These are the last weeks of the white truffle as the main character: the Tuber magnatum Pico will star in the annual international fair in Alba until Sunday 24 November. But in the restaurants of the Langhe, it will continue to be served with tajarin, carne cruda and eggs –its famous pairings – until the first weeks of the coming year; harvest will end on 31 January.
Here are some tips for those who, aside from buying, want to properly have a taste of it: with dishes prepared by one of the best local chefs.
We have selected the five best restaurants where truffle can be enjoyed, paired with the great wines of the Langhe and the Roero, of course.
Here are the addresses to take note of:
La Ciau del Tornavento (Treiso)
Truffle served according to chef Garola’s way – © Courtesy of laciaudeltornavento.it
Maurilio Garola is one of the most representative chefs of the traditional Piedmont cuisine and his Michelin star shines particularly on local products of the Langhe – and therefore, on truffles.
"Here, clients must feel at home", says the chef. If lunches and dinners are unforgettable – and they definitely will be – this is possible thanks to the various resources that set this place apart from the rest: the restaurant is housed in a former nursery school of lictorian style – typical of the 30s – located in Treiso, at the heart of the Langhe.
The dining hall, with its high ceilings and wooden floors, gives a breathtaking view of the vineyards; while the cellar, dug into the tuff of the hill, preserves over 65,000 bottles from 450 producers, and 1,800 labels from all over the world.
La Ciau del Tornavento
Piazza Baracco, 7 – Treiso
Tel. +39 0173 638333
Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays
Da Guido (Santo Stefano Belbo)
The cellar – © Courtesy of relaissanmaurizio.it
Relais San Maurizio, converted from a Cistercian monastery of the 1600s and immersed among the vineyards, between stone walls and authentic brick vaults, houses the restaurants Guido da Costigliole, a landmark of regional haute cuisine.
Chef Luca Zecchin combines contemporary ideas with the classics of the Piedmont tradition, serving small yet great works of art on a plate. The atmosphere is elegant but not plastered, as sometimes mistakenly expected from Michelin-starred restaurants.
The cellar counts more than 2,800 labels, a collection of historic bottles kept in the ancient crypt of the monks; some cells contain wines of those guests who have chosen to keep their best wines here.
Guido da Costigliole
Località San Maurizio, 39 – Santo Stefano Belbo
Tel. +39 0141 841900
Piazza Duomo (Alba)
The restaurant’s famous “pink room”, frescoed by the artist Francesco Clemente
With three Michelin stars since 2012 and its long-time inclusion to the list of the top 30 restaurants in the world, Piazza Duomo is the kingdom of Enrico Crippa, who has reinvented the traditional cuisine, elevating it to perfection.
The dining hall is the place where a menu dedicated to truffle can be tasted – reserving a table well in advance.
The restaurant is owned by the important wine producer, Ceretto, located nearby.
The chef’s passion for plants is channelled through the restaurant’s vegetable garden that can be found at the foot of Ceretto winery. Here, there are a plot of four thousand square meters filled with vegetables and a greenhouse measuring four hundred square meters, where Chef Crippa personally goes to everyday to pick vegetables, herbs and flowers.
“Once a dish has been eaten, there must always be a lingering feeling of wanting to eat more of it. I believe that yearning is essential to true pleasure – there is always a little space that cannot be filled, like in love”, says Enrico Crippa of his cuisine.
Ristorante Piazza Duomo
Piazza Risorgimento, 4 – Alba
Tel. +39 0173 366167
Closed on Sundays and Mondays (during the International Truffle Fair, it is open on Sunday at lunchtime)
Locanda in Cannubi (Barolo)
The beautiful view from Locanda in Cannubi – © Courtesy of locandaincannubi.it
Located a few kilometres from Alba, on the road to Barolo, the Locanda in Cannubi is housed in an Eighteenth-century building that has been brought back to its former glory in order to offer modern travellers a high-class gastronomic experience.
The restaurant takes from the experience of the Bertolini-Boggione family, an authority of traditional Langhe cuisine, and offers a skilful rewriting of the oldest recipes.
The wine list offers a particularly in-depth analysis of the Barolo produced using Nebbiolo grapes from this hill, one of Italy’s finest: guests can indulge in intriguing tastings of Barolo Cannubi from different producers and eventually purchase retail bottles.
The Locanda, a cliff over the sea of vines, is one of the most surprising innovations of food experience in Langa: the windows of the restaurant let visitors dive into the vineyard landscape.
Locanda in Cannubi
Via Crosia, 12 – Barolo
Tel: +39 0173 56294
Closed on Sunday evenings and Wednesdays
21.9 (Piobesi D’Alba)
Truffle and egg interpreted by chef Flavio Costa
The restaurant 21.9, surrounded by vineyards 10 minutes from Alba, is a place to not be missed: it offers a menu of top quality in an elegant location.
Chef Flavio Costa’s dishes represent a modern and direct cuisine: they are hardly ever made with more than three main ingredients. Prime products from Liguria, the chef’s place of origin, enriched with typical flavours of Piedmont are brought to the table; particular attention is given to his majesty, the truffle.
The cooking techniques and preparation have earned the chef a Michelin star.
The restaurant, housed in a room of an old farmhouse, now home to the wine producer Tenuta Carretta, carries a spellbinding atmosphere, one from the old times.
21.9 Flavio Costa restaurant and hotel
Località Carretta, 4 – Piobesi d’Alba
Tel: +39 0173 387200
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at lunchtime
Enjoy the best truffle restaurants with The Grand Wine Tour. Ask for more information!