In Turin, the temple of Piedmontese cuisine arrives: from the Langhe with fervor, Felicin opens in the city center

Feb 26 2024, 13:43
From Monforte d'Alba, where it opened over a century ago, the historic restaurant and boutique hotel Felicin opens a boutique-bistro in the heart of the city. And brings the spirit of the Langhe to Turin

Always considered a sanctuary of Piedmontese cuisine, Felicin opens a "boutique-bistro" in Turin, in the premises of the historic Erboristeria Rosa Serafino in Piazza della Consolata.

Felicin, from Monforte d'Alba to Turin

Turin, Piazza della Consolata. One of the most charming squares in the historic center, with the church most loved by the people of Turin and dotted with votive offerings, in front of Al Bicerin, a historic locale and temple of the typical Piedmontese drink, and next to, until a year ago, the equally historic Erboristeria Rosa Serafino, opened in the mid-nineteenth century as the Antica Erboristeria della Consolata, with all-wood interiors and antique shelves. Then closure, dismantling, an uncertain fate. And now, right in those premises, a surprise: just a few days ago, almost quietly, the "boutique-bistro" of Felicin from Monforte d'Alba, a great restaurant in Langhe, opened. Change everything so that nothing changes: the motto of Il Gattopardo suits the Felicin operation perfectly. Because, as Silvia Francesca Capra, Madame Felicin since 2000, tells, "we wanted to recover the atmosphere of the herbalist in the first room, the old original furniture, the counter from that time. All under the supervision of the Superintendency." The facade remains intact, just the replacement of the plaque with the current one. "But we would like to recover it," adds Silvia, "like the pharmacy vases... if it were up to me, I wouldn't have touched anything."

What to eat at Felicin in Turin

The spirit of the boutique-bistro in Piazza della Consolata is an easy version of the restaurant of the Felicin hotel in Monforte d'Alba, a rigorous cuisine from the Langhe since 1923. The bistro is only active during lunch with the specialties of the house. Not too many dishes but safe and tested choices. Four proposals for appebtizers: Fassona carpaccio au naturel, whipped cod with potatoes, onion jam, and pistachios, oven-baked peppers with anchovy sauce and almonds, Parmesan zabaglione with winter vegetables, Jerusalem artichokes, and leeks. The legendary hand-cut Tajarin by Felicin with ragu is a must. And among the mains, braised beef cheek in red wine, cod with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and olives, seared vegetables with goat cheese, or cheeses with mustard, cugnà, and honey. Among the desserts, a specialty is the caramel and dark chocolate gianduiotto.

No bicerin

"It's a bistro where you can choose freely, even just one dish, of course," explains Silvia. And above all, it is a place for all day. Where you come for breakfast - homemade croissants, "only cannoli we take from Pasticceria Sabauda" - in the afternoon for a hot chocolate or tea with small Piedmontese dry pastries, a slice of cake or a tartlet: "For tea, we offer selections from Reggia del Tè and Kusmi, but we are also trying to expand to quality loose teas and we would like to offer themed tastings. For chocolate, we chose Ziccat, a historic Turin brand, which also prepares gianduiotti and chocolates with our brand. A fixed point: we will never propose the bicerin. We are steps away from the place where it was born, and we certainly cannot compete. And then I believe in synergy; we have been so well received in this square, and we plan to work well together."

Aperitivo time is also in the morning

Felicin closes at eight (but it is possible to reserve the room for private events, for dinner, and after dinner), but leaves a nice space for the aperitif, served even in the morning, from 11 am to 1:30 pm, but the peak moment is in the evening, from 5:30 pm. With wines, a vocation of Felicin, mostly classic cocktails, and a selection of vermouths, from the historic Cocchi and Martini to the lesser-known Vermouth Urlich, a recipe from 1854 by botanist Domenico Ulrich, recovered by the Marolo distillery in Alba. All accompanied by snacks, sandwiches, various savory delicacies. A pleasant way to end the day that Silvia and her son Giulio, who collaborates with her, also aim to expand with moments of music, perhaps extended to the square, book presentations, meetings with various personalities. In short, to make Felicin a cultural reference point in the city as well.

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