Almost Twenty years ago we first tried Cesare’s Giaccone’s cuisine in Albaretto Della Tore, a small village of less than a few hundred at most. At that time Cesare’s restaurant included his two sons; Filippo at the restaurant’s helm, Oscar in the kitchen with Cesare. There was also a slim built Japanese chef that worked there almost 8 years named Tadato. He has since opened in Kyoto’s Gion, a five table restaurant under the name cacciatore and cooks a very similar menu.
These days Cesare works all alone in his kitchen, and while we adore him, we feel sad to see the family in different places. Filippo operates in the same village a restaurant named ‘Oste Filippo’, where he runs a small charming osteria with his wife, and Oscar is concentrating on making Cesare’s vinegar.
A dinner at Cesare is still a night to remember with the fire twisting capretto, (kid goat) as local red wines surround us. We are three tables tonight and we arrived a few hours earlier to spend some time with Cesare in his kitchen.
The kitchen is small, Cesare is bouncing back and forth getting ready for dinner. We watch him prepare one of his special dishes, a fall salad with a dressing from olive oil, orange, and apples. The sauce is creamy without the use of any cream, and it complements the sliced duck. This night I asked Cesare to use some fresh ovoli, one of our favorite mushrooms of the region but its a little late in the season.
Cesare prepares a salad with porcini and peach with some fresh tomato, a warm dish that is a unique combination. In fact, the idea of fruits and mushrooms was something I first tried at Cesare and it works very well.
Despite what I consider a dismal truffle season, it is getting better with some pico magnatum placed on our table. I am left to slice the truffles over the fresh pasta noodle.
Sipping some white Arneis a white Italian wine grape variety originating from Piedmont Cesare warms some bread and treats us to slices of fresh white truffles over toasted bread, a signature of the house.
I asked for some fassone, a local cow, perhaps one of the best treasures of Piedmont, “carne crudo” we begin to enjoy the red wine of Rinaldi, a super producer.
The menu’s are still hand painted by Cesare, and he serves some of his signature dishes and one that we often enjoy, a roasted onion filled with Béchamel.
It is one of the classical mother sauces of Italian cuisine seen less and less. The evening carries on with memory lane and Cesare and his family always hold a special place in our hearts.