Osteria La Torre, Cherasco
November 17, 2015
Marco Falco opened Osteria La Torre in 2003 as a trattoria. It now retains its informal and regional character while offering a more refined cuisine. Linda and I were joined there by Blair and Karyn for dinner on October 20, 2015.
Arriving a little before 8:00, we were surprised to find the door locked. When we returned from a short walk, a small crowd had gathered by the sign in the little side street.
At exactly 8:00, as the church bells started to ring, a well dressed man who had obviously been to the restaurant before pushed aside the menu hanging in front and rang the doorbell hidden behind. The door opened and we all entered amidst some confusion caused by two couples who did not have reservations. But we were quickly seated under a window ledge with an artistic seasonal display.
We looked at the printed menu and listened to the changes and specials of the evening as well as the offer of white truffles. After we had made our selections, which included three with white truffles, the chef, Marco Falco, came to our table. He and Linda selected two truffles, which were then weighed on a tiny scale.
We ordered two bottles of Barolo.
We have always liked the Barolos of E. Pira & Figli; this 2007 Cannubi did not disappoint.
We ordered the 2007 Arborina of Elio Altare as we had been to a tasting and tour at his winery just below La Morra that afternoon. Very good.
Linda and Blair started with
Uovo 62° con fonduta di formaggio nostrale,
verdure croccanti e chips di pane
An egg was cooked at 62°C in a ramekin filled with fontina cheese and cream; toasted vegetable bits and bread crumbs were included for texture. A white truffle was shaved on top. Excellent.
I had an antipasto special of the evening, which came in two parts. The first had an onion refilled with caramelized finely-julienned onion and other vegetables and then gratinéed, plus veal carpaccio with little pickled vegetables.
Blair and Karyn went on to
Risotto (Tenuta castello) al Barolo
This risotto was made with Barolo wine and rice from Tenuta Castello in the Po valley to the north east of Cherasco.
My pasta was
Tajarin al tuorlo d’uovo
These tin, flat, fresh, yellow noodles are made with egg yolks. They are simply dressed with butter, making a perfect match for the white truffle shaved onto it.
Coniglio alla langarola con peperoni
I forgot to take a photo of his rabbit dish, cooked in the style of the nearby Langhe and garnished with peppers.
The chef, Marco Falco, came out to say farewell. We could chat with him as he speaks good French.
His son, Mattia, has recently started working in the kitchen. Other members of the family take care of the dining room and the service.
We enjoyed a good meal that kept to the traditions of the region and the local products of the season. It was the right accompaniment to our two bottles of good Barolo. The service was always friendly. The noise level was low. We can understand why this is a popular spot.