I usually arrive in a city armed with a long list of recommended restaurants but Turin had proved a bit tricky! Time had run out for proper research and conflicting reviews had not helped. However a timely chat with a local resident left us with an insider’s guide to Turin’s restaurants.
One restaurant that sounded interesting was La Gola, so a reservation was made. The owner, Domenico Cairola, is an ex olympic skier who opened the restaurant after his career was cut short by a skiing accident. His son, who trained under Paul Bocuse, is the chef.
La Gola was a pleasant 20 minute walk from where we were staying in the centre of the city. When we arrived, the restaurant was already busy. We seemed to be the only tourists.
There is no written menu. Domenico explained, in italian, what was available and then suggested that he choose the most popular dishes for us.
Our meal started with a selection of entrees that include asparagus mousse with Castelmango cheese, capsicum with a light tuna filling and veal in a lettuce parcel – all very good.

Entree selection at La Gola in Turin
Entree selection at La Gola

Agnoletti with a rich meat sauce and home made gnocchi with asparagus followed. I find gnocchi a hard dish to order as, more times than not, it never lives up to its reputation but here it was perfect.
Agnoletti with meat sauce at La Gola in Turin
Agnoletti with meat sauce

Gnocchi with asparagus at La Gola in Turin
Gnocchi with asparagus

We declined secondi to indulge in dessert. My peach cooked in chocolate and amaretto was unbelievably delicious as was my husband’s torrone semifreddo with a to die for chocolate sauce- Turin chocolate of course!
Stunning dessert at La Gola in Turin
Sensational peach cooked in chocolate and amaretto

Torrone Semifreddo with rich chocolate sauce at La Gola, Turin
Torrone Semifreddo with rich chocolate sauce

The following night, after lunch at Eataly and an aperitivo at Caffé Torino, we headed to another of the recommended restaurants – a new restaurant that had just opened to rave reviews.
We were welcomed at Alle 8 Porte by the owner. The restaurant had a casual, relaxed feel with an open kitchen. Wine cases were stacked around a table displaying local proscuitto, salami and cheese, a plate of which was bought to our table
Again there was no menu, with the owner explaining the dishes of the day.
The zucchini flowers and anchovies were lightly fried and very tasty whilst my husband’s pasta was delicious. The main courses were just as good.
A Dolce Rivetti Barbaresco was perfect for our dinner.
Fried zucchini flowers and anchovies at Alle 8 Porte in Turin
Fried zucchini flowers and anchovies

Pasta dish at Alle 8 Porte in Turin
Pasta with tomatoes, peppers and parsely

Beef carapaccio at Alle 8 Porte in Turin
Beef carpaccio

Spaghetti Marinara at Alle 8 Porte in Turin
Fabulous spaghetti marinara

Do you research your restaurants when visiting a city or do you rely on local suggestions?
La Gola
Corso Matteotti,59
Tel: 011 511 1012
Alle 8 Porte
via Denina (cnr Via Santa Giulia)
Tel: 011 199 43480
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