I came here by mistake, looking for La Cantinetta, which is just around the corner. As one may discover, many restaurants have two entrances. Always eager to find good food, I gave them a shot and I was only disappointed that I didn’t have two stomachs. There were so many things on the menu, that I came back a second time.
La Cantinella is another fine example of the family-run, warm-and-friendly restaurants I have come to love in Barolo. Isabella is a doll and her father, despite not speaking English, greeted me like an old friend even though it’s only my second time in. It has white table cloth and good stemware, a serious menu with 1sts at 10-32 € (truffles) and many 2nds in the 15 € range and Seats 38 or 40. The décor is brick with an arched ceiling and modern lighting. Service is very good to excellent and the menu provides many options that appeal to me. The bistro style is a bit loud for me, but 14 tables in the small space make a lot of conversational noise. There is a patio, but the weather wasn’t good at the time of my visit.
Amuse was poached Bra sausage on some type of root vegetable puree. It was tasty, although I would like it better if the sausage was grilled.
Carne cruda @ 10€ was very nice, although I prefer a bit of lemon peel in mine. This was a pretty presentation with paper-thin anise root and a parsley mayo on the side with a pickled root of some sort. The pickle contrasted the rich meat nicely.
Ravioli del plin al sugo d’arrosto: This is a pasta that gets me in trouble. I could eat 10 bowls of this stuff! The menu describes this as “homemade ravioli made with meat drippings. To me, this is raviolini made with meat. Savory meat wrapped in rose petals. Add REAL Parmesano Reggiano and one could drink an entire bottle of wine with this single dish. I rate this dish 1 bottle: I could drink 1 full bottle of wine while enjoying a small serving. Tonight it was a lovely E. Pira (Chiara Boschis) Barbera d’Alba.
I came back for the Lingua; it was boiled meat served with several dipping sauces. This is a very traditional dish here in Piemonte, but it is not to my taste. The meat still had the flavor and texture I look for in tongue, but it was on the bland side and the sauces don’t really work for my palate. This is not a knock on the restaurant; I understand that locals go mad for it. I will return, absolutely! I drank half of a 2010 Luigi Einaudi Dolcetto di Dogliani Vigna Tecc, and while it was very good with dinner, I drank the rest over the next two days and it was excellent at the end!
If you own or manage Osteria La Cantinella, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.