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Image 1: www.alsorriso.com Chef: Luisa Valazza
Classic: €165 (8-course) Water & Land: €155 (8-course)
À la carte menu: About €40 for main
Closed on Monday and Tuesday
Image 2: Angelo never expected his restaurant to earn a wall full of accolades when his wife, Luisa, decided to take on a kitchen role after their chef suddenly left in 1981. Without any prior training, Luisa simply bought a cookbook, spent a night experimenting in the kitchen, and believe it or not, that was how one of the most talented Italian chefs was born.
Image 3: The first Michelin star came just after one year! You could imagine in those days many guests were surprised to see a female chef running a Michelin kitchen! Luisa continued to cook with her passion and the second star came in 1988. She finally obtained the third in 1997 and has retained her 3-star status to date.
Image 4: The warm atmosphere of this renovated ancient rustic house along with Angelo's hospitality makes every guest feel like visiting their home!
Image 5: Though it was the first day they reopened after the summer holidays, I was still surprised that we were one of the only two tables that night; four guests in total! Since it was such a quiet night for the kitchen and we couldn't decide between the Classic and the Seasonal tasting menus, Angelo gladly created a menu for us by picking the best dishes from both.
Image 6: A few choices of bread
Image 7: and long bread sticks
Image 8: A small treat of parmesan crème brûlée. Nothing too exciting but not a bad start.
Image 9: A combination of foie gras hot and cold as the first course. Seared and rested on green pea custard accompanied by raspberry and blueberry. This local foie gras was excellent, but I found it was a bit overcooked for me.
Image 10: And on the left was a foie gras parfait rolled in a chocolate sponge with icewine jelly and balsamic vinegar; airy foie with a touch of acidity from the balsamic along with a hint of sweetness from the jelly. Initially I had a concern that this place might be an out-dated old school cuisine but it clearly wasn't the case. A fabulous course!
Image 11: The next few courses gave me the comfort that this cuisine was truly a 3-star! Covered by thin apricot was a pair of precisely cooked langoustine. Fresh ingredient and perfect timing on the cooking; the two elements a perfect seafood course must have.
Image 12: Both the basil cubes and the lemon ginger sauce were light enough and did not distract the delicate flavour of the langoustine. Moreover, the cohesive balance of acidity from the lemon and the exotic ginger was marvellous. Simply a superb dish!
Image 13: The third course was just about this porcini!
Image 14: The stem was actually diced and stuffed back to provide another texture! Despite the basic preparation, simply fried and seasoned, this earthy and crunchy mushroom was definitely a highlight of the meal!
Image 15: Angelo was so excited to receive his first batch of fresh Sicily shrimp that afternoon, so he added this extra course to our menu.
Image 16: Wow, again, perfect execution using fresh ingredient; I couldn't help to suck out every bit of juice from the heads!
Image 17: A very light pasta course of herb ravioli of Bettelmatt, a local cow cheese produced from high altitude of the Piedmont region.
Image 18: Good food doesn't need to be too complex; risotto, pumpkin, and a touch of Modena balsamic vinegar were all that were needed to make another standout dish of the meal!
Image 19: It was Fassone as the main course, which was kind of expected since we were in Piedmont.
Image 20: And Angelo recommended a half bottle of Barbaresco, Gaiun Martinenga 2000, just to go with this course. Full body red, a hint of tobacco with a long finish, went well with the beef but it increased my bill by almost another tasting menu!
Image 21: Fassone is considered the best Italian beef for being soft and lean. The Barolo sauce and crushed hazelnuts were great complements to this piece of high quality meat! A very enjoyable course.
Image 22: It came with a side of bone marrow raviolini.
Image 23: A huge selection of local cheese.
Image 25: A small pre-dessert of port and fig custard layered with rosemary and nuts on top. Very original with an intense rosemary fragrance. Excellent!
Image 26: To finish the meal, walnut chocolate ice cream surrounded by a chilled prune consommé. Lovely dessert but the contrast between the ice cream and prune was too intense!
Image 27: It was such a filling and late dinner that we had to leave our petits fours untouched, unfortunately.
Image 28: We had a long conversation after the meal as Angelo and Luisa had a very relaxed service with only four customers that night.
Image 29: Might not be a place for the most exciting food in the world, but it is a place for delicious international influenced Piedmont cuisine using fresh ingredients. We will definitely indulge ourselves next time by not only having the meal, but staying in one of their eight charming Relais & Chateaux rooms for the night.