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My Italy Bites: Trattoria Della Posta and Trattoria In Piazza

August 23, 2016

After we bid adieu to the beautiful coast of Cinque Terre, we made our way inland to the gorgeous tranquil rolling hills of Piemonte.  There was something absolutely magical and calming about the way the hills seems to leisurely unfold in front of us as we navigated often empty country roads in our tiny yet nimble Fiat 500c.  Even as I was clutching to the side of the armrest as we whipped around some ridiculously sharp corners I couldn’t help but relax.  We are in the country side now where everything slowed down with every sip of Barolo and Barbaresco and every breath of fresh air.

We settled down into our amazing agriturismo, Cascina Sant’Eufemia, a combination of working farm vineyard and bed and breakfast with a snack and a glass of Barbaresco.  And of course, a much needed nap to recuperate from the hectic pace of the first half of the trip.  Before we knew it, it was time to make our way to dinner in a tiny nearby town Monforte d’Alba near the heart of Langhe.  Trattoria Della Posta was situated in a country house that was renovated and restored by the chef owner Gianfranco Massolino.  The interior was warm and welcoming, with various rooms set up to receive diners.

As with all restaurants, dinner was offered as a set menu of five courses.  Excited to taste some of the regions specialties, we happily settled into our seats in the living room and eagerly awaited the arrival of our first dishes, a finely diced veal tartar with cheese and thinly sliced veal with cream of tuna, a regional specialty.  Even though both were meat dishes, they were both very light and refreshing, a great light start to the meal.

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We were next presented with a grilled sweet peppers stuffed with tuna cream, anchovies and eggs.

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And instead of repeating the same course, we asked instead to substitute for a colorful and refreshing salad with rabbit.

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The next course was a stuffed onion with cheese and sweet Bra sausage.  The delicious onion was cooked down until it just melted under the pressure of the knife, giving way to oozing cheese and savory sausage.  Definitely one of our favorites of the night.

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And now onto the pasta course.  First up was local specialty, tajarin with ragu.  Thin freshly made tagliatelle pasta is topped with a rich savory meat ragu.  I could have eaten an entire bowl of this tender pasta and been perfectly content for dinner.

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We were not done yet.  One last savory course, a shank of veal braised in Barolo wine.  The local wine imparted a great depth to the veal that was so powerful that the small portion felt more than adequate than the size might have belied.

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By the time we moved onto dessert, we were both quite stuffed but we must power on.  A little creme brulee and a tray of cookies to cleanse our palette.

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And because our waitress was so convincing, we couldn’t resist ordering a proper dessert.  The delicate millefeuille was layered with fresh fruit and an airy pastry cream.  It was so light that it almost doesn’t count right?

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For our second night in Piemonte, we decided to go with another local favorite, Trattoria in Piazza.  This time, we drove south west from the agriturismo and arrived in the heart of another little town, Montelupo Albese.  Trattoria in Piazza was much smaller in scale and modest than Trattoria della Posta.  The restaurant’s down home cooking that just as popular with the locals though.

We learned our lesson last night and instead of both ordering a full set of five courses, we chose to share one tasting and supplemented with a few additions.  The meal starts with focaccia and cured meats.

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Our first courses were light salads of smoked salmon and local cheese and mixed greens with poached chicken in a light lemon dressing.

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And when in Rome, we eat veal tonnata.  This time, a more rustic take on the dish, still delicious though with the tender paper thin slices of veal and a more textured tuna sauce.

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This was followed by a roasted tomato and onion tart.  Sweet and savory at the same time.

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We moved onto the pasta course with a hearty plate of flat pasta folded with a light truffle cream and mushroom.

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And no meal without a bowl of tajarin. Did I mention this is one of my favorite forms of pasta?  How can you resist the meaty cheesy strands of tender noodles that just seem never ending?

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And for our final course, we shared a delightful roast rabbit leg and loin.  This dish was finished off with shavings of white truffle that seem to dissolve the second it hits our tongue, leaving an aromatic memory.

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And finally, one dessert to share, a parfait of marinated peaches and cream topped with broken pieces of amaretto cookies.

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As it was with the previous night, once we made the reservation the week before, the table was ours for the entire night.  I love the sense of relaxation here in Piemonte where you don’t feel like you have every pair of hungry judging eyes on you as you linger over coffee at the end of the night.  You just take all the time in the world to enjoy the meal and let the night just quietly slip between you with each delicious bite.  I could stay here a little longer for sure.

Trattoria Della Posta | Loc. Sant’Anna, 87, 12065 Monforte d’Alba CN, Italy | http://www.trattoriadellaposta.it/

Trattoria in Piazza | Piazza, Via Castello, 4, Montelupo Albese CN, Italy

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