Restaurant Review: Tre Galli, Turin

In the historic quarter of Turin, Quadrolatero Romano, near the huge market at Porta Palatina, are two sibling restaurants – Tre Gallini, a restaurant and Tre Galli, a vineria, wine bar. They have good reputations but I thought the wine bar, a more laid-back and informal place was more my thing so booked a table there for tonight.

This area of Turin has undergone a facelift in recent years but there’s still a sense of stepping out of the now gentrified centre into somewhere less salubrious, especially at night in the dark and pouring rain, with the market closed up and having to negotiate narrow deserted alleyways. The arrival though was warm and welcoming.

Furnished with old tables, chairs and stools at the bar, the decor belies the sophistication of the food and wine sold. It’s truly excellent.

Water was brought and I ordered a glass of champagne (prosecco wasn’t on offer, though a couple of Italian sparkling wines were but one was a rose which I didn’t fancy. It wasn’t summery enough for rose!). The generous basket of bread contained some wonderful grissini that were so tasty I had to restrain myself from eating too many and filling myself up before the main food arrived. The menu was very meat based as is typical in Turin and I decided to give the calf’s head a miss. However there were other good things and I chose a homemade ricotta  with seasonal vegetables to begin.

It looked amazing and tasted superb. Ricotta can be very bland but this was creamy and tasted wonderful – some of the best ricotta I’ve ever tasted.

I opted for the only fish choice as my main: Croaker fish, chickpeas cream and broccoli. It was really good. I asked if I’d need a side and there was some uncertainty so I ordered a salad.

As it happened I didn’t really need it and didn’t finish it (it was quite large). However, it was a good salad and contained some datterini tomatoes that were gloriously flavourful and the salad was almost worth having just for those.

The wine bar was quite full now and there was a good buzzy atmosphere. I hesitated over ordering dessert but finally went for it. I’m on holiday – and only here for three nights! Chocolate pie turned out to be chocolate fondant.

This is a dessert that is much abused but Tre Galli’s was excellent. Served hot, of course, the sponge slightly crisp on the edge but light and soft inside with a gorgeous gooey chocolate sauce in the middle that oozed across the plate.

I finished with espresso, paid my bill and slipped back out into the rain. It was raining so heavily I momentarily considered getting a taxi again, but decided a quarter of an hour walk after a large meal was a good idea. And Turin looks as beautiful in the night and rain as it does in the day and sun.

So I enjoyed the walk back to the hotel and managed anyway to find a route that allowed me to walk through the lovely arcades-gallerias where I could keep dry.

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A lifelong lover of good food and travel; writer and book editor

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