La Coccinella, Serravalle Langhe

November 3, 2007

Our friends Nick and Stephanie love to drive their beautiful old cars through the hills of The Langhe, either in a rally or just on the way somewhere. They know many of the little inns and restaurants, so when they heard we would be there, they said that we must not miss La Coccinella, a restaurant they know well and love. It is southeast of Alba in the little town of Serravalle Langhe, where the Upper Langhe starts; the vineyards which produce Barolo give way to hazelnut groves and cattle grazing.

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The décor at La Coccinella is rustic and welcoming. Logs were burning in the fireplace on the fall evening we went, October 29, 2007.

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We were given an apertivo of a local dry sparkling wine and a slice of salami.   

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Alessandro, who runs the dining room with his twin Massimo, told us the specials of the day and composed our menu with us. The youngest brother, Tiziano, is the chef. We ordered a bottle of 1999 Oddero Vigna Rionda Barolo, which we liked so much that when Linda found three bottles of it the next day at an enoteca in Alba, she bought them.

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I started with the Terrina di Coda di Bue con Marmellata di Cipolle. This was a slice of a terrine of finely chopped oxtail in its own gelatine with an onion marmalade that cut the richness. Alessandro told us it was their most popular starter and I could see why.

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We then had the pasta special of the season: Tajarin con Tartufo Bianco d’Alba. Tajarin, a local specialty, are thin, long pasta strips made with egg, which gives them a richness that goes very well with the white truffle which was shaved over them. These truffles had a lovely earthy flavor which was mild, but lingered in the mouth.

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Linda went on to a second white truffle dish: two poached eggs in fonduta, the Piedmont mixture of Fontina cheese with butter, milk and eggs, with white truffles shaved on top.

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I had the main course special of the evening: a cake formed by rounds of fried potato slices with chunks of fresh porcini and sweet red pepper. It was good, but I think there are better combinations with the porcini than the peppers.  

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Linda finished with Formaggi di Langa dello Stagionatore, Cora di Monesiglio, a selection of local cheeses with a dark fruit jam. The Langhe is close to the Alps where there is a much wider variety of cheese than most of Italy; it is served in the French style here.  

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I finished with “Cassata Langarola” di Marron Glacèe e Nocciole.  Candied chestnuts were in a cream with chopped hazelnuts. A fresh sabayon was served alongside. I had a glass of the moscato d’Asti, from just north of the Langhe.  

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The plate of mignardises included a chocolate truffle.  

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We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the ambience.   

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We stayed at the Hotel Bellavista in Bossolasco a few kilometres south. The staff was very friendly and the hotel was cosy. The historic center is lovely.

www.trattoriacoccinella.com   

2 Responses to “La Coccinella, Serravalle Langhe”

  1. Ray Says:

    I’m sure you know it, TAJARIN means TAGLIARINI in the Piemontese
    dialect.

  2. guido Says:

    Your report brought back memories.
    My wife celebrating her 42nd Birthday and I were sitting at another table October 29, 2007. “La Coccinella” was truly a memorable dining experience.
    Other memorable lunches and dinners can be had in various other places. “L’osteria del Vignaiolo” in La Morra comes to mind.


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