Divino Enoteca has launched a new dining concept celebrating the diversity of cuisine across Italy.
The first ‘regions menu’ is dedicated to Piemonte, which is surrounded on three sides by the Alps. For those of you who don’t know, the restaurant is tucked away on Merchant Street in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town.
It’s not quite at the foot of a mountain (which is how the Piemonte region in the North-West of Italy gets its named after), but Candlemaker Row on a wet Thursday evening is steep enough to slow me down as I totter down the hill from Greyfriars Bobby.
Divino Enoteca is a welcome port in this storm, and the prospect of trying some regional specialities from Piemonte, which is known for its Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera wines makes it all the more inviting. The region is also home to world renowned beef, the ‘slow food’ movement and the famous Alba white truffle – tartufo bianco d’Alba, so anticipation levels are high.
Proceedings are kicked off with Vitello tonnato, a starter of thinly sliced marinated veal loin in a rich tuna and egg sauce with fried capers. An unexpectedly fresh combination of surf and turf. This was perfectly matched with a light Gavide Gavi Caretta 2017, just one of the wines that Piemonte is famous for.
Fulfilling the obligatory pasta fix was Ravioli del plin al tartufo, handmade ravioli filled with pork and beef, served with a butter and parmesan emulsion and finished with fresh truffle. The rich filling packed a punch, along with the buttery sauce and earthy truffle which was enjoyed with a Nebbiolo d’Alba Villadoria 2014.
The main event, Brasato al Barolo was a melt-in-the-mouth slow cooked braised beef in a deep red wine sauce, served with creamed potatoes and a fricassee of wild mushrooms. This was comfort food elevated to a really special place and deserving of the rich and full-bodied Barbaresco Socre 2013 pairing.
Pudding – because although there is the choice of a cheese course, pudding wins every time – was a Piemonte classic. A baked chocolate egg custard with rum and amaretti biscuit matched with Moscato d’Asti Dezzani 2017.
The four-course Piemonte regional menu is priced at £39 per person with the option to enjoy an expertly selected Piemonte wine pairing for an additional £26. If you can, then I’d really recommend going for the wine pairings.
Divino’s sommelier, Silvio Praino is an Edinburgh treasure and I believe there might be nothing about Italian wine that he doesn’t know. There is a vegetarian alternative available for every course, as well as a supplement Toma Piemontese Cheese course for £5.
Diners can book a table now for Piemonte at Divino Enoteca, Merchant Street in Edinburgh. Open from 5pm – 11pm Monday – Thursday, 5pm – midnight on Fridays and midday to midnight on Saturdays.
The Piemonte regional menu runs until 30 November.
Divino Enoteca, 5 Merchant Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2QD.
Tel: 0131 225 1770