Via Luca della Robbia, Torino, September 25, 2016—
AS I THINK I mentioned yesterday, the restaurants in this town are full. But this afternoon we ran into an old friend who had providently booked a table for six tonight at one of Slow Food's favorite Torino osterie, and she had only three friends with her, so we tagged along.
Actually we led the way. We had an hour or so before dinner, and wondered how to fill the intervening time, and someone proposed a walk. Great, I said, brightly, we'll just walk to the restaurant.
Antiche Sere is not in the center of town, which is where we were at the time, at the Teatro Carignano, where we'd just seen a film. Antiche Sere is out in Cenisia, nearly as far from the center of town as our apartment. It took us an hour of fairly brisk walking to get there, over four kilometers according to Google Maps. A few of the others seemed dubious about my leadership, and even I was a bit uncertain when we finally turned down the unpromising, dimly lit via Ceneschia. Near the end of the block a white light hung on the facade of a building, and when I got there I was welcomed by the sign OSTERIA and the gilt letters you see above the curtain on the window.
We were greeted warmly, of course, with glasses of Prosecco thrust into our hands. We had a nice round table in the front dining room — there are three — where our friend, something of a celebrity, would be on display to all. And then we looked over the menu.
Now you may complain you cannot read this menu because of the quality of my photo, but I assure you it was not much easier at the table. Let me translate:
[illegible:] semolina cake flavored with lemon zest
Peperone with anchovies
Vegetable and bean soup
Agnolotti with meat sugo
Gnoxxhi with Gorgonzola
Tajarin with porcini
And there we stopped; we could not eat any more. Well, a green salad; no way we would be allowed to skip that, not in this crew.
And desserts, of course: peaches stuffed with bonet, bonet itself, panna cotta, tirami su. And a grappa. And a sugar cube in a jar of basil-infused grappa to put in the grappa.
And then, after three hours at table, our friends called a cab to go back downtown, and the Contesssa and I walked another mile through the gentle night to our apartment.
Arneis in caraffa; Nebbioli in caraffa; Barolo: Prapo, Schiavenza, 2011, rich and mature