Review: Il Fiorile, Piedmont, Italy: Casual Michelin Restaurant
Il Fiorile: Piedmont’s Best Casual Restaurant?
Il Fiorile, 2 four-course tasting menus with 2 wine pairings, €176 (US$207, £149). Via XXV Aprile, 6, 15060 Castel Dè Ratti AL, Italy. +390143697303. http://www.ilfiorile.com/. Tasting menu: €40, wine pairings: €20-40, sharing plates: €15, antipasti: €9-10, first plates: €12-13, second plates: €16-18, desserts: €6.
Written by EatGoSee // See other food reviews here.
Il Fiorile charms as a casual, family-run restaurant in a hay barn serving local ingredients and regional wine served by the family with love.
Delightful family appears throughout the service
Very reasonably priced menu as you would expect from a Bib Gourmand restaurant
Casual hay barn atmosphere makes for a relaxed setting
Capable homemade food
Some dishes are not their best versions
Il Fiorile sits in the hills adjacent to Val Borbera surrounded by flowers and a well-kept garden. The scent of rosemary and flickering candlelight is realised in an easygoing outdoor dining space. The Provence-yellow house wears a signature Michelin plaque. Il Fiorile’s bib gourmand signals that Il Fiorile delivers a high-quality dining experience at a reasonable price. Il Fiorile does this with carefree ease. The family-run restaurant invites guests into their home extending their warmth along with their porch.
Il Fiorile’s dining space is outside under a converted hay barn.
Il Fiorile offers casual dining for people that enjoy good, not fastidious food
Il Fiorile’s is a casual Piedmont restaurant with a Michelin Bib Gourmand award as shown on the wall.
Il Fiorile’s Piedmont tasting menu and wine pairing
We choose the tasting menu, but a focused a la carte menu highlighting traditional Val Borbera dishes challenges our decision. Il Fiorile’s a la carte menu is divided into four courses with only three options per course. I admire a restaurant with a short menu. Chef Massimo offers raw Fassona veal with black truffle (€12) and fragrant aubergine bathed in fresh tomato sauce and stracciatella cheese (€9) for antipasti. Ravioli parcels brim with burrata cheese (€13) and creamed cod is flanked with crisp polenta ottofile corn chips (€16). All dishes are comfortably under €20 making Il Fiorile an affordable Michelin guide option. Bib gourmands like Il Fiorile and Accademia Ristorante offer excellent value.
Il Fiorile’s wine pairing menu offers Piedmont regional wine for €20 for 2 glasses or €40 for 4 glasses.
Sheets of beautifully mature salami, speck and prosciutto arrive in the shadow of a crisp. Nutty, cured pork slices slip down aided by heart-ruining fat marbling. A simple starter that adds a zero to my cholesterol level, followed by a cube of hand-chopped veal fassano tartare under Parmesan shards. Curls of chilled vitello tonnato stained with pesto with a thimble of hummus-like dip rounds off the first course. Vegetarians look away.
A lemon-yellow, egg-rich tajarin — a regional, fresh pasta as known as tagliolini outside Piedmont – is crumbled with a white meat ragu. The hefty portion is light with the delicate pasta and sauceless ragu. Blasphemous, do not come for me, but a bit of parmesan cheese or olive oil felt like the lost dimension needed to bring the dish together.
Il Fiorile’s antipasti course with local cured meats (first); veal steak tartare starter.
Il Fiorile’s vitello tonnato (first); Tajarin is tagliolini in Piedmont, a flat thin egg-rich pasta.
A fist-sized Fassona steak marinated in rosemary, marjoram and rum for 48 hours is grill-seared then capably reverse seared. It is another surprisingly light dish given its size. Juicy, soft like a mattress collapsing under the mere weight of the knife. Great meat but looks lonely with only a side salad and some peppers. Admittedly swallowing a substantial side would be a mountain too high to climb. Just in time for a chocolate fondant with homemade vanilla ice cream and the thinnest, glistening peach slices. Dessert is the last act of kindness sent by the kitchen. This fondant reveals a kitchen full of heart that pours out molten chocolate.
Il Fiorile’s fossano marinated steak (first); chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit.
Would I Return to Il Fiorile?
Il Fiorile finds that relaxed place between different needs in Piedmont’s dining scene. The kitchen churns out good cooking shed of formalities. The world needs these spaces. We need honest food. Il Fiorile is one of Piedmont’s best casual restaurants where dining is informal and a joy. The Italian family restaurant is still alive and well.
I could see myself, a regular, tiptoeing through this haybarn. Those evenings where I do not know what to cook. Il Fiorile’s Chef Massimo will rustle up a bowl of warming, supple pasta to soothe all that needs comfort. This is not the most accomplished cooking in the world, but there is plenty of that in Piedmont.
Who Should Come to Il Fiorile?
Couples, families or groups looking for a relaxed evening or Piemontesi food enthusiasts. Casual restaurant fans who like good food without ceremony. Travellers in the Val Borbera or Piedmont area.