How is the food nowadays in the city of the Mole? Good, very good, according to food critic, Luca Iaccarino, editor of the guide I cento, published by EDT, which compiles a yearly list of Torino’s best restaurants and trattorias. “Eating out in the city of the Mole has never been this good,” he explains.
“This is not just a slogan, but simply the truth, for a number of reasons. Because on top of building on ancient traditions, torinese gastronomy has benefited from the city’s touristic appeal, but also from the rise of a new generation of restaurant owners and refined, educated patrons. A city filled with talented chefs and appreciative “food lovers” can only result in an outstanding offer of restaurants. Moreover, the fact that Torino is neither too rich nor too touristy also contributes to maintaining prices well below average compared to other major Italian and European cities.”
Ristorante Del Cambio, Turin
The eno-gastronomical possibilities in Torino have multiplied in recent years. One can find historically renowned restaurants, such as Del Cambio, where Cavour ate in the 1800s, and now managed by chef Matteo Baronetto who used to be a sous-chef under Carlo Cracco in Milano. There are also traditional trattorie (piole) and restaurants whose chefs have been able to experiment without ever compromising on the quality of the local produce. If we were to make a list of eateries not to miss, one would inevitably have to draw from a mix of traditional and innovative restaurants as well as refined and more popular places.
“A CITY FILLED WITH TALENTED CHEFS AND APPRECIATIVE
“FOOD LOVERS” CAN ONLY RESULT IN
AN OUTSTANDING OFFER OF RESTAURANTS.”
Anyone interested in a gastronomic tour of Torino would absolutely have to visit Davide Scabin’s Combal.Zero, located by the Castello di Rivoli. For many years now, this two-star Michelin restaurant has been the true laboratory of avant-garde cuisine in Torino. According to Iaccarino, “when it comes to the quality of the food, this is probably the best restaurant in the country.”
Chef Davide Scabin of Ristorante Combal.Zero, Turin
As for more popular joints, Il Consorzio is a true mecca for quinto quarto (offal), cheese, natural wines and out of the ordinary food lovers. Praised by many, this is one of the best neo-osterie (neo-taverns) of Italy.
Ristorante Il Consorzio, Turin - tortelli alla finanziera
For those looking to experiment the authenticity of a vintage “piola,” is Caffè Vini Emilio Ranzini, located in the oldest part of the city. It is a true osteria serving hard-boiled eggs, anchovies al verde (with parsley, spicy pepper, garlic), with local Barbara wine.
Caffè Vini Emilio Ranzini, Turin
And for those who would like to see the place where the Eataly phenomenon was born (just a few metres from the Lingotto), a visit to DisGuido is a must. The bistro owned by the Vicina family (from the Casa Vicina) can be found inside Eataly’s supermarket. They offer high quality produce and delicious traditional meals at popular prices.
From a strictly gastronomic point of view, Torino is profoundly linked to the territories of the Langhe, the Roero and the Monferrato. These areas are not only famous for their wines, but also for their many excellent foods and traditional dishes, such as agnolotti (flattened pasta dough filled with meat and vegetables), which are according to Luca Iaccarino the true signature dish of torinese cuisine. This is notwithstanding the fact that focusing on a single dish is like having to choose only one song from the entire Beatles repertoire.
In fact, Mariachiara Montera, a food strategist originally from Salerno, now living in Torino (www.mariachiaramontera.it), would rather choose the finanziera as her favourite torinese recipe. “When well cooked, this ancient dish made with the internal organs and entrails of the butchered animals, really brings out all the flavours of its ingredients. The finanziera is about recovering parts rarely valued and turning them into comfort food. It is an age-old dish that is still incredibly modern,” she says.
Montera believes that the cuisine from Torino, which hails from tradition, has managed to redefine itself, “answering a request from its people for good food and new experiences. With this in mind, one cannot avoid speaking about Il Contesto Alimentare, a small restaurant that has contributed elevating Piedmontese cuisine with its own personal interpretation of its many dishes.”
Ristorante Il Contesto Alimentare, Turin
(Translated by Antonio D’Alfonso)