It was to be our last dinner in Piedmont, so the choice of restaurant was very important!
There were still a few fabulous restaurants on our list that we had not been to but in the end we chose Il Cascinalenuovo in Isola d’Asti, about a twenty minute drive from La Villa.
Chef Walter Ferreto and his brother Roberto, run this family restaurant and hotel. Roberto is the wine expert whilst Walter runs a very slick kitchen. He also loves to pop out for a chat and to check that everyone is enjoying their food
The restaurant is in a very ordinary hotel on the side of the main road that joins Asti and Alba but once inside, this is forgotten
This year, a new outside area was opened overlooking the garden and the pool. It also incorporates L’ Altro Cascinale, a casual bistro serving pasta, burgers, pizza and grills
Now for dinner….and the wine list!
We were presented with the wine list with it’s fabulous cover. With so many wines on offer, my husband enjoyed his chat to Robert about which one to choose. Whilst this was happening, a plate of appetisers appeared.
And still the appetisers kept coming!
We both ordered the homemade tajarin of pepperoncino, garlic and San Marzano tomato as a first course
One of the main course choices was ”Tataki di Ricciola del Mediterraneo, couscous e vedure al fruitto della passione’. Walter explained that ‘tatki’ was a japanese cooking method he had picked up over the years from the japanese chefs that were working for him. He taught at a nearby culinary school where a lot of Japanese chefs trained and had been able to pick the best chefs to work for him.
The fish, in this case ricciola or amberjack, was seared very quickly on all sides and then finely sliced and seasoned with a sauce. It was very tasty and the flavours of the sauce mixed with the couscous and vegetables, was a treat.
My husband loves steak tartare so he ordered the piemontese version with raw veal, fresh vegetables and extra virgin olive oil from Maurizio Menichetti.
A warm chocolate pudding with rasberries and goat’s milk gelato was tempting but after seven weeks on the road and all the divine appetisers we were offered, we reluctantly passed on dessert. Of course we didn’t say no to the small pastries!!