The small hamlet about 20 minutes outside Alba was abandoned and brought back to life by a couple who rebuilt and restored the farm and created this magical place.
You enter through a gate and cross a large courtyard area that has pockets of tables for outdoor seating -- each lit with hanging lights, arbors or other ways to create private space within a larger open area. The large house is illuminated so that the whole structure sends out a welcoming glow.
Entering the main building there are a series of rooms and spaces, again, lit for dramatic but simple effect. Some of the displays are of African art where one of the owners worked for decades, and some are of found objects from the excavation of the farmhouse.
Much of the food was wonderful. Almost everything is "zero kilometer" food, meaning grown right there. The restaurant doesn't even own a freezer. We started with homemade focaccia that was made from hand-ground grain -- it was light, and very tasty, it had the texture almost of a cornmeal. This was followed by vitello tonnato -- very thinly sliced rare veal with a tuna sauce. I am not a big one for tuna or anchovy sauces, but this was delicious, light, mild tasting and a nice compliment to the veal. This was followed by tagliatelle with a light meat and tomato sauce.
Then we had a vegan dish made of chick peas that was fine, but nothing terribly special. Dessert was also a vegan version of a typical Piedmontese dessert featuring Coca, butter, eggs and flour. This version was made without the eggs or butter and was not terribly successful in my opinion. I had the non-vegan version some days later and there is something to be said for eggs and butter.
They also serve their locally produced wine in seemingly endless carafes. The wine was really good.
I would say that overall the food was fairly simple, which I like, but the vegan elements didn't really overcome their limitations. But I am not a vegan, so perhaps I am not the best critic. But the atmosphere, the individuality of the different dining areas, the stone walls and warm lighting, all create a place that I can only recommend that you try.
You can stay here as well.
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