Dining in Italy: La Coccinella

Trattoria La Coccinella was one of the first restaurants I wanted to return to when I was thinking about what we were going to do this trip. We had only eaten there once before, in 2010, but I can still remember how good the food was, and the wine.

The traditional menu has 4 antipasti (12 euros), 4 primi (14 euros), 4 secondi (18 euros), and 4 dolci (9 euros). There is also a seafood menu. The wine list is impressive and very reasonably priced.

We ended up ordering a 1985 (!) Barolo Monvigliero from Bel Colle. A wine of which we had tasted the latest vintage (2017) the other day at the winery. The wine was expertly decanted and needed some time to ‘breathe’ to reveal all its glory. You could certainly tell it was old, because most of the tannins were gone and it was the acidity that was holding up the wine. From the color you could tell that it was still good to go.

While the Barolo was breathing, we enjoyed the antipasti with a glass of 2019 Roero Arneis Santa Vittoria from Rabino. I had chosen marinated anchovies with roasted bell peppers and bagnet verd, a green version of bagna càuda with parsley. This classic preparation was perfectly prepared, beautifully presented, and very flavorful.

Next was hand-cut tajarin with a rabbit ragù. Tajarin are what thin and narrow fresh egg noodles are called in Piemonte. They were perfectly cooked: all dente and silky. The rabbit ragù had small tender and juicy morsels of rabbit and a rabbit jus (no tomato). Aromatics like carrot, onion, and celery had been used to prepare it, but were not included in the dish.

Then for the secondo I had battered and deep-fried steak (scamone), fresh porcini mushrooms, and zucchini. The beef was tender, juicy and medium rare. Everything had a nice crispy crust. This is a classic Piemontese preparation of beef and here it was perfectly executed. It worked very well with the Barolo.

To finish a degustation of classic Piemontese desserts: panna cotta with honey, peach filled with chocolate, and bunet.

It was difficult to choose what to eat, because I would have liked to try all the dishes on the menu. This is classic Piemontese food, excellently prepared, with a great wine selection. And everything great value for money. Can’t wait for our next visit!

3 thoughts on “Dining in Italy: La Coccinella

  1. Methinks you have taken us here before – seem to remember the dining room ! The anchovies and tajarin appeal ! Am making more and more hand-cut noodles myself, I do nor personally deep-fey but the beef does look appetizing . . . lovely to visit . . . marvellous prices . . .

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