Ristorante Garden, Pollenzo

November 14, 2017

On October 17, 2017, Linda and I dined at the Ristorante Garden of the Albergo dell’Agenzia where we spent two nights.

The Agenzia di Pollenzo was established by King Carlo Alberto in the 1830’s as a royal agricultural station. In the 1990’s it was taken over by Slow Food, which proclaims:

Slow Food is a leading international association committed to bringing back the real value of food and respect for food producers who work in harmony with the environment and ecosystems. It believes strongly in the importance of food education for young generations.

The Albergo dell’Agenzia hotel is housed in restored neo-Gothic buildings with other Slow Food organizations including the University of Gastronomic Sciences and the Wine Bank.

The entry to the hotel lobby is through the lit doors in the lower right of the photo. It faces the entry to an enclosed courtyard. (Although one can drive around to the back.) Our room was upstairs where silkworms were fed. The glassed-in Ristorante Garden is in the back, looking out onto a green park.

Here are views of the square in front of the Agenzia and the tree lined walk to the entrance of the courtyard building.

We started our evening with an aperitivo in the bar of the hotel, Cocchi Brut Piemonte sparkling wine.

We were seated in the restaurant by the glass wall, but it was too dark to see outside. We selected the Menu con tartufo without any hesitation. The appetizer was little beef tartare rolls and a mini-frittata.

We ordered a bottle of 2005 Paolo Scavino Cannubi Barolo. Superb.

Bread and grissini arrived.

The first course was
Uovo in cocotte con tartufo bianco d’Alba.

An egg cooked in a little ramekin was put in front of us and a fresh white truffle shaved onto it. We mixed the truffle into the egg as we ate them enjoying the aroma and flavor. A great combination.  

Tajarin con tartufo bianco d’Alba.

Tajarin, Piedmont dialect for tagliarini, are made with a large portion of egg yolks. They absorb and complement the white truffle. A large portion of tajarin was served to us and a white truffle shaved over it. mmm.

Sella di coniglio, patate e tartufo nero.

Rabbit pieces had been braised with potato chunks in a brown sauce flavored with black truffle bits. Thinly julienned pieces of black truffle were sprinkled on top. The flavor of the rabbit was nicely enhanced by the sauce.

Linda’s dessert was
Crema bruciata, frutta, meringhe e sciroppo di rose.

The four half-spheres in the photo were crisp shells filled with a fruit cream mousse/sorbet.  The fruits were fresh and light.

My dessert was
Semifreddo alla nocciola con amarene e salsa allo yogurt.

Two spheres of a cold, creamy mousse had been rolled in hazelnut bits. They were dressed with black cherries and a yoghurt sauce. Excellent.

The cuisine was very good and in keeping with the ideas of Slow Food. The room is quite large; there was a group of about thirty Germans at the other end, but they did not make it seem crowded. The servers were friendly and efficient; the ambiance was quiet. But there were very long gaps between our courses, giving new meaning to the term Slow Food.
http://www.albergoagenzia.com/ristorazione /  

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