Ristorante il Centro, Priocca

November 24, 2015

On October 21, 2015, Karyn, Blair, Linda and I had lunch at Ristorante il Centro in Priocca, in the Roero thirty minutes north of Alba, where we had spent the morning.

This highly rated restaurant has been in the Cordero family for about sixty years. The son of the founder is now the manager, his wife is the chef. They live upstairs.

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You have to ring the doorbell to get in as the dining room is in the back.

After being seated, we ordered glasses of the house sparkling wine and seriously contemplated the menu.
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Well, I guess that Karyn is through contemplating and has already decided.
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The bread tray, with an unusual and delicious anchovy bread, arrived.
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We ordered a bottle of 2004 E. Pira e Figli Cannubui Barolo. Delicious.
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The amuse-gueule was a little sandwich of homemade salami and a bit of cabbage. Unusual and nice.
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We ordered the tasting menu, which started with three appetizers that we could choose from the printed menu, but they had to be the same for all four of us. We could then each choose separately our pasta, main course and dessert.

The first appetizer was
Coscia di vitello cotta sotto sale con salsa Cavour.
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A veal leg cooked lightly and slowly in salt was thinly sliced, as if it were a carpaccio. It was served with an herbed mayonnaise, which added some moisture and interest. Our server joked: “Vitello tonnato without the tuna.” Very good.

Fonduta di parmigiano con cardi e uova di qualie.
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A parmesan cream was served with seasonal cardoons and a poached quail egg. This had a nice autumnal, slightly musty effect.

Millefoglie di topinambur con salsa di acciugghe.
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Thin, stacked slices of sunchokes were dressed with an anchovy sauce and topped with crisp sunchoke chips. Imaginative, seasonal and excellent.

Karyn’s pasta course was
Agnolotti della Domenica con ragù di salsiccia e fegatini.
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These “Sunday” agnolotti were filled with a specially rich meat mixture. They were dressed with a sausage and chicken liver sauce. 

The rest of us had tajarin with white truffles.
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These white truffles seemed to be particularly fresh and flavorful. The tajarin, flat egg noodles, seemed to be thinner and more elegant than those we had been enjoying in the last two days. Excellent.

For her main course Karyn had
Uova al tegamino al tartufo bianco d’Alba.
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Two eggs had been slowly fried, sunny side up, in butter in their serving dish. White truffles were shaved over them at the table. 

Linda had a grilled eel special.
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The flavor of the eel came through nicely from its grilling.

Blair and I had
Codone di vicciola  (razza bovina piemontese allevata al nociole.)
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This is a special flavorful, tender and lean cut of beef from a local cattle breed raised slowly on selected fresh hazelnuts, which are an important local crop. They claim that it is better than wagyu and I cannot quarrel with that. The slices of rare steak were served on a thin bed of sliced porcini alongside a baked tomato stuffed with diced vegetables.

Karyn’s dessert was
tirami sù.
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Linda and Blair had
Gelato al torrone con biscotto di nocciole e pistacchi.
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Italian nougat ice cream was served on a crunchy, round hazelnut and pistachio biscuit.

I had
Il nostro dolce di nocciole.
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Hazelnut ice cream was garnished with two hazelnut pastries.

There was a generous assortment of fresh, good mignardises.
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This was an outstanding meal. The ingredients, conception, cooking and presentation were all excellent. There were no unnecessary complications or elaborations in the dishes, which were mostly seasonal and local. The high quality of the three appetizers was notable. The service, pace and ambiance were all of the same high standard. I think that next time we will need to find a closer hotel so we can go safely in the evening. Bravissimo.




2 Responses to “Ristorante il Centro, Priocca”

  1. Sam Spektor Says:

    Glad you enjoyed Il Centro. Now you see what I’ve been raving about for so many years.

    As far as a closer hotel, there aren’t many up there unless you only want to stay for a night. It is better to hire a private car to take you to Il Centro and back from around the La Morra area, which is what we do. 100 Euros total and you don’t have to worry about drinking a bit more. Only one bottle of Barolo for a meal? Are you slowing down 🙂

    Email if you want the name of a good private car driver.

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