IN TRUTH WE DINED not quite as well tonight: this is a good neighborhood restaurant, no more than that — but that's often enough. It's clearly popular, and most of the tables seated at least six, often with three generations present.
And we had great conversation with friends old and new from home, here, like us, to attend the Salone del Gusto. And it was fun introducing them to the cuisine of Piemonte, so different from what we usually think of as Italian cooking…
Russian salad, for example: You won't find that on a Tuscan menu! I told Nathanael, sitting at my left, that it was basically cold cooked vegetables in a thick mayonnaise — peas and carrots, Lindsey added, momentarily forgetting the obligatory dice potatoes. It's a dish that makes you an old man in an overcoat, who votes Republican, I explained; and then I ordered it as my first course, out of nostalgia.
I followed it, naturally, with battuto — chopped raw Piemontese beef,dressed with olive oil and salt, with mache and little tomato quarters on the side. Not up to Scannabue, where we dined night before last, not by a long shot; but good enough.
•Osteria Le Putrelle di Giovanni Foresto, Via Valperga Caluso, 11, Torino; 01165 99630