizionale. The Panna Cotta was my favorite of the four, and a great way to end our meal.

This is a meal I will not forget in a long time. Thank you Giampiero for recommending this place and hope to be back there soon. Ciao !!

8 comments:

Chinkee said...

Nakakainis na 'tong blog na 'to. Its just not fair...

Pinoylife said...

Just what I like. Food with intense flavours prepared to TASTE good not look pretty on the plate.

This restaurant is on my list for next time I'm in Italy.

Robert B

Noel said...

Nakakainis na 'tong blog na 'to.

Ha hah ahahaha! That's too funny, Chinkee. I can just imagine you thinking that in front of your monitor!

Robert,

Totally agree.

Mig,

Great post again as usual. See you soon, buddy.

N

Miguel said...

Chinks - Hahahaha thats so funny....but honestly I can't wait to get back home na.

Robert - You could not have said it better...

Noel thanks..see you soon

Chinkee said...

Hahahaha! I say its nakakainis but I still keep reading and looking at the SUPER ANNOYING pictures.;-P

My Hotel Life said...

I'm surprised you guys were still standing after that dinner

Miguel said...

George - it was lunch :) so we had time to burn all what we ate :)

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