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When you just feel like doing a little ‘food dance’ @ No. 18 of the World: Ristorante Piazza Duomo (30. October 2021)

| January 7, 2022 | 0 Comments

It’s approximately one year ago since I’ve been to the Piazza Duomo (back then, No. 29 of the world) and I was very much look forward to another amazing dining experience at the Piazza Duomo, now that it was No. 18 of the world. You have to pick the menu you’re having well in advance (I assume, so they can plan) and we went for “The Journey – Crippa XXI” (EUR 270.00) and took the “Wine Pairing (100% Piemonte)” (EUR 180.00) so you end up at EUR 450.00 as a base per person.

The evening started with some “crispy bread” where I enjoyed the yellow-looking, corn-based one quite a lot.

As an amuse bouche, we were served “langoustine and veal tatar olives with a cookie, as well as foie gras crumbles and a grapefruit foam” on the side. I absolutely loved the olives because they really felt like olives when you ate them, respectively bit through the first layer, but actually tasted a lot like langoustine and veal tatar once you started chewing a bit. The fattiness of the foie gras in combination with the slight sourness of the grapefruit foam was a very interesting combination.

One of the dishes I had absolutely loved last time was “The Beginning (Antipasto Piemontese)” which is an incredibly selection of a variety of different mini-dishes, one better than the other, and all of them definitely creating some kind of happy taste dance in your mouth. There were elements like “endive sorbet and burrata”, “chickpeas and spices”, “pack choi cabbage and red sisho”, “fresh goat ricotta, chard sauce”, “marinated pumpkin, salted hazelnut”, “salted crème caramel and miso reduction”, “marinated eggplant”, “barbajuan: fried dumpling stuffed with ricotta”, “mushrooms in oil”, “Brussel’s cabbage marinated in mustard”, or “cauliflower and brusca sauce (like a Bernese)”. It’s truly overwhelming since there are so many different bites that you’re just spending a solid 15-20 minutes (at least) only enjoying this dish. And it’s fun since there are so many delicious combinations of flavors that the journey becomes one of wonder and excitement.

Unfortunately, that was not so much the case with the next course. It sounded amazing and it actually also looked quite interesting – a dish called “Red Sun (sea urchins, almond and pepper)” …

… which was a “pepper jelly, sea urchin carpaccio, almond cream” which was interesting but did not really blow my mind. I liked the flavor combination to some degree but also not. Hard to explain, but it didn’t really rock my boat.

However, the “almond ice cream, sea urchins and coffee powder” was something I enjoyed way more since it was somewhat smoother and had a higher intensity of the flavors. Definitely exquisite!

The “furikake waffle” which was the side to the whole thing was nice and crunchy but didn’t really add much, personally. However, I like how they just use folded paper to arrange a few of the dishes right there and then.

Next in line was the “From The Sea to The Garden (prawns, Jerusalem artichoke and its sauce)” which was good since the prawns were fresh and flavorful, the piece of Jerusalem artichoke was exquisite and the sauce added to the dish.

The “broth” which was served as a side was absolutely enjoyable, mainly because of its intensity.

When the next course was served, I made a little “food dance” (a word I learned from a dear friend of mine and cherish a lot). I have so fond memories of the “U.R.S.S. (beetroot)” dish that it made me happy by just looking at it!

The “beet tartar covered in its gel” was absolutely gorgeous. The consistency. The flavor. The intensity. The flavor. The form. The flavor. I mean, the flavor! Man! The flavor!

The other elements of the dish which were served on the side, like the “beetroot, caviar and herring cream sandwich”, the “borsch cream, sour cream and spring onion” as well as the “borsch broth” were all great but nothing beats the tatar. I mean, wow! Just now when I’m writing this, my taste buds light up, I am smiling, and I feel like doing a little “food dance”.

In between, there is some pause and you get some “bread and grissini” served – and the grissini are good.

