With an amuse like this, we can only be at one place - the incredible Piazza Duomo!
A bit of tweaking going on with the baked spaghetti - this time it has been dipped in a "carbonara sauce". The other elements are pretty much perfect - even those little leaves and micro veg are incredible - the flavour coming from the micro carrot was staggering.
Foie gras mousse with crunchy corn and ginger mousse - one of my favourites and in the front, the fake olives - scampi and raw beef.
The light as air chard sponge with tuna mayonnaise rounds out the amuse.
There are four degustations offered (and during truffle season there is a fifth - a special truffle degustation) and we've chosen to try Evasione e Territorio
Porcini e Lingue d'Antra
Porcini and Duck Tongue - a plate so beautiful that all it lacks is a frame. The duck tongues are amazing in that they taste exactly like roasted duck - they haven't the texture you'd find in the tongues of other creatures, they are eye-poppingly good. There's constrained bitterness from the raddichio, sweet hits from the berries, subtle earthiness from the preserved porcini.
Cime di Rapa, Capesante e Ricci di Mare - Turnip Tops, Scallops and Sea Urchins
Another beautiful to look at plate - those raw scallops take center stage, topped with a pinch of caramelised lemon zest. Splashes of a thick lemon sauce, daubs of sea urchin, laced with baby turnip tops.
Mosto d'Uva e Gamberi - Grape Must and Raw Prawn
I have waxed lyrical about these prawns - love their texture and their sweet flesh.
Patate e Merluzzo - Potato and Cod
Underneath that crisp rectangle of skin, sits the cod bathed in silky smooth potato
Indivie ed Animelle - Endive and Sweetbreads
Lovely little nuggets of sweetbreads, beautifully golden on one side, sit amongst shards of baby endive and shaved salsify - hazelnut sauce and roasted hazelnuts
Cicoria e Fassona - Chicory and Fassona Beef
You can see the slices or rare Fassona peeking out from underneath the chicory curls - on the side a little roasted broadbean puree
Cavolo Rosso, Porco Cinturello - Red Cabbage and Cinta Senese Pork
Porco Cinturello is an ancient breed of pig that dates from the 1300's. Here the pork fillet is encased in red cabbage that has been cooked with cinnamon, apple, fig and thyme. The plate is finished with a dusting of cinnamon and raspberry powders.
Spaghetti al Verde - Spaghetti and Green Vegetable Sauce
If you could eat the colour green, this is what it would taste like.
Cavolo Nero, Piccione - Black Cabbage and Pigeon
I do love pigeon and this dish only strengthens that love - crisp skin, pink flesh, lovely little leg that has you gnawing at the bone. A rich sauce full of the flavour of pigeon and soft stalks of cavolo nero.
Minestra di Frutta e Verdura
Fruit and Vegetable Soup
Paalo described this as the "21,31,41,51 of fruit salads" - it's such a clever mix of fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs and so finely balanced that it remains a dessert. Just like "21.." every bite is different - a crunch from a nut, slight touch of bitterness from micro endive, liquorice warmth from fennel tops - a dish that gets you talking.
Underneath those tiny lemon meringues lays a whole poached liquorice root - dotted around the plate, swirls of buckwheat crema pasticcera topped with a little caramelised, puffed buckwheat. Perched on a thin slice of lemon sponge, fiore di latte gelato decorated with a buckwheat shoot.
There's only one word to sum up the experience - WOW.
Piazza Risorgimento 4
12051 Alba (CN)
39 0173 366167
Lunch - 1230 - 1400
Dinner - 1930 - 2200
Sunday Night and All-day Monday
Sunday and Monday (June-July-August)
Mid December to January
2 weeks in August
Always check the website for up to date opening hours.