Alba, La Libera

After a long day of travel, 4 hours by train and 1-hour car ride, a slow relaxing dinner was exactly what we wanted and La Libera did not disappoint. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the best food the piedmont region has to offer. To begin we ordered the white truffle ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta. To our surprise there was also a whole quail egg seductively placed within the stuffing. A shaving of white truffles over the top of the ravioli was the final touch of excellence to this first course.

We proceeded with another regional specialty, the veal with tuna sauce. The tuna sauce is pretty much a puree and is divided squarely into two camps: one prepared with mayonnaise and one without. Traditionalists are definitely in the latter camp. The veal was beautifully presented; sliced thin with a dollop of the tuna sauce and a sprinkling of capers. This dish is peculiar in its mix of ingredients and flavors but its complexity and depth of flavor far outweigh that.

For our main dishes we ordered the veal steak with capers and slow cooked lamb with thyme and roasted potatoes. The veal was served with impossibly thin potatoes that had been compressed and baked pave style and then sliced into one very compact cube. The lamb was tender and deliciously scented with the thyme. The potatoes were nicely browned and slightly crunchy on the outside but very soft and creamy on the inside.

Instead of a traditional dessert we opted for a dessert wine, providing the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.