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16 March 2014 45,786 views No Comment

Just an hour away from Turin (everything is one hour away from Turin!) is Barolo. You’ll have heard of the wine and I hope you’ll have tasted it too – wonderful, juicy reds. The countryside around here is beautiful. P1020266Actually, I’ll correct myself, the flat land is average – a corridor through the country – main roads with bland necessities on either side, nondescript towns, factories & warehouses. But when you turn into the hills the scene shifts immediately. It’s green and lush and rustic and all the Italian things your imagination wants it to be.
Barolo is quite large by comparison to some other villages in the area. We had a decent 40 minute stroll around – great views, cobbled streets, old stone buildings, washing flapping – a good way to feel you’ve earned your lunch. All around the Piedmontese countryside there are osterias and trattorias that do amazing food in a less formal setting than a restaurant. It’s in the osterias that you find large families lunching together, the menu that changes according to what’s in market, the house wine by carafe and the all critical checked tablecloths. Pick almost any osteria and you’re bound to hit gold.
P1020264The osteria Nad had reserved was about 20 minutes drive from Barolo and a lovely bustling, welcoming place. There were aperitifs to start (love it when someone walks to your table with a bottle of bubbly without being asked), for antipasto Nad took steak tartare, I had insalata russa which is a delicious combination of peas, carrots and green beans in mayonnaise, fantastic with heaps of black pepper and good bread. Prima was spaghetti for Nad and gnocchi with tomato for me, not my number one choice but very nice for a change. And the secondos were lamb with brussels sprouts (very unusual for Italy and Nad!) and spinach & asparagus with fonduta – a very thick melted cheese. It was an excellent, satisfying lunch.
And since what I would have most liked to do afterwards is have a little sleep, I’m hoping the next time we’re near Barolo we can stay for a couple of nights. Here’s dreaming…

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