Where to eat Paniscia in Novara: the 6 best restaurants selected by Gambero Rosso

Feb 29 2024, 15:13
Not to be confused with Vercelli's panissa, paniscia, a symbol of Novarese culinary tradition, is a risotto enriched with savoy cabbage, beans, salame della duja, onion, local red wine, and butter

Strategically located, an hour from Milan and an hour and a quarter from Turin, close to Lakes Maggiore and Orta, Novara is a quiet, human-sized city. The historic center reveals architectural gems like the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, the Cathedral, and the Baptistery. Still, you can also admire ancient mansions, the Castle, the Broletto Arengo, and the Coccia Theater, the most historic in Piedmont. From an enogastronomic perspective, the main product is rice, followed closely by Gorgonzola cheese, frogs, and cured meats such as fidighin (made from pork meat and liver), goose salami, and "salam d'la duja," which is preserved in a container filled with lard, ensuring the tenderness of its meat. A curiosity: Novara is the birthplace of the Campari aperitif, which originated here in 1860.

Where to eat Paniscia in Novara

Vineria Caccia Reale

Trattoria. Located on the road leading to Lake Orta, it offers a spacious veranda for the summer and a rustic ambiance with wooden beams on the ceilings and tables dressed in checkered tablecloths, warmed in winter by the lit fireplace. The kitchen offers typical local dishes: assorted cured meats and cold cuts for starters, traditional paniscia, agnolotti al brasato, and, as main courses, rich Piedmontese-style fried dishes, stew with potatoes, various boiled meats, or freshwater fish. In the right season, many good dishes based on mushrooms (especially porcini) and truffles. The meal concludes with bonèt and crème caramel. House wine and some good bottles are available to drink.

Vineria Caccia Reale – corso Risorgimento, 125/A – 0321 472345 – Facebook

Cavallino Bianco

Trattoria. In the city center, a few meters from the Basilica of San Gaudenzio, a sign of solid family management ideal for those who want to taste local typical cuisine. It has two cozy and well-arranged dining rooms. The menu starts with a mix of cold cuts and Gorgonzola or vitello tonnato, followed by the flavorful paniscia, agnolotti del plìn, and gnocchi alla Radetzky (fresh pasta and desserts are homemade). The journey continues with tongue in green sauce, braised beef cheek, pork ribs with potatoes. Among desserts, bonèt, panna cotta, and chocolate salami stand out. To complete the experience, there's a well-curated wine list, with the opportunity to have wines by the glass.

Cavallino Bianco – vicolo dell’Arco, 2/A – 0321 393908 – www.trattoriacavallinobianco.it

Circolo della Paniscia

Trattoria. The name itself declares the intention to offer authentic traditional cuisine, with a special mention for paniscia, among the best in the city, prepared faithfully to an ancient family recipe by chef patron Giorgio Moroncelli. But it's not the only dish worth trying; you'll also find snails in a stew, braised tripe, fried frogs, donkey tapulone, "cassola" (a mix of savoy cabbage, goose, and pork meats), ribs with savoy cabbage, and even fish. As an appetizer, nothing beats the mix of cold cuts and cheeses, which always includes "salam d'la duja" and fidighina. Affordable tasting menus and wines up to the task are available.

Circolo della Paniscia – via C. Perazzi, 1/F – 0321 613156 – www.circolodellapaniscia.com


La Locanda delle Due Suocere

Trattoria. Located just outside the city center, in front of the University, an establishment active since 2006, always successful. The menu, which changes frequently, combines reinterpretations of tradition with more creative seasonal proposals, including seafood. It's worth noting that fresh pasta and desserts are homemade. It starts with a rich platter of cured meats and cheeses accompanied by pickles and jams or with a knife-cut raw meat seasoned to taste. Then, there's paniscia, tajarin with rabbit ragù, and various expertly cooked meat cuts. In the dessert section, there's pistachio panna cotta in a jar and bonèt. The wine list is satisfying, with options available by the glass.

La Locanda delle Due Suocere – corso Trieste, 42 – 0321 032310-351 6747812 – Facebook

Osteria Dal Nano

Trattoria. The consolidated management of the Viana family is a guarantee. The environment is well-maintained, informal, without too many frills, but with a relaxed atmosphere that puts everyone at ease. The cuisine is genuine, robust, with bold flavors. To start, there are typical local cured meats, including the excellent salame della duja and fidighina (liver salami), peppers with bagna cauda. Next, there's a sumptuous paniscia done just right, polenta and Gorgonzola, donkey stew with polenta, ribs with savoy cabbage, ossobuco. Everything is good and in generous portions. The sweet ending includes bonèt and chocolate meringue. House and local wines are available to pair with everything. The bill is light, and reservations are essential.

Osteria Dal Nano – corso Vercelli, 48 – 0321 466560

Trattoria dello Stadio

Trattoria. Right next to the old stadium, a reliable establishment with many years of honorable activity. Bar counter at the entrance, rooms with simple wooden furnishings, friendly reception. From the kitchen come well-prepared dishes that highlight quality ingredients, from rice to extra virgin olive oil to meats. Examples include Fassona tartare, a mix of cured meats, gnocchi with ossobuco ragù, paniscia, braised veal cheek, roast pork, Gorgonzola of different ages. There are also some fish dishes depending on the market. The sweet finale includes spoon desserts, from panna cotta to bonèt. The local labels dominate the wine cellar.

Trattoria dello Stadio – via N. Sottile, 2/C – 0321 1645288

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