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Just for the record, I went to Baumanière when old man Thuillier was still there working in the kitchen at age 80-something and when the wine list was very long despite the problem of keeping it underground as I seem to recall how the story goes. The guy started the place when he was about 40 and working an an insurance agent. I don't know if he really could cook at the top level that his restaurant was or i someone else was helping him conceive the dishes. I am tempted to go back. The Macdonald's really like it.


I pretty much cleared the decks of whatever piled up while I was gone. Tomorrow should be your lucky day, Chambolle Premier Cru.

Just to whet your appetite, I paid 230 euros at Renzo for a 2007 Bruno Giacosa Barberesco Asili vs 220 (?) for the Voerzio, the latter of which I consider to have a better pedigree and the rarer of the two. I also thought it was the better of the two, but not by much.

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Every year that the truffle season is good, I try to drive up to Cuneo Provence to visit a couple of restaurants. At the moment my favorite is Ciau dei Tornavento in Treiso, the village next to Barbar

That sounds like Chiara, she's a real sweetheart, but If Lorenzo is still walking the room then it's worthwhile trying to make it past the hostility.   I agree about the white truffle quality.

Do white truffles have a lot of calories ?   I sure the heck hope not !

I got a few minutes. At Renzo, the waiter brought to the table three dirty truffles of varying size along with seven or eight small ones. He said that larger truffles (not sure when a truffle moves from small to medium to large) were something 3.7 euros a gram as opposed to the 3.5 I paid. I don't know if the uncleaned truffles were for show, but I went to the cleaned ones to select. The second one I chose really got my attention, and I held it aside, smelling the others, but always coming back to this one particular one which I chose to consume.


Treiso was a bit different, and I will continue this tomorrow as I have to split for downtown. Let me say, though, that both meals we consumed the entire truffle as each was small. Last year in Treiso I chose a larger one which they weighed before and after with, of course, my being charged on the difference. I have to say that last year was a better situation in terms of the choosing than this year, something I'll explain later.

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Last year at Ciau dei Tornavento we went for lunch on a Monday and the place was nearly empty. Our waitress Annette and a sous-chef brought several truffles of varying sizes to our table in a wood box. Together we picked a truffle. This time I saw Annette half-way across the room sniffing some truffles on a glass dish. She brought the dish to our table and told us her favorite was the little 27.5 gram one. I just went along with what she said as we weren't having an all-truffle meal. Maybe they were short on truffles that day? You could ask for a variety of sizes presented in a wood box.

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The Chowhound guy is an idiot. I bet he ordered a tasting menu. The chef has no ego on display. In fact, you wouldn’t learn his name by being in the restaurant. Maybe m partridge was a tad dry, but it was still delicious. Everything else was as it should be. The cheese chariot holds a large selection of regional cheeses and there is no limit on the number of pieces you can have.


Another reason I don’t visit winemakers is because I prefer going food slumming which also includes wine-buying, I am fortunate in that I have a home to keep wine and food products. But if Chambolle or anyone else does as well, I recommend two shops. Giolito in Bra is a cheese store of some monumentality. It isn’t one of these overladen shops like you find in big cities, but it rigorously adheres to the cheeses (some dozens) of its region. We took back seven or so unusual Piemontese cheeses and found them to be as good a selection as any we have had from French stores.


Fracchia & Berchialla, the wine shop in Alba is my first destination for wine buying. It is probably 75% devoted to Piemontese wines of which there are scores and scores in stock. After 15 years and maybe 15 visits, Nadia led me downstairs to the cantina where she keeps “the good stuff”. I never asked and really never knew about this until two weeks ago. We also like their small selection of olive oil, balsamico, hazelnuts and other foodstuffs.

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Chambolle, have I answered all your questions, addressed all your needs? Let us know about Guido and wherever else you go. I loved Guido when the whole family was together in Costigliolo d'Asti. I hope the kid cooks like his mama did back then (or are you going to Mama's place?) I have to say that when Momma was on her own at the Relais San Maurizio, the cooking wasn't as good.


Vedat has a place in Paris, but is more in Istanbul and Atlanta (vmilor@yahoo.com). I'm reinholdbrown@gmail.com.

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I'm hyper-overloaded at the moment (due to my last real meal a la francaise prior to blast off ... due to wine consumption ... but most importantly, due to a gazillion and one things on my plate), so no time for fun and games ... sadly.


Merci buckets for lots of helpful info, Roberto. (and I hope you don't mind if I fine tune your name ... Italian chicks really dig Roberto's ... just trying to lend a helping hand ! )


And feel free to call me Chambo ! ... we're buds now.


