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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 !

Yo ! Squire Chambo, reporting for duty !


I love love love Christmas.



It's such a wonderful, hopeful season.



It makes a child of us all, doesn't it ?



It makes us want to believe in anything and everything ...



... in the goodness of people ...

... in flying reindeer and vehicles ...


... that fat fucks can slide up and down chimneys ...


... that everyone can carry a tune ...


... and on and on and on ...



So in the spirit of Xmas, since I can't be at that fantabulous holiday party y'all got planned,


can't we all just get along and sing one Yuletide Carol all together !


Come on everyone ... chime in ! Y'all know this song.


It will be like the MFF version of We are the World ... only way worse.


Stephanie, whip the choir into shape while I finalize the lyrics ...


Okay, got it, it's a slightly tweaked Chambarolo version so just go with the flow ...




Chestnuts roasting ...


on an open fire [in Alba, of course]


Truffle oil dripping from my nose ...


Barbarescos being drunk by your squire ...



[i could go on and on but this gives you an idea]

And folks dressed up like young Chambos.


Everybody knows a partridge and some liver sauce ...

[at Ciau]


[Wait wait wait. Time out !

Scratch that mediocre dish and lyric.

BIG BAD BOBBY BROWN don't know BO [DIDDLEY] about birds.

He is such a turkey, that guy.

That partridge should have been left in a pear tree or the pantry or wherever.

Now, let's restart from 'EVERYBODY KNOWS' ...]

Everybody knows a pigeon and some liver sauce

[at da Renzo .. now that's good eatin' my friends !

maybe with an old barolo ... or so says Chambarolo]



Help to make the season bright.

'Tato tots with their skin all aglow ...

[at Ciau ... and it tastes way way better than it fotos]


Are well covered to sleep tonight.


They know that Chambo has his ways.

He's loaded lots of white truffles

in his Mercedes ...


And every mother's child

is gonna spy to see if

Chambo really knows how to fly.


[umm, yo kids, don't know how to break it to y'all, but Chambo's piece of crap Germany engineering doesn't fly, in fact, it doesn't round hairpin corners at high speed as well as one might like at night. Specifically, after a 4 1/2 hr tasting at La Spinetta, Chambo found himself spinning a la Spinetta when motoring towards Monforte. Car dangling over a cliff, flat against a guardrail, various wheels not touching the ground, Chambo escaped unscraped with his life and was towed to safety. The front right of said 'cedes has sadly structurally surrendered its shape, but that's a story for another day ...]


And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you !

Here's how it was supposed to sound ...








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  • 2 weeks later...

The truffle season is over, and so is this thread. To everyone I wish a happy New Year, especially to my new pal Chambo the Swiss. How was the drive back to Geneva? I'm off to conquer new territory, which I'm sure you will have a lot to say. Au revoir Italy, Hello Brittany.

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  • 9 months later...

La Ciau del Tornavento was a bit disappointing; food was in places good, but not very exciting, and the truffles were of low quality. This year the supply is low, but of good quality (or so I am told), which translates as a bad year to visit Piemonte in truffle season, but here I am. Wine list is big, but rather like the Tour D'Argent used to be, i.e. every wine of every Barolo producer in every year , but unlike the Tour D'A it only goes back to about 2001, before that it thins out really sharply.


However, Il Centro in Priocca is sensational, and I think much better that C del T in every way. Smaller, more focused wine list, with plenty of good stuff, and quite a lot cheaper, assuming that you will be sticking to Piemontese wines.

Food was just terrific, and service was very friendly and welcoming, (unlike C del T which was in places quite rude).


I had 3 antipasti:

a smoked potato soup with moscardini (tiny musk octopus)

carne cruda with white truffles (exceptional)

sweet peppers stuffed with an anchovy sort of mousse (filling a little heavy)


then risotto with fonduta and white truffles (very good, but rice was too al dente to my taste, but amazing truffles)

then as secondo, rabbit livers with onions.


then very good cheese course


superlative tiramisu.


with a bottle of 96 Cannubi from Chiara Boschis (at 95 euros) we left very happy indeed.

Best truffles of the trip so far, against quite a lot of competition.

Highly recommended.

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I beg to differ about Ciau dei Tornavento. I go there almost every year in the fall. I have a cute waitress (Evelyn?) who treats me right; let's me smell a bunch of truffles and helps me choose a great bottle of wine. There are several dishes I order that are meant for truffles. Yes, the carne cruda, the egg and cheese dish "Trufalao" served in the wood box, and the gnocchi come to mind, not to mention the vanilla ice cream covered with truffles Last year we had a partridge that was not only rare to come across, but sublime. They take their cheese seriously, too, as you say. I like the Fascisti architecture, the spaciousness of the room and the distance between the tables and the view over the Barbaresco vineyards.


I always go late in the truffle season-late November or early December. Not only do prices go down after the Alba Truffle Fair, but as it takes five weeks from germinating to collecting, the truffles are at their peak and not influenced, as was the case this year, but the dry, hot summer. I'm glad you got good-tasting truffles as the renown Allende on Chowhound got word that this year's crop so far has been unplentiful and so-so. I should go back to Il Centro. We liked it a lot in its early days. Da Bardon seems to be a go-to place according to a few Chowhounders.

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Yes, it is too early in the season for great truffles; I would have preferred to have gone later on but that wasn't possible.


In Turin now ( a great Sokolov recital last night), but food is patchy. Consorzio is good.

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Right near Consorzio is BANCO Vini e Alimenti. It's a small cool, casual, semi-hipster, natural wine, small plates, counter and some tables, Chambo-approved spot. You'll like it. Just go. Might be the same (or overlapping) ownership as Consorzio. Very good and creamy cervella served over spinach ... a big and tasty portion.


Del Cambio is well-dressed service in a room with lots of pomp and circumstance. The food is pretty much a yawn ... or a snooze ... depending. Who knows, maybe it got better in the last year, but I wouldn't really count on it. That said, it's the only real "fancy" place that I'm aware of ... but I'm not really recommending it.


And you are wildly, wildly off-base with your adjectives re Il Centro. Please re-read what you wrote and tell me if you still stand by them.


Them being a) sensational, b) terrific, c) exceptional, d) amazing, e) superlative.


I agree that the Il Centro people are very nice and even quite humble. However my experience is that the food is similarly quite modest and not all that interesting. Perfectly fine, grandma-like, Piedmont cuisine served in a tired room with minimal (to no) view for most tables. And if I were a betting man, I'd wager that the Il Centro truffles were probably normal, good quality ones and you are comparing them to below average specimens.


And be honest with me on this one ... were you possibly still inebriated when you posted that Il Centro rave ?


(If you were, I'm totally cool with that ... it's fairly common around here, ya know.)

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And be honest with me on this one ... were you possibly still inebriated when you posted that Il Centro rave ?


(If you were, I'm totally cool with that ... it's fairly common around here, ya know.)


This is the single most perceptive thing Chambo has ever posted, IMO. I certainly always write about wine I'm thoroughly buzzed.


(Not commenting on balex's view of Il Centro, of course.)

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