Locanda in Cannubi, Barolo

November 27, 2018

On October 26, 2018, starting an extended weekend celebration of Blair’s upcoming 40th birthday, he, Karyn, Allison, Brady, Tom, Lisa, Linda and I dined at Locanda in Cannubi. It is located in a renovated and expanded 18th century building outside the town of Barolo on top of the famous Cannubi hill. One local winemaker there has gushed:

“Surrounded by higher hills, Cannubi hill is protected from storms and extreme wind and it benefits from a unusual and unique microclimate. The characteristics of the soil and the extraordinary microclimate give Cannubi an exceptional completeness and equilibrium, a harmonic synthesis between structure and aromas and very elegant tannins which make it enjoyable very early and add complexity as the wine matures.”

 When faced with a wine list with a big, confusing choice of Barolo wines, I usually pick out a Cannubi.

The dining room is a modern extension of the inn, with great daytime views of the vineyards. We were seated at a big round table in the back corner where we would not bother other diners in the quiet ambiance. The lack of views was no loss in the dark evening. .

We started with a bottle of 2007 Valentino Brut Zero Riserva, a very dry local white sparkling wine. Nice.

Bread and grissini were on the table. Tenuta Carreta is the owner of Locanda in Cannubi. Karyn and Blair contemplate the somewhat complicated menu. They, and three others in our group, were holding up well considering that they had arrived in Milan from the U.S. that morning.

The appetizer was a cheese fonduta on spinach.

I am not going to try to show all the dishes or identify who had which dish. I will show the ones of which I have good photos. Our server did a great job of keeping things organized. The eight of us chose many different items from the à la carte menu. Fortunately, we were simply splitting the bill four ways.

Tom ordered a magnum of 2011 Marcarini “Brunate” Barolo.

The first courses:
Parmantier di zucca e amaretto, capasanta scottata, pancetta croccante

A seared scallop was served on a thick base of puréed pumpkin flavored with an almond liqueur. It was enhanced with crispy bits of pancetta, or Italian bacon.  

Quaglia al tartufo nero, insalatina di cavolo e cremino di fegato e cioccolato

Pieces of roasted quail were served on a chopped cabbage bed and topped with black truffle slices. Chocolate coated foie gras bonbons were included.  

Girello di vitello marinato, soffice al parmigiano, nocciole e cipolle rosse

A carpaccio of raw, marinated and thinly sliced veal rump was topped with fluffy parmesan balls, hazelnut bits and finely chopped red onion.  

The first courses done, Brady asked for the white truffle tray and ordered two. They were then liberally shaved over our main courses, even if they were not designated as truffle dishes.

A magnum of 2001 Dante Rivetti Riserva Barbaresco kept things going.

Tajarin al burro di montagna

Thin egg yolk dough pasta was dressed with rich mountain butter and topped with white truffles.  

Fettuccine, crema alla robiola della Rocchetta e nocciole

Wide pasta ribbons were dressed with a cream of robiola cheese and topped with hazelnut bits. The cheese is a local specialty made with cow, sheep and goat milk. This dish, which was my order, was not intended for white truffles, but they happily arrived anyway.

Uovo in cocotte

An egg baked in a ramekin with cream was a natural fit with white truffles. 

Sella di cervo, demi-glace al melograno, morbido di topinambur

Slices of venison saddle were served with a pomegranate glaze and balls of purée of Jerusalem artichoke. 

Raviolo di castagne, ripieno di fonduta, crema di cardi e tartufo nero

Chestnut dough ravioli were filled with fondue. They were served on a cardoon cream and topped with black truffles.

Maialino da latte, salsa all’arancia, purea di finocchi

Chunks of roast suckling pig were served with an orange sauce and fennel purée.

We did not order dessert, but enjoyed the good mignardises tray.

We had a good time. The dishes covered a variety of ingredients and techniques, but most of them were authentic to the Piemonte and were seasonal. The wines were excellent, but I was surprised that we did not order a Cannubi Barolo. The pace was good and the servers were tolerant of our joie de vivre. 




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