Saturday, May 02, 2009

Lanterna Blu in Gaminella

Pasquetta is the day after Easter when most Italians in our area head for the country side and have a picnic and barbecue but we were short on time and decided to visit Lanterna Blu in Gaminella.
Since we had stuffed ourselves at the Canon d'Oro the day before we decided to give the frito-misto a miss but we ate everything else. The place was packed with jovial locals, the food was just as good as the Canon d'Oro and the service was very friendly.
- A soft cheese spiral rolled in prosciutto cotto
- A puff choux filled with Montemagno mousse
- Cotechino
- Insalata de carne crudaParmigiano flan
- Asparagus terrine
- Pastry nests with fonduta and a fried quail egg
- Branzino in a puff pastry shell
- Veal lasagna
- Mushroom risotto
Big platters of Frito misto were offered but we gave it a miss.
- Pistachio cake
- Bunet
- Pineapple cake
The Wines:
- 2 bottles of Barbera Monferrato (vivace)
- 1 bottle of Malvasia
- 1 bottle of sparkling brut

30 Euros per person all inclusive (it would have been 5 euros higher if we had eaten the frito misto).

Lanterna Blu
Frazione Gaminella
15020 Mombello AL
Tel: 0142 944120
Fax: 0142 944120
Google map
GPS: 45.1196283, 8.2435416


Canon d'Oro in Cocconato

We had Easter lunch at Canon d'Oro in Cocconato yesterday. It was my first time at this restaurant and we had a great time. Food quality was very high and service was very friendly and presented table-side.
The courses were as follows:
- Liver paté with toast points and a tiny salad
- Castelmagno cheese mousse sandwiched between dried apples
- Insalata de carne cruda with parmigiano and celery slivers
- A tiny salad with a sliver goat cheese wrapped in Bresaola
- Artichoke flan
- Asparagus with fonduta
Primi:- Agnolotti in broth
- Risotto Parmigiano
- Tajarin with vegetable sauce
- Guinea hen with Carrots
- Bolito (cotechino, testa, lingua, reale)
- Roast leg of lamb
- Veal roast
- Vanilla gelato
- Bunet
- Fresh fruit
- Lemon torte
Wines:1 bottle of Bava Cortese.
3 bottles of very nice 13.5 % house Barbera
1 bottle of Malvasia
1 bottle of a spumante brut
Bosso grappa (open bottle on the table)

Note: you can eat every course there is no "or" in this list
The total was 48 Euros per person, all inclusive.

Cannon d'Oro Hotel & Restaurant
Piazza Cavour 21
14023 Cocconato (Asti) Italy
Tel. +390141.907794
Fax +390141.907024
Closed on Monday and Tuesday
Google Map
GPS: 45.0860831, 8.0401561


Cascina Martini in Coteranzo

We have been continuing our string of fine dining and the latest restaurant on our hit-list was Cascina Martini in Coteranzo where Gianluigi Giachino bends the traditional Piemontese ingredients into stylish and fresh new creations. Amazingly there were only six covers (including us) the Thursday night we were there. The restaurant decor is what I would call sophisticated Italian country and a great deal of attention is paid on all levels without becoming fussy or pretentious. There was a 40 Euro tasting menu but we had all been spending too much time at the dinner tables over this Easter weekend so we decided to just have a starter and a main course. In retrospect I think this was a mistake and we should have ordered the tasting menu but that is how it goes, sometimes you just can't go that extra mile.

The food:
Amuse bouche was a frito misto of assorted fried things: cod balls, aubergine cubes and asparagus, accompanied by an herb frittata and thick sliced of salami.

Primi: We all ordered the delicious duck breast salad and we all very happy we did.

Secondi: Melanie ordered a orozotto made with whole wheat orzo, fresh peas and cream. It was superb. Our friends ordered the rabbit with tajarin pasta. I didn't try theirs but it smelled fantastic and sent their eyes rolling back. I ordered boccatini of veal which turned out to be large chunks of veal in two sauces and was delicious and delicate.

Dessert was a grappa for me, Melanie had a 67% dark chocolate souffle with a soft gooey center. It was perfect.

Via Gianoli
1515030 Murisengo Fraz.Corteranzo (AL)
Closed on Monday - dinner only - lunch by appointment
Their home page is a bit difficult to navigate but there is a really nice blog entry with lots of good pictures: here
Google map
GPS: 46.1644103, 10.0657473


Cascina Rosengana in Cocconato

Cascina Rosengana is a lovingly restored farm that has been converted into a restaurant and B&B. The food is locally grown and organic and all of a very high quality. Our waiter was Massimo and I suspect one of the owners. He spoke English well and was warm and welcoming. The dishes were presented without fuss or pretention and the whole experience was a delight.
The full menu with all the dishes listed below, grappa and coffee was €24 per person.
Salami crudo & cotto. (No picture)
Crispy parmesan cannolli filled with a goat’s cheese mousse.

Spinach quiche with cheese.

Carpaccio with a creamy gorgonzola sauce.
FYI: Carne Cruda Monferrina means ground or chopped raw meat (like tartar) and Carne Cruda “Albese” means slices raw meat (like carpaccio).

Agnolotti plin with sage and butter. 

Tajarin with ground veal sauce.

Vitello con salsa nocciola.

Roasted Guinea hen with its sauce.

Fried potatoes and spinach was served with the meats.

Dolce:Bavarian cream with moscato raisins.
Hazelnut torte with a thick cream sauce.
Chocolate torte with a thick cream sauce.

Our grappas and coffee were included in the price of the meal.

Cascina Rosengana
Via Liprandi 50
14023 Cocconato
Tel.: +39 0141907857
Fax: +39 0141907914
GPS: 45.0830724, 8.0573741


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