Piedmont Dinner Specials
Wednesday, March 17th - Tuesday, March 23rd
From the rich chocolate of Turin to the sweet hazelnuts, perfumed truffles, and rose-scented, earthy wines of Alba, the cuisine of Piedmont is a luxurious forest feast of woodsy fragrances and tastes. Landlocked in Northwestern Italy, Piedmont is Italy’s second largest region after Sicily. In fact, the somewhat illusory concept, “Italy,” owes its existence to Piedmont, a driving force behind the Italian Unification known as the Risorgimento (1849-1861). In this period, Piedmont's powerful House of Savoy (Casa Savoia), subdued the south and went on to rule the Kingdom of Italy until 1946. During its reign, it poured the spectacular wealth of Palermo, Sicily into its royal coffers. Both the first king after unification, Vittorio Emmanuele II, and the leading war hero, Giusppe Garibaldi, were from the Kingdom of Savoy. Their names are still praised as street names and plaques throughout Italy. Historically, Piedmont was part of the French region of Savoy. Turin became the capital of the French Kingdom of Savoy in 1559 and it remains the capital of Piedmont today.
Adorned with the magnificent 17th-18th century Baroque palaces of the House of Savoy, the French influence upon the cuisine and culture of Piedmont is palpable in Turin. Piedmont’s famous red wine, Barolo, is known as the ‘king of wines and the wine of kings’ because it was the favorite wine of the House of Savoy’s Turin court. Yet characterizing Piedmontese culture and cuisine as French - a common assumption - is misleading. Beyond the courtly French cuisine inherited by the city, you’ll find culinary treasures expressing Piedmont’s distinct topography outside the city. Turin is the only actual city in Piedmont - the vast majority of the region is rural and provincial . We can roughly categorize the region into thirds made up of mountains in the north, hills in the center, and plains in the south. Etymologically, Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) comes from the Latin "pedemontium", meaning "at the foot of the mountains,” indicating the Alpine mountains that encircle the region.
Today, Piedmont is most famous for its fine wines, producing more DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) designated wines than any other region in Italy. DOCG indicates Italy’s top wine classification. If Piedmont is Italy’s answer to Burgundy, then its Langhe hills surrounding the town of Alba are the answer to the Côte d'Or. Barolo and Barbaresco are the shining stars of the region, garnering lavish attention from wine lovers worldwide. Both aromatic, full-bodied, and tannic red wines are made from the nebbiolo grape. The slightest variations in the soil and points of sun exposure on the Langhe hills play key roles in their flavor profile. Nebbiolo may derive from the Italian nebbia, meaning fog, alluding to the foggy terrain of the Langhe hills. But like kings and queens, Barolo and Barbaresco are produced high above the fog.
To experience an exquisite Barolo, try our Grivani, Antonio. Although the white of Piedmonte are less well known, they are exquisite in their own right. Try our Grivani, La Giuliana Roero Arneis.
The people of Piedmont love to party by donning medieval garb and waving colorful flags along streets lined with local delicacies - festivals are the heartbeat of the Piedmont lifestyle. And there is one fall festival that attracts plenty of international visitors: The Alba White Truffle Fair and Market. The rare white truffle grows wild in the forests around Alba in the Langhe area nestled between the rivers and mountains (specifically between the Tanaro and Po Rivers and the Alps and Apennine mountains.) Found near oak, poplar and linden trees, specially trained hunting dogs sniff out the truffles, buried deep in the earth. Truffle hunting amidst the misty, vineyard-laden, autumnal hills is an enchanting experience open to travellers. Due to seasonality, we’ve prepared a creamy bowl of risotto with exquisite black truffles instead of the traditional white truffle, making the perfect comforting, earthy dish to warm a chilly winter night.
Agnolotti del Plin
Though Piedmont is a major rice producer, outproducing neighboring Lombardy where pasta takes a backseat, it still delights in pasta. And Agnolotti del plin is Piedmont’s favorite pasta. A ring or boat-shaped, egg pasta folds over a filling typically made up of beef, veal, or rabbit meat, though vegetables are sometimes used. Plin means pinch in the local dialect, describing the little pinches the cook makes to hold the pasta edges together to create tasty little envelopes. Pair this dish with a Barolo or Barbaresco.
Brasato al Barolo
A mouthwatering pairing with Barolo itself, ‘the king of wines and the wine of kings,’ the Brasato al Barolo is a sumptuous experience for the wine lover. Piedmontese beef short rib is slowly braised with the robust wine and served next to mashed red potatoes, roasted carrot, and broccolini - a dish fit for kings.
Torta al Cioccolato
Duke Emmanuel Filiberto of Savoy brought cocoa back from Spain to Turin, or so the story goes, making Turin the first place in Europe to discover chocolate. Turin made cacao even better by creating an explosive combination: chocolate + hazelnut. Today, chocolate lovers everywhere have a jar of the Piemonte born Nutella on hand at home. The match made in heaven was inspired by the local Hazelnuts of nearby Tortona. Hazelnut-chocolate is the basis of the decadent delight, torta al cioccolato. Piedmont is known for its exquisite pastries and desserts, and this luxurious torta is one of their most indulgent expressions of the beloved chocolate-hazelnut combination.
To experience an exquisite taste of Piedmont, Italy’s top wine region, we invite you to try three Grivani Wines:
Barolo’s combined power and restraint are unrivaled. The Nebbiolo grape creates a full-bodied, brick-red wine with luminous hints of orange. Delicate aromas of coffee, vanilla, and dried red berries mingle with floral notes of violets and roses. Its mouth-watering tannins are balanced by an elegant, long lasting finish. Pairs beautifully with the legendary white truffles of Alba, braised meats, prime rib, sharp cheeses, and rich pasta dishes. A perfect match to the Piedmontese dishes we’ve created below.
La Giuliana Roero Arneis
Tucked away in the tiny town of Roero, the arneis grape grows in mineral rich soil. Once on the ocean floor, you can still find seashells throughout the vineyards. This magical terroir creates the perfect conditions for a stunning white wine. It has a fresh acidity and fruity nose with dominant aromas of red apple and exotic fruits. Its incredible versatility and vivacious elegance will convince you that it’s the new star in Piedmont’s royal constellation.
Il Santino Langhe Rosso
Il Santino Langhe Rosso is a youthful, energetic wine that combines the most important three red grapes of Piedmont’s rich wine tradition: Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto. It illuminates with an intense red color, and delights with aromas of dark berries, cherries, roses, vanilla, and earth. Featuring desirable tannins, acidity, and earthy notes that the Old World adores, it maintains evident levels of ripe fruit and body structure that the New World craves. Pair with any dish below.