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30. October 2010: Ristorante Madonna della Neve

| November 5, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Ristorante Madonna della Neve is located pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It´s about 10 kilometers from Cortemilia (where the Bar La Cresta is located) and about 20 kilometers from Acqui Terme (where the Ristorante Enoteca La Curia and the L´Aleph Bar are located). And you are obliged to use your car because there is no other way of getting there. 

The restaurant is situated in the middle of the mountains there and you can see the location from far as there is a little church (or something the like) pretty close to it. The outside looks nice from far and okay from close. When you enter the place you´re warmly welcomed by the owner and the service crew. It´s highly recommendable to reserve a table in advance for the weekend. 

The interior is somewhat spacious and still cozy. It´s a well-working mixture of both. The atmosphere is nice but it´s is a bit cold, literally speaking (they should definitely turn up the heating a bit). 


The waitress which served us was very friendly and helpful. We spoke Italian with her most of the time but astonishingly, when we didn´t understand a dish we were served and were thinking what it could mean, the waitress always knew the German expression for it. 

When it came to ordering wine, we´ve asked the owner to bring us two bottles of red wine – first a bit a light one and a heavier one for the main courses. Task accomplished perfectly! 

Once you sit down at your table, you´re immediately served with Grissini and bread. The Grissini are really good but it´s recommendable not to eat too many of them – as you will sure eat more than enough after that. 


As a starter we had a selection of 5 antipasti (for 12 EUR in total). Each antipasto is brought to your table by the waitress on a large plate. From there, she takes it and serves it on your plate on the table. We didn´t ask for “supplement” but you could most probably have some if you´d ask. 

The first antipasto was salumi misti (Salami Cotto, Salami Crudo, and Pancetta). It´s pretty basic but it was good. 


The second antipasto was Vitello Tonato. I´ve had quite a few Vitelli Tonati in my life but this is definitely one of the best I´ve ever tried! It was extremly delicious! 


The third antipasto was a “Torta di Cardi” which is basically a piece of cake made of a vegetable (not quite a known one). It was very tasteful! 


The fourth antipasto was a “Coteghiro con Fonduta”. To be honest, this one wasn´t really my favourite. The sausage was made of pretty “rough” meat and had pretty big pieces, so nothing like smooth sausage. The sauce was not bad but pretty special in taste. 


The fifth (and last) antipasto was “Pepperoni con acciughe” (anchovies) which was very rich in taste! 


After the selection of antipasti (it took at least one hour till we had them all) we went on to the primi piatti (first courses, usually pasta in Italy). 

As a first “primo” I´ve had “Ravioli con Salsa di Noce” (with chestnut sauce – only 6 EUR). The portions are pretty big, the pasta is cooked perfectly al dente and the sauce was delicious! 


As I was still hungry, I went for a second “primo” which was “Raviolini …” 

 “… nel Barbera”. 

 You basically get a bowl with cooked, hot Raviolini. Then you get a bottle of wine (i.e. Barbera). The concept is now, that you pour the wine into the bowl and then eat the raviolini. The wine itself was not tasty at all. It´s recommended to “eat” of the wine when eating the pasta – but if you let the pasta long enough in the wine, the taste-combination of the Barbera together with the pasta is pretty awesome!

As a secondo piatto I went for “Agnello con Aglio” (Lamb with Garlic – EUR 12) which was really tasteful too. The vegetables served with it were not so overwhelming though.

A pretty special experience is the selection of cheese you can have after the secondo. The specialty of the house is the “Rotonda di Robbiole” (10 EUR). Robbiola is a goat cheese which is freshly made in Piemont and usually tastes pretty great! The rotonda is a selection of ten different Robbiole ranging from really young (i.e. fresh) one to one which is approximately 6 months old. The taste gets more and more intense from one to the next – and it´s worth trying. For some you need to be somewhat brave to actually eat it all, but all in all, it´s a pretty cool thing (if you like cheese in general of course). The portion was a bit too big though – each piece of cheese could have been a bit smaller.

 Finally, as a desert, we had a “Tiramisú al Moscato” (4 EUR) – just one word: awesome! It tasted like desert must probably taste in heaven!

In the end, we had coffee (3 coffees accounting for 4 EUR) and when you order coffee, you get a wide selection of different Grappe on your table (we got 5 bottles). And you can help yourself as much as you want! They charge you 2 EUR per person – no matter how much Grappa you actually drink. And the selection is pretty exclusive, including Grappa from the Distilleria di Berta di Mombaruzzo.

All in all, the Ristorante Madonna della Neve has only one shortcomming. It´s location! The atmosphere is nice, the service is perfect, the food is delicious and the prices are more than decent! If you´re ever somewhat close to there, you definitely have to go and eat there. Just don´t forget to reserve because otherwise you will have made the whole way for nothing!


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Contact Details: 

Ristorante Madonna della Neve 

Strada Provinciale Bubbio 1 

14050 Cessole Asti (IT) 

Tel.: +39 (01) 44 85 04 02 

Fax: +39 (01) 44 80 26 5 

Homepage: http://www.ristorantemadonnadellaneve.it‎

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.

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