Eating and Drinking in Turin







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Torinese cuisine shows strong French influences, especially evident in the winter dish of bagna caoda . Fungi and game in autumn, and truffles used as flavouring, are also classics. Agnolotti and cappelletti are the best-known dishes, followed by meat buji (boiled) or braised in wine. Cheeses to look out for are tomini , robiole and tume . The humble grissini (bread sticks) found wrapped in greaseproof paper on every restaurant table across the land reach new heights in Turin (they were allegedly invented to tempt the appetite of the sickly boy-king Vittorio Amedeo II in the seventeenth century). The sweets, too, are marvellous, many of them invented in the Savoy kitchens to tempt the royal palates: among the decadent delights are spumone piemontese , a mousse of mascarpone cheese with rum; panna cotta , smooth, rich cooked cream; and light pastries like lingue di gatto (cat's tongues) and baci di dama (lady's kisses). Turin is also credited as the home of zabaglione , used to fill bignole , or iced choux pastries; Spanish friar San Pasquale Bayon, a gifted cook and parish priest of the city's church of San Tommaso in the sixteenth century, is said to have invented the egg yolk, sugar and Marsala mixture.

There are plenty of restaurants in which to indulge in these dishes all over the city, as well as any number of cheaper eating places serving the kind of food you can find anywhere in the country. For food on the run, there are snack bars and takeaways on Via Nizza, some tempting delicatessens on Via Lagrange and a superb rosticceria on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II for DIY lunches. For a drink, a snack, a pastry or an ice cream, you should also look in on one of the city's fin de si?le caf? , which are a Turin institution. The prices are steep, but the atmosphere more than compensates.

Restaurants in Turin
Arcadia , Galleria Subalpina 16. Try this place for an eclectic mix of Italian food and sushi. It's affordable at lunchtime, but pricier in the evening. Closed Sun & Aug.

L'Arcimboldo , Via Santa Chiara 54. Specializes in pasta fresca , with a choice of a hundred sauces, all at low prices. Closed Sun.

Del Cambio , Piazza Carignano 2 (tel 011.546.690). Historic, formal shrine to Piemontese food much frequented by expense-account types. A great opportunity to feast on traditional dishes, such as beef in Barolo or Cavour's favourite of fianziera (veal, sweetbreads and porcini , cooked with butter and wine); prices are suitably extravagant and booking is advisable. Closed Mon, Sun & Aug.

C'era una volta , Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 41. Simple, delicious Piemontese cuisine at moderate prices. Closed Sun.

Il Conte Verde , Via Bellezia 15. Piemontese specialities - try the tartr?, a souffl?of cheese, herbs and cream. Closed Sun.

Cucco , Corso Casale 89. A big Art Nouveau place near the river at Ponte Margherita serving typical Piemontese cooking with a choice of around 30 antipasti. There's a set menu for L45,000/?23.20 or you can eat ?la carte. Closed Mon.

Finestre sul Po , Lungo Po Cadorna 1. A new place that's on the waterfront near Piazza Vittorio Veneto. You eat well for a relatively modest price from a menu of Italian and Piemontese dishes. No closing day.

Porto di Savona , Piazza Vittorio Veneto 2. Cheap and cheerful restaurant very popular with students and businesspeople alike, attracted primarily by the bargain formula of piatto unico and dessert. Closed Tues lunchtime and all day Mon.

Quattro Soldi , Corso Castelfidardo 7. Reliable, good-value neighbourhood pizzeria-ristorante in the southwest corner of town. Closed Wed.

La Taverna Rossa , Via Valperga Caluso. Excellent pizza and simple dishes at low prices down by the Parco del Valentino. No closing day.

Tre Galline , Via Bellezia 37 (tel 011.436.6553.). The oldest restaurant in Turin, with a lovely panelled interior and a fixed menu for L50,000/?25.82 (a bit more for ?la carte). Don't miss the sweet-and-sour ( agrodolce ) rabbit. Booking advisable. Closed Mon lunchtime, all day Sun & Aug.

Vegetarian Club , Via San Massimo 17. Reasonably priced vegetarian restaurant with a good selection of dishes and a quiet outside terrace. Closed Mon.

Caf? in Turin
Al Bicerin , Piazza della Consolata 5. Walk into this tiny, beautiful place and you feel a bit like you're stepping into a museum. Try a bicerin - a Piemontese speciality of coffee fortified with brandy, cream and chocolate.

Fiorio , Via Po 8. Once the haunt of Cavour, this is the best place in the city to eat ice cream. Their gianduia (hazlenut chocolate) flavour is legendary, as are the real-fruit sorbets.

Mulassano , Piazza Castello 15. A cosy caf?first opened in 1900, with marble fittings and a beautiful ceiling. Traditionally the favourite of actors and singers from the nearby Teatro Regio.

Pepino , Piazza Carignano 8. Ritzy caf?with summer garden, famed for its ice creams. Try the violet-flavoured pinguino or the outrageously rich cream-and-chocolate concoction of pezzo duro .

Platti , Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 72. Art Nouveau-furnished caf?dating from 1870 that hosts art exhibitions and occasional live music.

San Carlo , Piazza San Carlo 156. Where the heroes of the Risorgimento met in the nineteenth century, this rather glitzily restored caf?with gilt pilasters and an immense chandelier combines a restaurant and ice cream parlour.

Stratta , Piazza San Carlo 156. The oldest confetteria in Turin, dating back to 1836. Marron glac?is a speciality.

Torino , Piazza San Carlo 204. A good place for a leisurely aperitif or cocktail, of which the most popular is the Torino 's very own "Elvira", made with Martini, vodka and various secret ingredients. Famous regulars were writer Cesare Pavese and Luigi Einaudi (a Torinese economist who became the second President of the Italian Republic).

Zucca , Via Roma 294. Pastries and tramezzini , plus a famous aperitivo della casa .


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