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.
Italy Oct 2015 060 (260x480)
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.

Italy Oct 2015 067 (480x178)

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.

Italy Oct 2015 070 (408x480)
Italy Oct 2015 072 (401x480)

The bread basket arrived including excellent foccacia.
Italy Oct 2015 066 (480x200)

A giardiniera, a little plate of braised vegetables with a slight pickled taste was served to start us off.
Italy Oct 2015 069 (480x285)

We ordered two bottles of Barolo.
Italy Oct 2015 073 (480x345)
Italy Oct 2015 075 (480x412)
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.

Karyn’s antipasto was
Minestrone di verdure e legume
Italy Oct 2015 081 (480x231)
She was half done enjoying this traditional vegetable soup when I remembered to take the photo.

Linda and Blair started with
Uovo 62° con fonduta di formaggio nostrale,
verdure croccanti e chips di pane
Italy Oct 2015 076 (480x330)
Italy Oct 2015 077 (397x480)
Italy Oct 2015 078 (480x325)
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.

Italy Oct 2015 079 (480x172)

The second part was a piece of mackerel with white beans.
Italy Oct 2015 082 (480x180)
This was really good.

Blair and Karyn went on to
Risotto (Tenuta castello) al Barolo
Italy Oct 2015 083 (480x235)
This risotto was made with Barolo wine and rice from Tenuta Castello in the Po valley to the north east of Cherasco.

Linda had a seasonal special: pumpkin gnocchi with walnuts.
Italy Oct 2015 085 (480x251)

My pasta was
Tajarin al tuorlo d’uovo
Italy Oct 2015 088 (480x248)
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.

Karyn’s meat course was
Maialino glassato al forno.
Italy Oct 2015 092 (480x178)
Piglet pieces had been glazed to a crisp in the oven. They had a good flavor and textural contrast with the vegetable garnish. 

Blair had
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.

Linda and I had
Animelle di vitello saltate ai funghi.
Italy Oct 2015 090 (480x141)
Veal sweetbreads had been sautéed with porcini mushrooms. On the left were applesauce and mixed vegetables. Good.

Having had three courses already, we skipped cheese and dessert. A good plate of mignardises finished off the meal.
Italy Oct 2015 094 (480x236)
There were fig marmalade sandwiches, hazelnut meringues and fruit gels. Very good.

Most of the other diners had already left when we finished.
Italy Oct 2015 093 (480x241)

The chef, Marco Falco, came out to say farewell. We could chat with him as he speaks good French.
Italy Oct 2015 095 (480x248)
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.



2 Responses to “Osteria La Torre, Cherasco”

  1. peter & sandra Says:

    I hope you will take us to Osteria La Torre some time!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.