Surrounded by vineyards, Barolo is a haven for wine lovers and foodies – Image by Flickr user Paul Arps
Whenever and wherever I go on holiday, I love sampling the local food. From creamy cheese and decadent pâté in France, to bitesize tapas and bean stew in Spain, I do my best to try as much of the local cuisine as a possible. As you probably know, Italy has some of the best food in the world. Each region has its own distinct cooking style and delicious signature dishes, inspired by the fantastic local produce.
Barolo, a small town in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, is most famous for producing wine, but it’s also the perfect destination for foodies. Visitors can try local cheeses, including raschera and murazzano, all kinds of pasta and one of the world’s most sought-after ingredients, truffle. When I visited Barolo last, I tried many of the town’s eateries – here are a few of my favourite spots.
Locanda in Cannubi
Nestled amongst Barolo’s many vineyards is Locanda in Cannubi. This lovely restaurant has the welcome addition of outdoor seating, which is perfect for a warm summer’s day. Choose from a mouth-watering menu featuring local favourites – veal with truffles, risotto with asparagus and cheese – alongside more unusual dishes, such as eel in Muscat vinegar and roast baby goat with vegetables. No matter what you decide to eat, you won’t be disappointed.
Part of Hotel Barolo, Ristorante Brezza is a family run restaurant serving up simple yet delicious local cuisine. Everything on the menu is worth ordering, but two of my favourites are the homemade agnolotti (stuffed pasta parcels) and the boar and polenta (creamy cornmeal topped with a rich meat ragout). Make sure you leave room for dessert, as the gianduiotto (chocolate-hazelnut) cake is divine.
Agnolotti are usually served in a sage butter sauce. © Blue moon in her eyes
Locanda nel Borgo Antico
Once located in central Barolo, Locanda nel Borgo Antico can now be found on the outskirts of the town, amongst the vineyards. Using the best local produce, the chefs create dishes which draw on Barolo’s culinary heritage in new and interesting ways. Choose from various tasting menus, featuring veal braised in Barolo wine and snail risotto, or pick your dishes á la carte. And with over 800 wines on offer, you won’t be short of something to drink.
Nebbiolo grapes are used to produce Barolo wine. © Paul ArpsEach restaurant has an impressive selection of wines.© Taz
Split over two levels and an outside terrace, Osteria RossoBarolo is perfect for a midday bite to eat. Chef Emanuele works alongside his wife, Patrizia, who runs the front of house, serving up authentic dishes that are both delicious and hearty. Start with Barolo’s answer to beef tartare – carne cruda di fassona Piemontese – followed by finanziera alla Piemontese (Piedmont-style veal sweetbreads), and finish up with a selection of local cheeses.
Carne cruda di fassona Piemontese topped with white truffle. © Giorgio Montersino
Osteria La Cantinetta
Osteria La Cantinetta began life as a small eatery run out of the owner’s home, but has grown to become one of Barolo’s most popular restaurants. Like all of the town’s restaurants, Osteria boasts an impressive wine list alongside local specialities which are guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. When I visited with my family, we tried the risotto al Barolo, a simple risotto made with Barolo wine, and brasato (braised beef).
Take a look at our guide to Local eats in… Montsoreau and check back for our next instalment of our ‘Local eats in…’ series.
If you want to try Barolo’s delicious cuisine, you can get there with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. Folkestone to Calais takes just 35 minutes, from there, your culinary journey awaits.