Trust a Local

I usually arrive in a city armed with a long list of recommended restaurants but Turin had proved a bit tricky! Time had run out for proper research and conflicting reviews had not helped. However a timely chat with a local resident left us with an insider’s guide to Turin’s restaurants.

One restaurant that sounded interesting was La Gola, so a reservation was made. The owner, Domenico Cairola, is an ex olympic skier who opened the restaurant after his career was cut short by a skiing accident. His son, who trained under Paul Bocuse, is the chef.
La Gola was a pleasant 20 minute walk from where we were staying in the centre of the city. When we arrived, the restaurant was already busy. We seemed to be the only tourists.
There is no written menu. Domenico explained, in italian, what was available and then suggested that he choose the most popular dishes for us.

Our meal started with a selection of entrees that include asparagus mousse with Castelmango cheese, capsicum with a light tuna filling and veal in a lettuce parcel – all very good.

Entree selection at La Gola in Turin

Entree selection at La Gola


Agnoletti with a rich meat sauce and home made gnocchi with asparagus followed. I find gnocchi a hard dish to order as, more times than not, it never lives up to its reputation but here it was perfect.

Agnoletti with meat sauce at La Gola in Turin

Agnoletti with meat sauce



Gnocchi with asparagus at La Gola in Turin

Gnocchi with asparagus


We declined secondi to indulge in dessert. My peach cooked in chocolate and amaretto was unbelievably delicious as was my husband’s torrone semifreddo with a to die for chocolate sauce- Turin chocolate of course!

Stunning dessert at La Gola in Turin

Sensational peach cooked in chocolate and amaretto

Torrone Semifreddo with rich chocolate sauce at La Gola, Turin

Torrone Semifreddo with rich chocolate sauce



The following night, after lunch at Eataly and an aperitivo at Caffé Torino, we headed to another of the recommended restaurants – a new restaurant that had just opened to rave reviews.

We were welcomed at Alle 8 Porte by the owner. The restaurant had a casual, relaxed feel with an open kitchen. Wine cases were stacked around a table displaying local proscuitto, salami and cheese, a plate of which was bought to our table

Again there was no menu, with the owner explaining the dishes of the day.
The zucchini flowers and anchovies were lightly fried and very tasty whilst my husband’s pasta was delicious. The main courses were just as good.
A Dolce Rivetti Barbaresco was perfect for our dinner.

Fried zucchini flowers and anchovies at Alle 8 Porte in Turin

Fried zucchini flowers and anchovies

Pasta dish at Alle 8 Porte in Turin

Pasta with tomatoes, peppers and parsely

Beef carapaccio at Alle 8 Porte in Turin

Beef carpaccio

Spaghetti Marinara at Alle 8 Porte in Turin

Fabulous spaghetti marinara


Do you research your restaurants when visiting a city or do you rely on local suggestions?



La Gola
Corso Matteotti,59
Tel: 011 511 1012


Alle 8 Porte
via Denina (cnr Via Santa Giulia)
Tel: 011 199 43480






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11 Responses to Trust a Local

  1. Rae Walter December 14, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    This meal looks fabulous Jenny. Great images and suggestions about where to go. In Turin.

    • atasteoftravel December 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

      Thanks Rae. It’s a great city with it’s fabulous cafes and restaurants.
      Hope you’re settling back after your great trip


  2. Sarah - the Hedonista December 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Love the look of those anchovies! Pretty photos – Do you mind if I ask, are you using a tripod? What kind of camera/lens? I just can’t get that clarity…

    • atasteoftravel December 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks Sarah. I’m a learner ‘photographer’ using a Canon 550D with a standard 18-55mm lens. I also have a 55-250mm lens for long distance shots. No tripod- it’s hard enough carrying the 2 lens around! Good shots are still a fluke for me but I enjoy it.

      • Sarah - the hedonista December 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

        Thanks – almost same as me – you must have a real knack. Either that, or fluked the light! Lovely

        • atasteoftravel December 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

          I’d like to say the former but think it’s the latter. Do you use photoshop. I’m yet to find the time to master it!

          • Sarah - the Hedonista December 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

            Yes, finally figuring it out. But I find my best photos don’t need much help. It’s just all those night dining photos that need brightening. Husband gets narky if I move to bring a tripod out with me! And it’s less than subtle when trying to do a secret review.

  3. marina December 15, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Gorgeous shots of delectable looking dishes. Zucchini flowers – ahhh, how I love them. I just visited Eataly in New York! It was abuzz with so many poeple – eating salumi, drinking coffee and the line for gelato was quote long even for winter!)

    • atasteoftravel December 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      We were pretty lucky with the restaurants in Turin. Eataly in New York sounds as good as Turin. My daughter was there last month and sent me some great photos. You must do a blog on it!

  4. Corinne @ Gourmantic December 19, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    The dishes look mouth watering… I can never resist good gnocchi… 🙂

    • atasteoftravel December 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      And this gnocchi was fabulous!! Finding restaurants that locals frequent is always a good start isn’t it!

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