Posts Tagged ‘risotto’

I confirm the good reviews that led us to pick this restaurant in Vercelli the Saturday before Easter. We were meeting with our good friends from Turin for lunch and thought we would make an unofficial start to the Easter eating marathon that was ahead of us.

As you will immediately notice the décor and fit out of this restaurant is one of its strong points, but fortunately not its only one. I detest those restaurants that bet everything on appearances and overlook the main reason why people in possession of working taste buds eat out: to eat good food.

What is not a strong point is the host’s character which is somewhat prickly. So, he/they have invested a small fortune in original 1950s furniture, prints, kitchen appliances which are on show and do look really good. As our group of four consisted in two and a half architects (Mr Tower’s counts as a half as he’s half engineer) we were taking pictures of the outside display when the owner opened his door and greeted us with: “If you’ve finished with those photos are you planning to actually come in?”  ,-)


Anyway the starters were all delish. My rabbit ‘tonno’ (open to explanations of how anything that isn’t ‘tonno’ –tuna- can become ‘tonno’) was absolutely exquisite, Mr Towers’ steak tartare very fresh, the asparagus and quail very tasty,and the vitello tonnato yummy. Everything was a little over salted. I think this was due to using rock salt instead of regular salt.


Only one other thing to avoid: the maccheroni. A disappointing little children’s dish rather flavourless, while the risotto was predictably delightful; this is afterall ‘risotto region’.

The deserts were wonderful with my apple cake, a simple non-assuming dish, being elevated to dessert heaven.

I thought the wine list (below) was particularly cute too!

Atmosphere: Perfectly vintage

Food: Stick to the local dishes, they are done with flair

Price: Dinner for two with wine c.a.50 EUR

Would we go back? If ever in Vercelli, yes


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I Lessi

Also known as Bollito misto this is a typical Piedmont recipe that is also popular in areas of Lomabardy that border with Piedmont.

Bollito misto translates as ‘mixed boiled food’ and that’s pretty much what this is a long (5hr) boil up of ox tongue, beef, veal and separately chicken with celery, carrots and potatoes to be served with different garnishes such as salsa verde, bagnetto and mostarda.

Some people also boil a ‘zampone’ (pork leg) also in a separate vat as this also takes only an hour. Personally I find this really too fatty.

Don’t waste the amazing broth but pour it into a containter and freeze it or use it for risotto!

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