Chianocco, July 22, 2026—
DINNER WITH MY Mompantero friends again, this time in a Slow Food-recommended spot up in the hills in a little town not far from tonight's hotel.
There was no menu, and I'm afraid I zoned out in all the Italian spoken between the waitress, the cook (an acquaintance of Andrea's of course, as everyone in the valley seems to be), my friends… consequently, and particularly since I'm writing this a couple of days later, I'll have to rely on the photos, which aren't as good as they might be.
We ate on a porch outside, beginning a little after eight, enjoying the evening breezes, and began with a series of antipasti:
And then went on to a beautiifully prepared risotto, flavored with erbette — little herbs of some kind cut from the garden.
We had to have a pasta, of course: fortunately a small serving, as everything had been on this fixed menu:
Bigoli, I would say it was, in a fine tomato sauce with a disscreet hint of meat.
By now I was intetested in eatling lightly, so for a secondo I chose (as did Andrea) another simple course, zucchini blossoms, battered and deep-fried.
Like the antipasti, the dessert seemed a little fussy in its presentation — lavorato, overworked. No denying it was good, though:
little servings of puff-paste (on the left) and apricot mousse, with good pastry cream and the obligatory dusting, in this case cocoa.
The dinner was long, the courses small, yet we were quite satisfied and had a fine evening. We did have to send back the first wine we'd ordered, a Timorasso that was both maderized and corked. Otherwise it was a fine evening.
Arneis, Teerre di Vei (Langhe)
Rosso, IULI Umberta (Monferrato)
La Baritiera, via Baritiera, 10, Chianocco (TO); +39 0122 647614