Dinner at La Coccinella in Serravalle Langhe (Piedmont), the “other” [upper] Langa

raw shrimp

Above: Dinner began with delicate marinated trout and raw shrimp. People are often surprised by how much fish and seafood you eat in Piedmont, which lies just an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive from the sea.

The last restaurant meal I had in Italy in 2012 was at the cozy Trattoria la Coccinella in the village of Serravalle Langhe, the “other” Langa, about a twenty-minute drive southeast from Monforte, beyond the gilded radius of Barolo and Barbaresco.

rinaldi langhe nebbiolo

Above: First wine of the night was the Giuseppe Rinaldi 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo. Folks here don’t mind pairing red wine with seafood and the lightness and bright acidity of this wine was great with the raw shrimp.

The village is at the center of the Alta Langa (upper Langa) appellation where a handful of producers make classic method sparkling wine.

But it lies just far enough away from the epicenter of Nebbiololand to take the edge off the high stakes of Alba-world dining.

roast onion

Above: The onion was salted and stuffed with a light chicken liver sautée before being roasted.

Giovanni (aka man, the English-language appellative we use with each other), Ferdinando (aka man), and I were there on a Saturday night and the place was packed with locals, including a boisterous high-school reunion for the over-sixty crowd and lots of groups of young people enjoying their weekend night out for dinner.

tajarin

Above: I just had to have the tajarin… no frills, just classic trattoria cooking, Piedmont style.

I love visiting Langa. But sometimes the competitive dining scene there can be a bit oppressive.

It was so fun to just be

bartolo mascarello barolo 2008

Above: The 2008 Barolo by Bartolo Mascarello is going through a period of youthful grace and was very generous with its fruit. What a pleasure to drink that wine! I imagine it will “shut down” shortly. But it was singing that night.

La Coccinella was my second-to-last meal in Italy in 2012 (my last repast was in Milan at the home of good friends).

The food was great (the prices middle-class friendly) and I highly recommend the restaurant.

But the best part was just being somewhere where affectation is a foreign language.

coccinella

2 thoughts on “Dinner at La Coccinella in Serravalle Langhe (Piedmont), the “other” [upper] Langa

  1. Great reading here, Jeremy. Next time you’re in alta Langa, try the Locanda dell’Arco in Cissone and the Trattoria della Posta just outside Monforte d’Alba. The Locanda’s wine list is vertical and deep with an emphasis on natural/bio wine. The cooking in both places is absolutely superb. Cheers.

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