Image of dolce still novo by alfredo Russo
Fine dining, Restaurant Reviews

Dolce Stil Novo by Alfredo Russo | Turin | Italy | Review

“Dolce Stil Novo” serves high-grade food, in a stunning location, at a moderate price for a Michelin starred restaurant. A pleasant experience.

Dolce Stil Novo by Alfredo Russo – 1 Michelin Star

Address: Piazza della Repubblica, 4 – Reggia di Venaria – 10078 Venaria Reale (TO) Italia
Website: http://www.dolcestilnovo.com/
Average Price per person (no alcohol): $100-150
Telephone: +39 346 2690588
Date Visited: 18th November 2018


We visited Turin in October 2018 for the occasion of the Truffle Festival in Alba. The festival is a highly recommended event with multiple culinary events happening all across the ‘Piemonte’ region of Italy.

Image of the fair of truffle in Alba
The truffle fair in Alba. Probably the exhibition with the best smell in the world.


While in Turin, we decided to try a one-star Michelin restaurant back at the time. Dolce Stil Novo is a boutique restaurant concept by Chef Alfredo Russo.

Display of Michelin Star at Dolce Still novo by Alfredo russo
One Michelin Star

Dolce Stil Novo is also the name of one of the most important literary movement of the 13th century in Italy.
Alfredo Russo collaborates with some other two restaurants in London and one Cafe in Mexico.

Place

The restaurant is outskirts Turin city centre, around 30 minutes by car.
It is inside an old building (a Regia), called “Torrione del Garove”. The spaces are big with high roofs, and it seems as if you were dining in a palace. I guess the Chef chose this venue on purpose. It sends you back to the 18th century.

The restaurant has exquisite decoration in a very cosy environment. Table, glasses, plates are customized to the detail. It might seem obvious, but you need to book in advance.

plates Dolce Stil Novo by Alfredo Russo
Custom plates with Alfredo Russo’s signature

Service

They received us in the hall, after the elevator (the restaurant is on the top floor), and they took care of our coats. The service is according to the prestige of the restaurant. They serve with delicate style and Swiss precision. All dishes served at the same time, dropping the meals in the table altogether, excellent coordination.

To our impresión and still considering is a tasting menu, the service was a bit slow. We spend more than four hours there. It is also fair saying that we were a table of eight people which makes the efforts of serving at the same time more complicated. Still, they managed to sync the serving by gathering all waiters for each course of the tasting menu. There are not many restaurants nowadays were you see this quality of service. Well done.

Another nice touch is that the Chef itself, Alfredo Russo came out to greet at the end of the dinner.

Food

We went for the tasting menu called Menu Grand Gourmet “Carta Bianca”

It is composed of nine dishes plus bread and some finishers. If I remember well we got in total like thirteen or fourteen servings. The menu cost 90 euros and there is a cover charge for the snacks and aperitive of 10 euros.
I do not remember to have seen the list of plates in the tasting menu. It is a selection of the Chef so pardon me if I do not remember the exact name of the dishes. Back at that time, I rarely took notes but only pictures.

Some of us decided to go for the wine pairing, which was composed of about six wines, including dessert wine, and that had an extra charge of 25 euros, quite a reasonable price.

All in all, the dinner went around 130 euros per person.
They also have an a-la-cart menu. We order pasta for one child from it.

The dinner started with an assortment of bread and butter. There were many different kinds of bread, all of them homemade and four types of varieties of butter. I enjoyed the lemongrass butter; it surprised me.
Grissini is also part of the menu. I believe it is also homemade.

Dolce Stil Novo. Menu Grand Gourmet “Carta Bianca”

Scallop Course

The scallop served with some creamy balsamic vinegar. Very savoury. Good

Scallop at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Seared scallop with a thick balsamic emulsion

“Vitello tonnato alla moda antica con caramello al Limone” – Old style veal in tuna sauce with lemon caramel

It is a refined version of the traditional ‘Vitello tonato’, the citrus adds a touch. Good

Vitello Tonato at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Good version of Vitello Tonato

‘Leggero affumicato di pesce al fumo di rosmarino’ – Smoked fish on rosemary and chestnut-tree wood

This fish plate is exciting, and they serve it smoking. There is some rosemary burning in the wood plate when they serve it. It is a trio of fish; Salmon is one of them. All of them very fresh, tasty and smokey.

fish trio at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Nice presentation and delicious fresh fish

“Lo stracotto” alla maniera piemontese con riduzione al vino Rosso – Piemontese style braised beef with red wine gravy

The meat was super tender, and the sauce has a strong yet enjoyable wine background. Very good.

veal at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Veal was tender

 ‘Polipo si polenta cruda’ – Octopus on a bed of polenta

The octopus was tender, and the polenta creamy lacked a bit of salt tho. It was ok.

octopus at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Tender Octopus but a bit bland

Cabbage lasagne

Strange taste, it is a questionable version of the traditional lasagna. Average

cabbage lasagna at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
The cabagge lasagna scored low

Risotto

It was al dente as expected, but I felt that it has a weird taste that I didn’t like too much. Average.

Risotto at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
I expected more from the risotto, an Italian flagship

Desserts

‘Finto Uovo’ (pre-dessert)

This dessert looks like a sunny side egg but then tastes like vanilla, a pleasant surprise. 

egg dessert at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Looks like an egg but is a fancy dessert

‘Zuccotto di cremoso e granita al caffè Lavazza.’
– Creamy “zuccotto” with Lavazza coffee granita

It is a crunchy ball with some chantilly inside, and it was delicious. You bite the crunch and then find this very creamy foam inside. I loved it.

zucotto at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
The Zucotto ball was delightful

Chocolate Selection

There was a delicious assortment of chocolates as a finisher. 

chocolate selection at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
A chocolate finisher, never fails

The tea tray with a vast variation was also beautiful.

tea tray chocolate selection at dolce stil novo by alfredo russo
Large Tea Selection

I have skipped a few dishes that I cannot remember (as I said back at that time, I didn’t use to take notes). In total, we had nine tasting courses plus like five or six other servings.


What we liked from Dolce Stil Novo

  • Majestic venue
  • Swiss precision service
  • Reasonable prices

Where to improve

  • Some of the mains doesn’t compare to others.
  • Except for a couple of courses, lacked creativity.

Rating 8/10

How do we rate?

Dolce Stil Novo is a satisfying experience. The venue is incomparable; you do not always get to dine in a palace. The service impeccable but we were expecting more on the food side for a Michelin restaurant. Somehow we missed the surprise factor, and some of the courses had an unbalanced taste. Very good, but not outstanding.

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