There are places you go which will always be good. The Langhe Region in this sense is certain to always be one of these places, and Osteria dell’Arco, in the heart of Alba, is one of those places you cannot miss. If it was in Milan and not an hour and a half away by car, I would always be there getting my fill. In any case, wherever you live, you must come and eat here.
The restaurant is slow food certified, and will send your taste buds into ecstasy. Which is what you would come to expect from a Michelin starred restaurant. The menu varies according to season and the availability of ingredients. Everything is locally sourced. The starters here become the mains, but a tasting menu is also available for each person, not just for the entire table. Simplicity, tradition and hospitality make for a complete experience.
I’ve ordered the Tajarin pasta with Alpeggio butter and freshly grated cheese. It is simply divine. I’m not sure how such an elementary dish is so good. But it is. We also try the home made raviolini del plin, a typical dish of the region. The tartare is fresh and flavorful, and words will not do justice to the golden onion baked in salt and red and black truffle gratin.
The vitello tonnato, the feel cooked in a reduced red wine sauce, the sliced Fassona beef and the roast rabbit really are worth going for seconds on, even if there isn’t much room in your stomach. However full you are, you will find room for a little drop of Nebbiolo or Barolo from the region.
The desserts aren’t mandatory, but its the perfect farewell for a perfect meal. Even the chef appears to help you decide on your dessert, suggesting that I give the tiramisu a go. But there are other desserts if you so wish, including cremino hazelnut, and chocolate and raspberries.
You really must try it! And a booking in advance goes without saying!
Photo credit: Joie de vivre by @g4gary