One of the luxury’s about living in Northern Italy is how close you are to absolutely everything, making weekend getaways not only easy but practically routine, where a Sunday afternoon drive to the countryside for lunch is not unusual. Especially if you happen to live near the beautiful area of Alto Monferrato di Acqui..or even if you don’t. (see map)
As any culinary expert will confirm, the cold autumn months in the Piedmont region are especially well-known for the famous ‘tartufo bianco’. (white truffles) found , and while I am sure you can find these little potato like looking gems in the entire area of Piedmont we along with 4 other couples decided to take a 3 hour trip in search of ours, making it all the more fun. All right so maybe it wasn’t 3 hours, but something pretty close to that. It is only when our little bus finally pulls up to a deserted looking building I become a bit worried that our driver has had enough of us and wants to drop us off in the middle of nowhere – because after about 2 hours some husbands (not S-man of course) started to say stuff like ‘Che cazzo di strada ha fatto?’ and that means something like ‘what road did Bozo the driver take’. (well not really, but this is a family blog so you’ll just have to look up Italian profanity on Wikipedia if you want the real translation.) Anyway turns out that Bozo was not dropping us off at all, although I totally would have understood if he did. Instead he actually finally found our restaurant.
Ristorante Vallerana is in a one building town called Alice bel Colle. Although the restaurant itself is not screaming (not even whispering, for that matter) with that romantic Italian countryside charm as one would expect after 3 hours of driving and when going to eat Tartufo Bianco,.. the mouth-watering plates that kept coming our way are without a doubt worth driving all that way. Carpaccio with shaved truffles, pears stuffed with caprino and shaved truffles, tagliatelle and filetto all floating in your what was your child’s college education fund are just some of the delicacies offered.
On the way back, to our drivers delight the 52 bottles of Dolcetto di Alba we drank start to take effect and after about 5 minutes almost everyone is fast asleep..just another Saturday in Northern Italy.
Where to go for real white truffles in Piedmont: Ristorante Vallerana, via Vallerana, 87. Alice bel Colle (AL) tel.0144 74130 -closed Mondays.