Food + Travel: The Palace of Venaria + Dolce Stil Novo (Italy)

On the outskirts of Torino, Italy, within a 20 minute drive of the center of the city, there is a stunning property called The Palace of Venaria.  The palace, which was built in the 17th Century, was originally constructed as a royal residence and hunting lodge.  During Napoleon’s reign, it was turned into a training ground for army troops.  Today, the property houses an impressive art gallery that includes a collection of paintings, sculptures, and furniture.

It is also the location of Dolce Stil Novo, a Michelin-starred restaurant run by Chef Alfredo Russo.   The food is a spin on Piedmontese cuisine and while the first course was rather whimsical, filled with dishes like oyster ice cream (pictured below), salmon infused with rosemary smoke (also pictured), and his take on a Shepard’s Pie, Chef Russo showed what was truly special about the local dishes by using seasonal ingredients native to the land and presenting us his take on the classics.  If there’s one thing I’d like to highlight about our meal at Dolce Stil Novo, it was the service, which managed to be professional while allowing every customer to feel comfortable.  It’s impressive when a restaurant’s staff can manage to make you feel at home, especially when you’re about to throw down some dough for your meal.

Disclaimer: This post is a part of a series that I will be doing on Torino, Italy. I was recently invited to take part in an all-expense paid tour of the area.  The views on my blog are my own and in no way was I monetarily compensated for writing this entry (or required to post, for that matter).

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Cookin' CanuckMay 15, 2012 - 8:21 pm

This post makes me yearn to go back to Italy. Your beautiful photos captured the setting so well, Brian.

GeorgieMay 15, 2012 - 10:12 pm

What an amazing and wonderful opportunity! I love the way these photo’s make you feel, like your experiencing that particular time period in the 17th century.

JessMay 15, 2012 - 10:46 pm

Great photos and post and you’re making everyone jealous!

Lora @cakeduchessMay 15, 2012 - 10:47 pm

Stunning, Bri. That prosciutto is gorgeous and so is every photo. The evening looks magical. You captured some nice shots of Chef Alfredo (and the waiter;)

foodwanderingsMay 15, 2012 - 11:44 pm

Aww baby boi such beautiful photos. Crystal clear flutes and drinks. I so wish to go to Italy will fix this Istanbul mishasp soon. Though I hear Istanbul is nice too. Great trip and am happy you got to experience it!

EhaMay 16, 2012 - 2:05 am

A cool early winter evening on the Highlands south of Sydney, Australia. Looking at the series of evocative photos, I wish I was there with you. We could lift a glass at the end of the walk and all would be well with the world . . .

Italian NotesMay 16, 2012 - 3:40 am

Great to reexperience the molecular adventure in Venaria. Too bad the salmon smoke trick doesn’t show on the picture.

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenMay 16, 2012 - 4:38 am

You are seriously making me want to visit!

Andrew FrishmanMay 16, 2012 - 6:19 am

Mnnn. . . I LOVES me some palace, especially when it is Italian.

Ogni uomo un re.

Jeanne @ CookSister!May 16, 2012 - 6:33 am

Sigh. Italy… LOVE the shot of that long monochrome hallway, and the pink sparkly wine being poured. Sounds like a fantastic meal (and BTW does the waiter come in a takeaway box?!) ;o)

art and lemonsMay 16, 2012 - 8:13 am

Gorgeous! Not sure how much longer I can put off a trip to Italy, so glad you were able to go.

KristenMay 16, 2012 - 8:49 am

Oh wow – I knew I could count on you to make me feel like I’ve been there. Those pictures are amazing!

Rachel @ Baked by RachelMay 16, 2012 - 10:10 am

Absolutely incredible Brian. My favorite photo is of the wine glass on the ledge. So beautiful.

JeanetteMay 16, 2012 - 10:13 pm

Brian – I just love how you tell a story through your beautiful photography. I feel as if I was on that trip with you (and I wish I was!). What a wonderful opportunity.

MikeVFMKMay 16, 2012 - 10:21 pm

Even though I didn’t get the chance to go myself, I’m so glad I can live through your photos. They’re fantastic by the way and I can’t wait to see more posts on the region. Love all the food and landscape shots, B!

JoanneMay 17, 2012 - 8:55 am

Ahh I really need to go back to torino to visit! i love the attention to detail that was paid to the food….everything just so and utterly delicious.

ShainaMay 17, 2012 - 12:13 pm

Gorgeous photos, Brian. My mouth is watering, and my wanderlust was kicked into high gear.

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.May 17, 2012 - 12:34 pm

amazing shots Brian! Wow! Looks like a great time!

Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionMay 17, 2012 - 3:01 pm

Stunning photos, Brian!

Kathryn BaldwinMay 17, 2012 - 5:55 pm

I love the way you captured the people in your photos. They seem so warm. (BTW, The golden couch is equally sexy.) What a beautiful way to show off Italy.

MariaMay 18, 2012 - 10:17 am

I want to get on a plane right now! I love Italy!

Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveMay 18, 2012 - 11:35 am

Brian!! What an amazing post and glorious photos! Next time I’m sneaking into your suitcase. ;)

Tickled Redhtmail.comMay 18, 2012 - 12:08 pm

This post reminds me that 23 years between trips to Italy is far too long. I need a holiday now ;D Love the photos!

Georgia @ The Comfort of CookingMay 18, 2012 - 12:48 pm

Gorgeous photos from what I’m sure was a very memorable trip! That proscuitto looks absolutely delicious!

SusanMay 19, 2012 - 8:31 pm

I just discovered your blog – it’s gorgeous! I grew up in Italy – Naples & Rome, so love looking at your photos & reading about your travels.

sreebinduMay 20, 2012 - 7:13 am

looks like time is spent sinfully awesome =)

PeggyMay 20, 2012 - 9:34 am

One of these days, I’ll make it to Italy – and hopefully I’ll make it to this wonderful spot!

LirenMay 20, 2012 - 9:58 pm

Beautiful, Brian! I am antsy for a vacation and your photos are making me want to return to Italy, it has been way too long.

ELMay 21, 2012 - 8:20 am

The place looks exquisite. I love the corridor with the high ceilings and the powder blue painting. What an incredible trip!

MikeMay 22, 2012 - 2:15 am

That palace reminds me almost of Versaillles…

Chef DennisMay 24, 2012 - 9:06 pm

Okay, one more Italy post and I’m packing and flying over, what a beautiful country….they really picked the right person to do a photo essay of Torrino!

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