Franz Manera, 12050 Benevello, Piedmont, Italy
Tel: +39 173 529225
Visiting the truffle festival in Alba in October requires quite a lot of advance planning. During the 3-4 weekends when the festival takes place, accommodation in the surrounding areas of Cuneo tend to be booked out months ahead, and moreover, during the weekends, there is a minimum stay requirement of three nights. Fortunately for our trip this year, we had already planned this Europe trip a year in advance so we were able to make our bookings for Villa D'Amelia a good six months prior to our arrival. This would be our third stay at Villa D'Amelia, which we liked on our previous stays for being modern and in a good central location from which to explore the Barolo and Barbaresco wine regions.
Villa D'Amelia also houses a one Michelin star restaurant of the same name. We lunched there once many years ago before it got recognised by the Michelin Guide (see earlier review). To avoid having to drive around the small winding roads of Piedmont in the pitch black night, we thought to have dinner at the resort instead.
We had a heavy meal earlier at lunch at Antica Corona Reale, so longed for a lighter meal for dinner. The seasonal white truffle menu looked quite manageable, so we opted for that, and had a glass of Barolo each instead of a whole bottle. The meal started with a few amuse bouche, including an assortment of finger food as well as a beetroot tartare. The entree was a cold veal with tuna sauce which we felt was slightly dry with insufficient tuna sauce. The "Plin" agnolotti stuffed with three roasts meat was excellent, especially with the addition of the white truffles. We had no complains about the braised tender cut of beef served with mashed "Alta Langa" potatoes, carrots and spring onion but it wasn't outstanding. The hazelnut tiramisu was too heavy we felt, as it was too heavy on the cream.
Our dinner at Villa D'Amelia, though competent, was forgettable. To be fair, it was our third meal of the row having the traditional seasonal dishes of Piedmont, and our meal Villa D'Amelia came in at a distant third place to Antico Corona Reale and Locanda del Pilone, at both of which we had very impressive meals this time round. Moreover, the service at Villa D'Amelia was stiff and slightly bumbling, unlike the slick and highly professional staff at Locanda del Pilone and the warm reception from the very experienced waiters at Antico Corona Reale. This was probably our least enjoyable meal on this Europe trip. Given the wealth of dining options in the region, it will probably be a long while before we eat at Villa D'Amelia again.