Ristorante Piazza Duomo, Alba?

I am going to be in Piedmont in September, and noticed this place, which I gather has three Michelin stars. Anybody been there? Other restaurant advice?



Hi Bill,

My wife and I had lunch there a few weeks ago (couldn’t get a reservation for dinner). Fantastic meal and recommended. Modernist Italian to be sure and expensive but a very solid ***. Not in my view as incredible as the ***s that I have loved in France. No misses among the many courses and a few astoundingly good courses. Once I figure out the easiest way to post pics, I can post the pictures of each course. Service was superb. Very good wine list that is a tick more expensive than other local places but not crazy more for what I was looking at. Menu was 170 euros and ordered a 07 Scavino Bric del Fiasc for 115 euros (tax and service included) so with some sparkling and a couple white glasses it was 521 euros. In the end a bit torn - really terrific and top meal of the trip but by far the most expensive meal of the trip. Review the wine list online in advance since it does get expensive. I think the restaurant is partially owned by Ceretto.

We were very happy with the three other dinners we had. One at our Hotel, Il Boscareto (highly recommend this hotel just past Serralunga d’Alba - though modern and fairly new - idyllic setting on the top of a hill surrounded by vineyards). Terrific restaurant that I suspect will have * very soon and probably then ** shortly and maybe even ***. Very ambitious chef, terrific food, perfect but warm service and one of the most incredible views from their terrace - let’s just say that I was looking out from the dinner table at the vineyard that produced the wine we were drinking. They have pics on their website of the restaurant. Even if I were not staying there, I wouldn’t miss dinner there. Great wine list as well at decent pricing (we ordered a 2006 Vietti Rocche (I think it was Rocche but maybe Brunate) and it was 130 euros (tax/service included).

Went also to two “standards” of the Barolo area that were mentioned by everyone. Bovio in La Morra. Great terrace overlooking the vineyards. Very good more traditional food. Great wine list with in my view reasonable prices (instead of the wines that I was focused on being around the 110-130 range they were around 85-110, ended up with the 04 Clerico Percristina for around 110). Would recommend both for setting and good reasonably priced food. Don’t expect top cuisine but well made dishes.

Also went to * called La Ciau del Tornavento. Restaurant also has good views but not nearly as good as the other two restaurants and no terrace to eat on but could go outside, maybe for drinks (was raining when we went). More upscale for sure than Bovio, with more formal dining room and service. More expensive food/wine but in line with quality. Excellent meal and also recommended. Some stunning courses. Take a tour of the wine cellar - fantastic. Many of the wines I was focused on were around 11-140 but decided to go with a 2004 Conterno Cascina Francia for around 160.

Essentially for us, I would call the restaurant at Boscareto and Bovio not to be missed - both for the views and one upscale and one more casual and cheaper. Tornavento as a third night as between the other two. I would fit in Piazza Duomo if you are into meals like that and going to *** notwithstanding the cost. We are, now and again on trips like we took and were very happy we went. Not a single meal we would swap out.

Thanks Dan. Sounds like good advice.

We had nice meals on Via Roma in La Morra at Per Bacco (pizza) and More e Macine (salumi, pasta, wine), which are more moderately priced, but fantastic. Quite a few restaurants & wine bars in this area and a decent wine shop. It’s a very tourist friendly area & nice for a stroll. No matter what though, I think one would be hard pressed to find a bad meal in Piedmont at any level. The food was amazing! [cheers.gif]

Hi Bill,

Fascinating, a thread in this vein came up on another wine forum only a few days ago, to which I posted the following write-up, hope it helps.

Piazza Duomo, Alba

Pure coincidence had us arriving there on a Friday night smack bang in the middle of Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco (International White Truffle Fair), so of course we had to book a truffle-matched degustation!

We had only just arrived that afternoon and barely got to get our groundings, so it took us about 10 minutes to find the restaurant entrance as the address is basically “the piazza of the dome”, and the entrance is hidden just inside one of many alleyways running from the piazza.

After heading upstairs and the staff taking our coats, we were taken to our table in the small main room, which is fairly simple pink room with simple decorations and small windows - you are certainly not there for the view.

Immediately we were presented with a dazzling array of amuse bouche, amazingly presented:

Amuse Bouches from bottom to top:
Savoury Egg Custard
Goat Cheese Ball
Unknown white coated ball (parmesan maybe?)
Cocoa and Olive Marshmallow
Warm Taco
Seaweed Crackers
Baked 'Spaghetti Carbonara (see below for closer photo)

Couldn’t fit them all in the one frame, so here is number 7 up close:

Baked 'Spaghetti Carbonara

We were also presented with the menu, our choice of course being the truffle degustation:

Accompagnando Il Tartufo Menu

Following this we were presented with Amuse Bouche number 8.

Fake olives - Scampi and Raw Beef

Amuse bouche number 9 was light and fluffy but packed with flavour.

Chard Sponge with Tuna Mayonnaise

Amuse bouche number 10 (proving there is no such thing as too much amuse bouche).

