25 Oct Beyond the food traditions at Restaurant Cascina Faletta
Sometimes is hard deal with the Italian food tradition: especially if you try to do something new and try to combine the most traditional tastes with freedom of creativity.
This is the bold challenge of Elena and Giovanni, who welcome us with at Cascina Faletta. Playing along with us through the airy dining room, they start to tell us their story.
The Faletta: a Family Heritage
Built in the 1881, the farmhouse was the house of Giovanni’s and Elena’s grandparents, who settled there to vine-growing. indeed the estate is a part of their family heritage and it was a long time that Giovanni and Elena had the dream of restoring the Faletta and make it reborn. The occasion to do that occuredd in 2009, when they conceived their project and started to refurbish the farm with a modern eco-sustainable criteria.
“I really believe in the authenticity of what we are doing here: we won’t to become an event-making factory, but a real place, with a soul, that greet the people and not just host costumers” said Elena. The accuracy of the refurbishment, made it with the aim to preserve the original structure using the local Pietra da Cantoni stones and Luserna stones; maintaining the frescoes and using restored furniture when it possible, reflect their philosophy.
If Elena loves the original materials rearranged for a first-class comforts, Giovanni’s passion is sustainable technology and eco-efficiency: he drove us at the foyer where a touch screen panel control the domotic device: the Cascina Faletta’s brain. The domotic automation monitoring the electrical and the conditioning systems: photovoltaic panels and the heat pump are providing green energy to the entire structure ensuring zero emission of CO2. “We refurbish the Faletta reflecting the passion of each of us: we made it as if it were our own home” said Giovanni.
Then this lovely couple accompanied us to the kitchen and leaving us in the skilled hands of the Chef.
Re-inventing the Food Tradition
From our table was amazing to observe the lightly show kitchen and the food operations, that made us grow our curiosity. The doors opened and the chef, from the staff of celebrated Chef Paolo Viviani born in Monferrato, introduced the welcome appetizer: Rice Chips with Cooked Salami, Lard and Paprika and Canape with butter and anchovy. It fitted perfectly to open our senses together with the Primo Bianco, a delicate white wine, produced by the same Cascina Faletta.
The wines are produced at the Cascina Braia and beside the white, there is a Barbera and a sparkling Spumante Brut. All of them are going to get the certification as organic and vegan wines, some of the firsts made in Monferrato.
Giving a look to the menu, we see that everything is seasonally and every month the options are changed. Every time the chef explained us with kindness and professionalism the preparation of every meal. Is high cuisine, a mixture a local recipes and product with innovation and more esotic ingredients. As a starter he adviced us Soft Potatoes with Santolina, Cotechino and green sauce which is a gentle white cream embraced by sauce made with five different herbs, withouth garlic if compaired with the classic “Salsa Verde”, the Piedmontese green sauce . In it were adapted pieces of Cotechino, which is a kind of salami, but boiled for 4 hours.
As a second starter the Tongue with greens and grape ketchup is something that we never experienced before. The Tongue of the veal was corned by usual but then macerated with pears, apples and different spices get very tender and the taste is a blaze of dynamic sensations, specially combined with the Sirah grapes ketchup.
The first plate is a Risotto with pumpkin, ginger and cumin: a spiral cream on a shining rice. Its taste and image seems hypnotising us. Also, a small portion to try, as it is one of the specialities of the restaurant, the typical Agnolotti alla Monferrina, prepared by hand, one by one by the ancient and original recipe, filled with beef and sprinkled with 18 months old Grana cheese.
Many of the ingredients are directly choosen from the local producers that satisfy their criterias, and combined, as also the meat used for our second plate: Hip of chicken with Shiitake mushrooms and millefeuille of potatoes. Genuine and fragrant, all together with the Braja Barbera DOC, strong and intense wine, it get a smoky flavour that tie it all perfectly.
Giving a look on the other tables, we saw the TV troupe of the show Linea Verde, taking a break after a broadcast about the Monferrato and a German man, working in Monferrato since few days. We exchanged few comments about the cuisine, and we invited him at our table.
Immediately the staff brought to us, and featuring a special courtesy also to our new friend, their Burned Cream and Persimmon: our new “guest editor” commented as “very good, not too sweet where everything, the cream, the persimmon and the meringue fit perfectly creating an harmonic taste“.
We feel very glad, also satisfied but is not finished yet, because the kitchen still stupefied us with another special dessert: Chocolat and Red Fruits, which is a pink ball of ice cream laid without melting on a brown and warm mousse of chocolate where are also appearing many different frozen crunchy berries and pomegranate seeds. We also tasted with the sweets the Cascina Faletta Spumante Brut “Incontro”, created from white grapes, the last of their three wines and we will be curious to try in the future the Pinot Noir, still in production phase.
Concluding the dinner also with coffee and the classic bisquits Krumiri Rossi we felt cuddled by the whole Cascina Faletta staff and their products, fresh, with a high quality and instantly prepared.
Written by Tommaso Zavattaro and Vincenzo Bagnetto | Photography by Vincenzo Bagnetto and courtesy of Cascina Faletta