As Richard mentions in his blog post, Saturday night we had an exhilarating sort of blind dinner date! Just recently after reading a comment from a British guy on my blog post, I found out they were moving to Vergne which is right where I am working at the winery! Almost without hesitation, we planned on meeting last weekend at one of the best restaurants in Bra, Boccondivino to see what all this was all about!

We were so pleasantly surprised to find a young and enthusiastic couple who are ambitiously building a new life in the Piemontese countryside. I would like to say we had a great time together and tried to fill each other in as soon as we sat down. I don’t think the waitress was too happy since she had to come back maybe 4 times to ask if we had looked at the menu yet! Too much excitement. Anyway, if you want to read about our “blind date” check out Richard’s blog!

So I am going to do what I do best and focus on the food and wine. As you all know by now, I am a little skeptical sometimes about Slow Food, and being that this is a Slow Food restaurant, I was a little afraid about the touristy feel it might have. But… let’s remember… we are in Piemonte, so not a lot of gimmicks here, thank god. I was pleasantly surprised with the friendly staff (unlike the Alba version Osteria dell’Arco) who was so patient with our longwinded conversations, dog, and English chatter. The ambience is really cozy and comfortable, plus I loved the fact that it was packed!

When it comes to the food, it was delicious! At least mine was. There was quite a bit of veg-fare, traditional favorites like… guess what… vitello tonnato as well as dishes with a twist like my asparagus gnocchi. Getting a bit narrow-minded with food combinations as a result of living here, it astounded me to see gnocchi with asparagus and not risotto! As a starter I enjoyed my grilled “polpo” over potatoes and “ceci” bean cream. The good old favorite here of tajarin al ragu (maybe sausage) seemed to be enjoyed by many at the restaurant.

Any average joe knows that red wine would not be the right pairing with my seafood starter and asparagus gnocchi, but who cares, we were in the mood for red. The one good thing about these unusually frigid temps in April is that it keeps you drinking our soul-warming Piemontese reds. We chose a 2009 Pecchinino Nebbiolo from the Dogliani area. It was full-bodied and velvety with nicely tamed tannins. Can’t wait to try their esteemed Dolcettos and even Barolos one day soon.

We had our night cap playing foosball once again at our favorite wine bar downtown and said goodbye to our new friends. It was so nice to firstly meet virtual friends in person and eat at a great local restaurant in good company. The perfect Saturday night!

*I apologize for the poor quality iphone photos at the restaurant, but wanted to be as discreet as possible to make a good first impression!:)

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