This is the ninth post in the Around the World Birthday Extravaganza Series. Because there will be many, many posts in this series, please scroll to the bottom to see all the other posts in this series.
Good-by Alba, already?
It had been so fast. We had flown from Boston to Alba, arriving on Saturday morning. After a whirlwind (jetlagged) afternoon exploring the International White Truffle Fair (the main reason we first chose to stay in Alba), we had taken a private tour with Robert and Leslie from Travel Langhe for two days, exploring all over the Barbaresco and Barolo regions.
By the end of the second full day tour, we felt as if we had become friends with our tour guides. They had been so kind, sharing with us their favorite restaurants and showing us so much of the beautiful wine country.
We vowed to return someday. We had barely scratched the surface of this beautiful region. Despite the fact that the truffle fair was the original reason we chose to come here, it ended up being a very, very small part of our entire trip.
If you visit the truffle festival, definitely explore outside of Alba.There is so much more out there to see.
Alba is still a good home base, and I would recommend staying here. It's one of the biggest towns in the area, and thus has more restaurants, places to stay, plus a happening town center where you can wind0w shop, people watch, and purchase white truffles!
Because we had an early flight out the next morning, we chose to dine right in Alba city center our last night in Alba, at a very popular and highly recommended "slow food" restaurant called Osteria dell Arco.
This cozy, traditional Piemontese restaurant is known for making very high quality regional dishes in accordance with Slow Food philosophy. It is very popular among both tourists (it's in the Michelin guide) and locals alike, and thus reservations are a must.
Originally a wine bar, this restaurant has an excellent wine selection with very reasonable prices, with many excellent wines in the $10 - $20 range.
We started with Cocotte Uova, a baked creamy egg casserole topped with freshly shaved white Alba truffles.
Our next course was a classic and one of our favorite dishes of the region: tajarin (or tagliatelle in Piemontese) with 40-yolk pasta tossed with either Alpine butter or sausage gravy (€9,50). We opted for Alpine butter and then added shaved white truffles for an additional cost.
Our other favorite Piemontese pasta was agnolotti del plin tradizionali (€9,50), mini tortellini-like bite-sized "pockets" filled with meat. The pasta texture was phenomenal, and the addition of local white truffles made it all the better.
It was a bittersweet bite. We knew this would be the last bite of white truffles we would enjoy in Alba for quite awhile . . .
Finally, the server recommended that we try the Brasato, veal braised in Barolo wine (€13,50) as our main "secondi" course. The meat was super soft, tender, and the dish was absolutely fantastic (especially for that price!).
For dessert we enjoyed il tiramisù "dell'Arco" (€6,50), which was pleasantly not too sweet and enjoyable overall.
Bryan decided to try an after-dinner digestif, and the server was more than happy to let him peruse their cabinet and pick something. I honestly can't remember what Bryan ordered, but I would guess an amaro or something similar.
And then, as quickly as it began, our trip to Italy came to a close. It had been a whirlwind few days. We amassed more knowledge about Italian wine in these three days than we had in our entire lives. We probably ate more white truffles on this trip than we had eaten the rest of our lives.
And the stunning scenery of the entire breathtaking area will stay with us forever.
I will end this series on Italy with some of my favorite photographs from the surrounding vineyards next! After that will be our next stop, Bordeaux, France!
Next post: Stunning Images of La Morra and Barolo
photo credit: Robert Alexander from Travel Langhe
All Posts In This Series
Around the World Birthday Extravaganza
Alba White Truffle Fair
Osteria Dei Sognatori - A Traditional Piedmontese Dinner
Italy Wine Tour - Barbaresco
Lunch at Donna Selvatica in Neive, Italy
Dinner at a Truffle Hunter's Inn - Tra Art e Querce
Trattoria Della Posta in Montfort D'Alba
Nighttime Truffle Hunting with a Dog in Alba