It had been a long time since we have been to this wonderful 1 star Michelin restaurant in Canale and back then we had the ‘classic’ tasting menu. And I had always said I wanted to come back, for a special occasion (wedding anniversary i.e.), for the ‘surprise’ menu … which according to the menu has eight courses.
Though I had arranged for a babysitter, Julius was not too happy with the idea and we took him with us – he behaved very well last time.
To our surprise, they have totally remodeled the dining room … lowered the ceiling and all white, a bit too bright, a bit like out of an IKEA catalogue (compare to more cozy, darker room). Also gone was the direct view to the kitchen door. Instead chef Paluda came around in person and greeted guests and to our second surprise, he remembered us! I know, we are a colorful bunch around here, but he even remembered when were visiting last (1.5 years ago)
But anyways, let me get to the food: Assorted bread items followed by vitello tonato, some assortment of fried fish, parmesan sticks and a cold mini soup of potato / cheese and peppers. These were all ‘freebies’, since Julius got them as well.
Then the first appetizer, a piece of fish and a superb shrimp arranged on 2 different sauces with an almond cookie. Then more fish, Bachala, which is usually salted codfish, revived by washing the salt off and tenderizing it in milk. So then you get like a fish / milk mouse. But in this case, we received a nice whole piece of fish which i guess underwent the same treatment.
Next up a new version of ‘raw meat’ … instead of minced, we got cubed filet, fantastic quality, with little droplets of cheese. And then some veggies: Fresh asparagus with another kind of very creamy cheese and hasulnuts … and there were some slivers of something we had trouble identifying … my guess was black truffle. So, 4 appetizers down .. one more to go. How about some duck fois gras with strawberries? That makes 5 …
Primi … something usually like to skip, but at this place, they keep the portion small, but interesting. First up some ravioli with a liquid (!) veggie filling, garnished with more greens. Then a risotto in meat reduction sauce with some mushroom I do not know … and finally, the main dish, mixed pieces of lamb roast, no fuzz with bones, just tons of flavor.
Then there was a tiny pre-dessert, a mini piece of creme brulée with ice cream, followed by the main dessert, a chocolate tart (with a melting chocolate core) in strawberry (or was it raspberry?) sauce. And since after 4 hours of continuous eating we still looked hungry, we received a nice platter of coffee nibblies, although we had no coffee.
During all this, Julius was doing semi-ok … I have seen him behave better … while 2 years ago he was ok with ‘just’ drawing, this time he always wanted to use scissors and tape, which meant that his part of the table quickly looked like his studio and of course he had to constantly interfere our ‘grown up’ topics to present his new creations. (His interpretation of our wedding … somehow he was a little baby when we got married, at least he recognizes that papa still had hair .. )
Later he found another outlet. He arranged his pictures in a way that other patrons could see them and even got photographed for that. He then upped the ante and taped things on his face, which even caused some applause. (I stopped him when he started taping things to his backside and got ready to show THAT)
I am amazed that he lasted the 4 hours (though he started complaining towards the end) but at some point chef Davide asked him to come with him to the kitchen and he happily returned with some candy (I was hoping for secret recipes), while we were enjoying the desserts.
It was overall a fantastic dinner again, next time I would like to go there for a ‘light’ lunch. Maybe just one appetizer per person and their simple steamed agnolotti served in a napkin, with a broth to dunk them in … too bad they don’t do Sunday lunches …
Via Roma, 57
12100 Canale (Cuneo), Italy
+39 0173 95857