Bovio is a restaurant that has a reputation for offering some of the finest views in the entire Langhe from its terrace and dining room. Indeed, it ought to be among the most glorious places to eat in, in all of Europe: perched on top of the vineyards of La Morra, this view alone would satisfy any wine lover.
Luckily enough, Bovio offers more than just the possibility to see the region’s most famous vineyards; its superb wine list is replete with the wines of great producers, and a reasonable amount of back vintages. As is the case in pretty much every wine region around the world, finding back vintages of famous producers in restaurants is hard, but Bovio offers a few gems that you will have trouble getting at most places in the area. Whilst the service can be a bit grumpy, the wine service is excellent and done more professionally than in a host of Michelin-starred restaurants.
The food at Bovio is very much at home in the region. Classical Piedmontese dishes such as Battuta, or brasato al Barolo are found on the menu, and in season rare mushrooms such as Ovoli (amanite des cesars in French) can be had. Most of the dishes here are done well, but the cooking is not on par with the view. The Battuta for instance is seasoned perfectly, and has that supple, almost emulsified texture that a tartar does not. The local Fassone beef’s delicate flavour, make this a light, refreshing appetiser.
The brasato al Barolo is a dish that shows a few problems with the cooking here: the meat here is not braised long enough, thus not tender, and too dry. Similarly, the sauce is mono-dimensional, and lacks complexity and seasoning. This is one of the most classical dishes in the region, and to have such a poor rendition of it served here is perplexing.
In light of this, a visit to Bovio should be focused on taking in the view, and the wine list. The food is a little inconsistent, so come with no expectations at all, and you might even have a pleasant surprise.