Next in line was a bit of an out-of-country experience. The “Produits de France (monkfish covered in a leaf of chard and matelote sauce)” looked interesting at first …

… looked definitely better with the matelote sauce and also tasted interesting. I mean, monkfish per se does not taste like that much so it wasn’t one of these mind-blowing flavor experiences but the combination of the cabbage with the fish and the sauce was a pleasant one.

Funny enough, the “spinach and mustard salad” was a dish I liked a lot. I mean, it’s simple as hell but it’s delicious in terms of flavor and consistency combination.

Finally, the “monkfish broth and sea fennel” was something I did not like at all. At first I was wondering if it was a bowl to wash your hands but not so much because of how it looked but really because it didn’t taste like anything which would add to this dish.

Next in line was a “Journey Through History (carnaroli rice cooked in chestnut water, liver reduction and cocoa spray)” which was also a dish which I have already tried. And I must say that it was actually nice again – especially the cocoa spray on top of it really does something with the dish although I am not a big fan of chocolate.

The main course was “Old Rome (pigeon apicius, i.e., pigeon with spices, gravy and foie gras)” and while I’m usually not such a big fan of pigeon, I must say that the pigeon was prepared in a way it would be rather lovely since the meat was cooked well and it was relatively lean, plus the spice coating was exquisite.

The “chicory salad” and the “crispy bread with liver sauce” was fine as well but not really something I would necessarily have to eat again.

The last course was “Fall (pumpkin, chestnut and quince)” but I had it replaced by “cheese tasting” (usually, EUR 30.00) which was fine. I mean, you get four different cheeses which are nice in terms of different types of cheeses, different flavors, and all – but for a 3 Michelin Star restaurant I would just so much hope for a proper cheese wagon where you can pick your cheeses. Especially in Italy where they have a great selection of outstanding cheeses.

They provide you with a coffee selection and I decided to go for the “Huehuetenango – Guatemala” since it just sounded too funny to me. First things first, it was a good coffee, resp. espresso, definitely something I would consider drinking again considering taste. However, since I had ordered a double espresso, I was charged twice the price. Which was a total of 2x EUR 12.00 meaning EUR 24.00. Now, I get it that you are in a 3 Michelin Star restaurant and that things are expensive but honestly, EUR 24.00 for a bit of coffee – I mean, wow!

In the end, we also decided to do a little grappa tasting with “Grappa Levi, 99” (EUR 50.00), “Hija ilegitima Grappa” (EUR 18.00) and “Rovero, Grappa Ciabot” (EUR 12.00) which was really a selection of different qualities and different prices. Not sure what to say about the Grappa Levi but EUR 50.00 for a little glass is again wow … I mean, the coffee and that one grappa costs EUR 75.00.

Last but not least, you get a selection of different friandises served which are quite lovely and I actually enjoyed and tried them all this time and …

… you would of course also get your latte booze drink and a little broth to finish off the dinner.

The room is interesting in terms of interior design, however, my friend had pointed out that the flooring doesn’t really fit to the rest of the interior – and he’s quite right! In any case, the atmosphere is nice, the place is quiet, i.e., there is enough space between the single tables. One or two words about the service: It’s close to flawless! They are super attentive, super friendly, super professional! Amazing! Really nothing to complain about and funny enough, they even remembered me from last year.

If you’re in Alba and you have a chance (i.e., you know with enough time in advance), make sure to book your table at the Piazza Duomo and enjoy a ride through worlds of flavors, through highs and lows (but way more highs), through different ingredients and different tastes and lastly, be ready to be surprised and amazed! To be fair though, while I loved it this year, I loved it even more last year but I suppose that is also due to the fact that the surprise last year was bigger since it was my first time.


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Contact Details:

Ristorante Piazza Duomo

Piazza Risorgimento 4

12051 Alba (I)

Tel.: +39 01 73 36 61 67

E-Mail: booking@piazzaduomoalba.it

Homepage: http://www.piazzaduomoalba.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.
EUR 1'600.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Piemonte (IT), Restaurants, The World's 50 Best Restaurants

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