Moncalvo (AL), October 11, 2016—
AFTER A HALF-DAY on the road, punctuated by a so-so panino at an Autogrill on the autostrada, it was marvelous to be once again in our beloved Monferrato. Alas a restaurant I wanted to return to is closed on Tuesday, but we tried another, with good results.
Three dining rooms open off the rather oddly conformed reception area, crowded with bottles and boxes attesting to the wines of this region: understandable, since they are among the best in the world.
The menu is ultra-local: not only Piemontese, but Monferratino. The contessa was content with a single plate, tagliarini with a raw egg yolk, white truffles sliced on top. I was envious but ordered less expensively.
I started with Peperone di Carmagnola arrosta, con bagna caoda: the sublime yellow sweet pepper, roasted and peeled, completely drowned in a delicious bagna cauda rich with anchovy and olive oil and the perfect amount of garlic. Really a memorable dish.
My secondo was perhaps not up to that: Brasato di fassone alla Barbera, roast beef that had been marinated in red wine, not long enough I think, accompanied by a very good polenta, roast potatoes, and nicely cooked carrots. The beef was solid and had good flavor but was tough to chew.
Gewurtztraminer, Elena Walch (Alto Adige), 2015, just off-dry, deeply flavored, surprisingly good with the bagna cauda;
Grignolino in bicchiere
Ristorante Corona Reale, Piazza Cavour 2, Moncalvo; 0141.917130