Eating well in Langa/Roero: old school is better than new. My Bra has some cool options.

Today’s post is the second in a series on my favorite places to eat in Bra (Cuneo province, Piedmont) during my seminars at the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in (my) Bra. The toponym Bra comes from the late Latin braida, meaning a suburban field for farming.

Early in my career in wine, trips to Piedmont revolved around press junkets and visits to high-profile wineries that my clients, generally importers, hired me to write about for their websites and promotional materials. Those visits and tastings were often followed by meals at marquee restaurants.

But my gig teaching at Slow Food U has given me the opportunity to break out on my own and with my friends to discover some of Piedmont’s lower profile but equally delicious dining destinations.

One of those restaurants is the SUPER old school Trattoria Gallinaccia in Bra.

I ate there alone on my first full day and night in town in May when I was there to for my food communications grad seminars.

In Piedmont, restaurants like these generally have the same traditional menu, from appetizer to dessert. You won’t find any creative cuisine or colorful interpretations of classic dishes. Gallinaccia is so traditional that they don’t even recommend adding grated Parmigiano Reggiano to their tajarin al ragù (below).

Although not my favorite, Gallinaccia is solid. The staff is friendly. And the interior evokes a between-the-wars ambiance.

I liked it a lot.

One of the coolest things is that the wine prices at places like this are ridiculously low for Americans. I ordered a bottle of Dolcetto because I always start my Piedmont stay with the region’s de rigueur gastronomic wine (a personal tradition of mine).

It wasn’t a night to go “big.” But had it been, I would have gone with the Giacomo Fenocchio 2015 Barolo Bussia for €52. Yes, just €52! Can you imagine what that bottle costs at a restaurant, let alone retail, in California or New York? You can’t even find Fenocchio, one of my all-time favorite Nebbiolo growers, in Texas.

The next night I went to a similarly old school place and did go big… and it was worth every penny. Stay tuned.

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