Foie Gras Mousse with Crunchy Corn and Ginger Mousse

And the last order of business before hitting the First Course (!) was selecting our truffle. The waiter wheeled out a cart with the most amazing smells wafting out of it, presenting us with an array of all sized white truffles. Knowing nothing about truffle selection we relied on the waiter to help us select one - at first we were hesitant about how large to get, but the waiter informed us that we only pay for what we use (they shave them for us, so you don’t get customer’s fingers all over them!!). We needn’t have worried, having used the whole thing by the end of it (you only live once).

They selected the truffle and weighed it on a scale - 28 grams (at 7 euro per gram) and put it under a cloche. Every time the cloche was opened the whole area filled up with a beautiful pungent smell, so of course we had to keep opening it and smelling it.

28 grams of truffle, and the tools of the trade

Finally - it was time to move on to first course!

The scallops were very tasty, just enough for the truffle to balance it/be its equal.

Scallops, Sweet Potato, Hazelnut

The Tartare was very delicate and really highlighted the truffles.

Fassona Veal Tartare

The potato cream dish was stunning and rich with the truffles and had a beautiful smokiness from the Lapsang Souchong.

Potato Cream, Lapsang Souchong

The agnolotti involved saffron, cheese and truffle… need I say more. This was so good we asked the waiter to shave on extra truffle, at the risk of not having enough for the last savoury course!

Agnolotti with Fondue Cheese

The Partridge and Fois Gras had a lot of flavour, so the truffle took a slight back seat, but still enhanced the dish. Probably not helped by the fact that we used most of the truffle in the previous dish!

Partridge, Fois Gras Sauce

My wife loved the Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc

Petit Fours
Warm milk with Grappa di Moscato
Italian biscotti - Choc Hazelnut, Cornmeal, Cherry Chocolate
Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Macaroon
Popped Quinoa, with Green Tea and White Chocolate
Extra chocolate truffles in a bowl

Some other favourites:

In Alba, La Bottega del Vicoletto is an excellent casual little gem full of locals, if you want very tasty local food. The Vitello Tonnato and Insalata del Pollo were very good (trying to remember our mains but it escapes me…). There is also an excellent little takeaway deli section at the front of the restaurant if you are setting up a picnic.

As others suggest, Bovio is very good with a lovely atmosphere and good food (best in the daytime for the view, although we went at night).

Have you notified Don Cornwell about these fake olives?

I tried but was shouted down by the 12 Uomini Arrabiati…

Great photos!

Good point about daylight - we went at the end of July and it didn’t really get dark until after 9pm and so when we arrived for 7:30 or 8pm reservations there was still plenty of time to enjoy the view. At a different time of year, it might be necessary to push up the time of the reservation as far as the restaurant will accept in order to enjoy the view.

Andrew - great pictures - though different courses than we had (and we didn’t have truffles unfortunately), it captures the style well.

Did I see it right that the menu was only 120? When did you go? Seem to have raised the prices a bit recently.

We were there in early July. Absolutely wonderful foodie experience. We were not there during truffle season, obviously, but Andrew’s pictures brought back some great memories. I did not scope out the wine list in advance, but I should have. Two volumes. It’s way too much to do justice on the spot. The service could not be better, either.

My wife was offended that her menu didn’t have prices on it. :slight_smile: Oh, and the front door is locked. You have to be buzzed in.

We must have walked by the side street (err, alley) where the entrance is 4-5 times. Couldn’t figure out how we weren’t finding it - finally got some help from a shop owner. Funny location for the entrance.

Also, probably the least nicely decorated of any *** that I have been in…not that that matters.

Thanks guys!

We were there in October 2012, however I think the Truffle degustation is slightly cheaper as they expect to make a profit from the truffle purchase as well.

Good to know that it wasn’t just us. Indeed we spent 10 minutes checking not only that lane but all the other lanes around the plaza, even on the other side of the church (because we don’t trust google and because the address is simply the piazza, maybe google randomly placed it). We were very close to ringing them up and asking… Eventually we took a punt, decided that it must be the door and buzzed.

Talk about nondescript!

I think the only indication that the restaurant was there was a tiny label in a very thin, script like font on the buzzer that was not really visible at night (stretching the memory here).

The attached downstairs cafe, that fronts the plaza, is quite good too.

We were counting on having the matched wines by the glass but the Sommelier was off sick and nobody else could do it, I should have scoped out the wine list in advance just in case. A slight mar on the otherwise great night.

At Bovio wine prices there very reasonable. Ended up with a very pleasant '89 Marchesi Di Barolo Cannubi there, at only around 30-40% higher than online store prices. Not bad at all.

Another recommendation in Alba: La Libera. Not a three star, but you will not be disappointed. Very thoughtful service and solid food, with an impressive wine list. Don’t have my book here handy, but I think they have four forks and knives from Michellin. We would definitely go there again.

I’ll second La Libera and raise you Enoclub.