Renovations at Piazza Duomo

Enrico Crippa’s restaurant becomes even more cosy and functional. Meanwhile, in the kitchen...

04-03-2014
Enrico Crippa and Roberta Ceretto, respectively ch

Enrico Crippa and Roberta Ceretto, respectively chef and patron at Piazza Duomo in Piazza Risorgimento in Alba (Cuneo), tel. +39.0173.366167. Recent works have added a room (seating around ten people) and rationalised the kitchen. As of May, thanks the creation of 4 bedrooms, it will also be possible to spend the night

Question: «What happened to you?». Answer: «I was at the market, at the vegetable stand, and I fell over a basket of chards... Now I will have to stop my daily bicycle outings! Indeed it is true that chards, out of season, are bad for you!». Enrico Crippa jokes and looks at the event with philosophy. The recent accident caused him a bandage on his left arm, but the Lombard chef has no intention of leaving the kitchen of Piazza Duomo in Alba and take a break.

Sweetbreads and artichoke, a dish presented by Crippa at Identità Milano 2014

Sweetbreads and artichoke, a dish presented by Crippa at Identità Milano 2014

In fact, only a few days ago (on February 7th) the new restaurant was opened, the historic capacity of 28 people seating raised to the current 40, plus the addition of a discreet separate room with milder colours, in comparison to the sparkling pastel pink designed by Francesco Clemente which is still characterising the heart of Piazza Duomo. Truth be said, the whole first floor has undergone various renovations that have also involved the kitchen. It is here that a more suitable pass has been installed, more appropriate for the narrow spaces, as well as a new cleaning area and small and rational islands around which the cooks can move in a more agile way, when compared to the recent past.

All this while still waiting, only to the end of May, for the opening of four bedrooms for overnight stays, a few metres from the restaurant. Besides, a gourmet break turns into a triumphant march, whether you choose the tasting itineraries, equally divided between evasion and territory, or tradition and innovation, or perhaps you allow fantasy to lead you along the menu designed following exotic/Piedmontese models, with low temperatures and inviting textures. A few examples? To begin with, as a greeting from the kitchen, the Pak Choi with milk cream and sesame seeds, the Cannolo with ricotta, mackerel and radish, the Rice and buckwheat cracker and the Corn taco with amaretto arrive.

Pumpkin bonet

Pumpkin bonet

Then an always fun and “thickening” classic such as Fake olives, the black one with scampi and the green one with raw meat. This is followed by the spongy (and delicious) Small frittatas with beets and tuna sauce, in a true rejoicing of freshness, and the Norwegian cod (Gabilon variety) cooked at low temperature with parsley and beets. The most dazzling dish, however, is the Pink prawn rice, which the chef has created starting from the memory of his mother who, when he was a child, would prepare him the mythical risotto in cocktail sauce.

Could all this be enough? No, because after this comes the turn of the tender Maialino cinturello (a pig from the area of Grosseto) with turnip and cabbage, the magnificent pre-dessert given by the Vegetable minestrone (with quince gelatine, chestnuts and khaki), and the final apotheosis of the Pumpkin bonet pudding sided with an almond milk and mandarin mousse. Crispiness, sapidity and aesthetics, but also time, rigour, freshness, great attention to balance, without the desire of surprising at all costs. Aesthetic lovers, however, here have a way of getting excited in front of the lightness of Austrian glasses Zalto, perfect to contain the house wines signed by Ceretto, from the Blangé to the Barolos and Barbarescos.


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The establishments, tastes and cooking personalities in Europe, as seen by Gualtero Spotti