Local produce treated with respect in the heart of truffle country
Famed the world over for its truffles and elegant wines, Alba is the foodie capital of Piedmont – a region that itself lays claim to being the gastronomic heartland of Italy – and is, therefore, the perfect location for Enrico Crippa’s chic modern Italian restaurant.
The chef makes full use of the natural resources at his disposal, showcasing the region’s fabulous produce (including vegetables from the restaurant’s own smallholding) in dishes that respect Italy’s culinary traditions, while exploring new frontiers. This approach also reflects Crippa’s CV, which includes spells working with some of Europe’s most influential chefs from Ferran Adrià and Michel Bras to the godfather of Italian cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi.
Classics such as suckling pig with asparagus or Fassona veal tartare are offset by more daring modernist dishes on the menu. Think ‘olives’ that are actually made with minced veal and langoustine or ‘fake pepper’ created from tuna and anchovy pastes. Crippa’s time in Japan, where he opened a restaurant in Kobe for Marchesi, is also referenced with the use of dashi stock and tempura, while Alba’s most famous export takes pride of place on a luxurious seasonal white truffle menu.
The restaurant, which is the result of a collaboration with a local family wine business, has a stellar cellar containing wines from many of Italy’s greatest vineyards, including a wide selection available by the glass.