Sunday, October 31, 2010

Giaglioni, 1: Cena Piemontese

Giaglioni (Piemonte), October 28, 2010
MAMMA MIA, SIAMO ancora in Italia, we're back in Italy. I liked the food in Lanslebourg: hearty mountain rustic French fare. But Italy, well, Italy's another matter. We ate just as locally, in an agriturismo we found by chance; but the locale is devoted to a bigger range, a more tellingly considered, a more finely executed cuisine.

And this is what we had:
Vitello tonnato
Frittata di erbellina e carote
Capelleti al prosciutto e ricotta
Arrosto di vitello con spinaci
Torta di castagna

Everything made in the kitchen; everything grown in the garden or raised in the adjacent pasture. The cheese was perhaps not of this very house, but was certainly of the neighborhood. The grissini and the bread, even, were made here. I wouldn't be surprised if you told me its wheat had been grown here, though I haven't seen any wheatfields hereabouts.

The tonnato was exceptional, not at all from a delicatessen, a small dollop of wonderful tuna sauce centered on each thin slice of perfectly cooked veal. The capeletti were made of potato and were in fact gnocchi in the semicircular shape of cappeletti; the filling was refined and perfectly balanced between prosciutto, ricotta, and sage flavors, and the texture very delicate and soft.

The roast veal was nicely salted, sliced very thin with the grain, and set off by sweet fresh spinach with very light butter flavor. The cheese was the least exceptional course, but welcome; and the torta was everything a chestnut-lover could ask, dense but not at all heavy, with a very interesting, rewarding texture, a rich chocolate sauce at one end, smooth cream at the other.

It was, in fact, perhaps the most satisfying meal of the trip so far, and a memorable one.

Seven grappas were offered; I contented myself with one, the genepì, as good as I've tasted anywhere, and I've tasted my share. Lindsey's Fragolina was delicately flavored with raspberries; the straight dry grappa was pure, refined, and delicious. All from the em>proprietà.
Zal blanc, Chardonnay and local white grapes, Azienda Agricola Martina (Piemonte), 2009; Dolcetto, Azienda Agricola Martina (Piemonte), 2009; Cré Seren (Pinot nero and local red grapes), Azienda Agricola Martina (Piemonte), 2009; grappe: genepì; alla frutta secca

Agriturismo Crè Seren, , Frazione San Rocco, 10, Giaglione; tel. 335.608.3966

No comments: