The evening I had planned to eat at Cianci I thought I would be ok. Even though the place never answered their phone, and seemingly did not accept reservations, I figured that if I arrived by 7:30 I would surely find a table.
I got the very last seat.
They somehow squeezed me in. And when I say squeeze, I mean I was really jammed into a rickety table in the covered terrace. And within about 10 minutes there were at least 20 people happily waiting outside, in the rain, for a seat.
What makes this pocket sized restaurant so popular? Simple. Really great food, at unbelievably fair prices. Also? The service was as friendly and cheerful as could be.
The full name of this place is Da Cianci Piola Caffe. And the piola part is dialect for small, traditional trattoria. And that is basically what it is. The menu changes daily, and the handful of dishes are written on a blackboard.
I stayed very traditional and started out with anchovies with salsa verde, a mixture of parsley, capers and garlic. A simple dish brought to perfection because the anchovies were outstanding. Served with bread it was the perfect starter.
Since it was cold and rainy, I decided for a hearty second: roast pork served with mashed potatoes and poached pears. It had the most delicious gravy, and the combination of salty and sweet was spot on.
I saw lots of plates of pasta go by: huge portions that looked fantastic.
The prices: amazingly low. Which explains the lines outside. The antipasti are all 4 Euros. The pasta and mains are between 5 and 6 Euros. My entire dinner was 12 Euros including wine and water. Not bad, right? And, it was delicious.
I’m thinking lunch may be a bit less hectic, and during the warmer weather the tables are truly outside (not in the terrace covered with leaky plastic) on one of the cutest little piazzas in Torino.
Da Cianci Piola Caffe
Largo IV Marzo 9b, Torino
Daily Lunch and Dinner: 12:30-3:30; 6:30-11pm
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