Chambolle, have I answered all your questions ...?


Not that it's really important at this point, but I'm still not totally crystal clear re truffle pricing in the ZONE.


I'm a little dense and I like things totally spelled out, so bare with me.


Is the following sentence simply incorrect ?

There was, however, a large difference in price per grated serving. Renzo charged 60 euros and Ciao 35.


Was da Renzo charging a flat rate of 60 euros per serving for their truffles ?

Was Ciau charging a flat rate of 35 euros per serving for their truffles ?


I believe that you are saying that they were NOT doing that.

I believe that you are saying that, at both places, you selected your truffles and you were charged for total weight consumed during your meal.

At Ciau, 3.5 euros / gram. At da Renzo, 3.7 euros / gram because you chose a larger-sized truffle.

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They were doing per grating as stated on their menus at the price stated at each restaurant.Choosing your truffle is not offered in writing. I did not choose a larger truffle at Renzo, but my waiter quoted me the prices for a small and a large before I made my choice. As I chose and used a whole truffle, there was no need for a before and after weighing, which they would have done had I not used up the whole truffle. As i did not take the per grating option, I don't know the amount each place gives you, but you should ask as I also am curious to know.


I never saw anyone choosing their truffle. It must be for locals and hyper-diners like you and me.


Soon you will be the Chambo of Alba white truffles.

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I can only conjecture that if both restaurants are charging the same per gram price, then the Renzo gratings must be a lot more copious than Treviso's. I wonder how the server knows when to stop--by sight, buh number of slicing movements? Chambo, I'm counting on you to fill in the blanks, move the ball forward in the quest for Alba white truffle knowledge and practical connoisseurship.

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I paid 230 euros at Renzo for a 2007 Bruno Giacosa Barberesco Asili


Oh man, Robert, how very disappointing ... depressing even.


You totally frickin' wimped out ! The Giacosa Riserva was there to be plucked and you ducked the challenge ! Here's their wine list ...


BARBARESCO RISERVA d.o.c.g. 2007 gr.14 €.300,00 Asili

Az. Agr. Bruno Giacosa - Neive

BARBARESCO d.o.c.g. 2007 gr.14,5 €.230,00 Asili

2008 gr.14 €.210,00

Az. Agr. Bruno Giacosa - Neive


And don't start telling Chambo that the riserva was too young, yada yada.

Vedat is going to be hearing about this LIKE PRONTO !

Ciau dei Tornavento ... I paid 220 or 230 euros for a 2001 Voerzio La Serra. It's not a crazy price for a great winemaker in a great year. I have a pretty good consumer knowledge of wine.

Pretty good consumer knowledge ? Are you kidding me !

Bobby Baby, that was a seriously professional, world-class play ! You're being way way too modest.

I mean I think I can honestly compare a clutch move like that to Tiger Woods holing it from 220 or 230 for double eagle.

Same keen eye. Same athleticism. Same level of high performance under pressure. Bravo, Roberto !

Look at the carnage that a mere amateur player may have inflicted upon himself if attempting your Ciau play at da Renzo ... Once again, ere's da Renzo's wine list ...

I Rossi di “ Roberto Voerzio ”




BAROLO d.o.c.g. 1989 gr.13,5 €.600,00

La Serra 2007 gr.14,5 €.400,00

Granted, 2007 is an excellent year, but so is 2001.

With the 2007 lacking 6 years of bottle age vs the 2001, I think you need to give the edge to the 2001.

If da Renzo had the 2001, it would have been priced at 500 euros, I gather.

That's what we pros call a par 5.

And Bobby holed that da Renzo par 5 in 2 on the Ciau course. Okay 2.2 or 2.3 but it's still a double eagle on my scorecard.

That's the sort of play we spectators live for !
You're redeemed, Robert.
For the moment, I'm gonna hold off telling Vedat anything, but I reserve the right out you about Riserva-gate as and when I see fit.

Chambo, I'm counting on you to fill in the blanks, move the ball forward in the quest for Alba white truffle knowledge and practical connoisseurship.

No worries, Robert.

I'm planning on signing myself up for a single-day stage slicing Tubers at a high end resto here.

I'm about to be operating on the inside ... within the circle of trust ... and I plan to find out ALL of their secrets.

For security reasons, I'm gonna do this under an assumed name.

In case anyone else is in Piedmont, if your tuiles of Tuber came from a guy named Chambarolo, please keep the secret, but that was me !

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