Nine years ago, a girlfriend and I made a sudden decision to hop off the train in Asti instead of going on to Turin. After many phone calls, we finally found a room and a taxi driver to take us Locanda del Sant’Uffizio in Penango, north of Asti. A beautiful spot in the heart of the Monferrato!
We could only stay one night, so we arranged for the same taxi driver to take us to our next night’s accommodation at Villa Beccaris in Monforte d’Alba, about an hour south. Whilst we zig-zagged across the stunning countryside, he proceeded to tell us the best restaurants in the area that we should not miss.
What a lucky find. His list was amazing!
Over the next week we went from Monforte to Barola, La Morra, Cherasco, Bra and back again in search of the next amazing food experience.
This was the start of my love affair with Piemonte!
Top of his list at this time was Antica Corona Reale-da Renzo in Cervere. It is still on top having since received a second Michelin star. Renzo’s son, Gian Piero Vivalda has been running the restaurant for a while now but Renzo is always there for a chat.
This year, their new outdoor courtyard was unveiled – a perfect place for lunch.
The new courtyard
Another view of the courtyard
Pefect setting for lunch
Omelette with red onion and flower of tiglio
I asked the waiter about the tiglio flower and he sweetly went off the the garden and picked one to show me.I’m not sure what it was in English but the leaf is shown decorating the omelette.
Porcini mushrooms and potato with mountain herbs
Piedmont is home of the slow food movement which promotes using locally grown produce. Each course on the menu mentioned where the produce came from. For our appetiser we shared the ‘Funghi porcini della Valle Pesio con patate di Entracque alle erbette di montagne’. Sounds far more appetising in italian but it is interesting that it is mentioned that the porcini came from the Pesio Valley and the potatoes from Entracque, both south of Cuneo at the base of the Maritime Alps.
Tortelli di Asparagi biologici di Satena all' olio extravergine di Lucinasco
A very tasty dish of tortelli of organic asparagus served with asparagus spears and asparagus julienne with extra virgin oil from Lucinasco.
The choice of wine was overwhelming, so the waiter suggested a glass of Rocche Costamagna Nebbiolo with our entrees.
I Gobbi della Tradizione Servitti al Tavaglio
Gobbi are a variation of the local speciality, agnolotti filled with a mixture of different cooked meats and served in a serviette.The pasta was so thin you could see through it.
The main course of perfectly cooked veal with a breadcrumb crust and spring vegetables, was so tender and succulent.
With a glass of Barbera D’Alba Trevigne from Domenico Clerico, I was in heaven.
Scamone di Fassone Piemontese in Crosta di Pane a Cottura Rosea con Vedure di Primavera
Now for dessert!!
Stunning desserts need a dessert wine!
Although not ordered, an apricot mousse with a layer of apricot puree, red current and finely chopped pistachio started the parade.
, the search for the best tiramisu continued. Da Renzo’s was a modern interpretation of a traditional dish. A layer of biscuit was sandwiched between chocolate icecream and tiramisu icecream with custard cream sauce. It tasted as good as it looked!
My dessert was sensational!
Sentieri di Langhe
Sentieri di Langhe was described as a taste of the Langhe with six different desserts – a hazelnut cake, caramel icecream, pannacotta, a rich chocolate pudding, chocolate mousse and homemade hazelnut torrone. Great choice!
Could we eat any more? Yes!!
A plate of piccolo pasticceria finished another stunning meal!
Antico Corona Reale Ristorante
Tel: +39 0172 474132
Antico Corona Reale Ristorante
Look out for the yellow building on the left hand side of the road just past the first traffic lights after the Cervere sign!!
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