Hotel Castello di Sinio logo

Il Ristorantino nel Castello - The Little Restaurant in the Castle

2008 Schedule: Open from Wednesdays to Saturday evenings by advance reservation only.
We encourage you to make your dining reservation with us at the time you book your accommodations. We are very small and space is limited therefore we ask your understanding that we may not be able to accommodate you last minute without prior reservations.

Also, while we are closed Sunday through Tuesday we may also, from time to time, find it necessary to close other days as well. We are always completely at your disposal for recommendations and reservations at any number of fine nearby restaurants that we ourselves enjoy and from whom we take inspiration.

Rave Reviews for Il Ristortantino in the Castello di Sinio!

Our restaurant guests and critics say it better than we ever could. Here is sample of what they are saying:

"Denise cooks the best food we've tasted here in the Langhe, even better than Davide Palluda at all'Enoteca!" Jane & Nordar Helland

"Why would you want to eat anywhere else when the best food in Piedmont is 50 feet from your bedroon door?!" Mike Cenery

"The kitchen is run by Denise and how she gets so much out of herself and a small staff is a marvel. Breakfast is a delight -- pastry, meats and cheeses of the region, little French toasts or a crepe served hot at the table -- and four nights a week she operates a first-rate restaurant for hotel guests and others, that highlights local produce and cuisine. Piemontese cooking is very traditional, hidebound some say, but not in her hands. Familiar dishes are lighter, brighter, fresher-tasting than you will find elsewhere." Phil in SF

"The chef is the co-owner, Denise Pardini. Both my wife and I agreed that the two dinners she prepared were the best we had during our trip that included Rome, Florence, Bellagio and Milan. The preparation, presentation and freshness of the food combined with Jay’s knowledge of the regional wines and a great wine list made it one of our most memorable experiences." Bruce Blasberg, Vancouver

"Denise produces serious, inventive dishes that range from the classics to surprising, creative takes on traditional Piemontese cuisine. Her salsiccia with roasted onion was gloriously comforting, while her version of cotechino with squash and sweet & sour pickled onion & apple salad was a lovely surpise. ...her set menu was among the best and best-value meals we had." Peter Kenyon, Cairo

About the Food

We change our menu constantly, often daily, and prepare only enough for the reservations we have so that we can insure the utmost in quality and freshness and make the most of what the season and fertile forests and farmlands have to offer. From the famous Alba white truffles in fall and winter to wild asparagus in the Spring, our menu reflects the our deep interest and respect for the local traditions while appreciating modern sensibilities for lighter techniques and tastes.

About the Chef

My name is Denise Pardini and I am the chef. I was born in San Francisco but my family is from Lucca in Tuscany and I grew up cooking with my Nonna Giulia Bertolani so I am grounded in Tuscan cooking technique. I am also French trained and many years ago was part of the Chez Panisse "revolution" in Berkeley, Californai. I personally and painstakingly select all recipes and the local ingredients that go into what we prepare. The cuisine is tipical Piemontese and at the same time, uniquely my own. I have a small staff that assists me but I am always personally in the kitchen cooking, as well as directing and overseeing everything that we present, both for breakfast and dinner. I consider our breakfasts as important as dinner and I give them the same & attention. We always offer both savory and sweet selections that include tipical items as well lots of changing breakfast favorites.

Jay and I work together to select the wines on our list, of which we are quite proud. We work together to create our menus and I rely heavily on his input to keep us on course. Jay also oversees the dining room (read is often your wait person!) and the wine service. His recommendations, our finds of the area's great wines, our passion in the kitchen along with Jays penchant for being able to make us all laugh, make for memorable meals. We want to make you feel at home in the surroundings of our exquisite 12th century castle and in our dining room with its massive wood timber ceiling and fireplace!

Together, I believe Jay and I create one of the most unique and satisfying dining experiences here in Le Langhe. The cuisine is tipical, but modern and light in it's sensiblities and presented with imagination and perhaps a bit of flair. The wines represent the best and most interesting winemakers we know, presented in the Piemontese tradition but again with modern sensibilities.

Following are some examples from changing menus.

Il Ristorantino nel Castello various Spring-Summer 2006 Menu Selections


Filetto di Salmone in Carpione su letto di zucchine e Cipolle Tropea Marinate
Cold Marinated Filet of Salmone on a bed of julienne zucchine served with sweet marinated red onions from Tropea

Insalatina di Petto d'Anatra con Vinaigrette di Agrumi e Carpaccio di Terrina di Fois Gras
Salad of sauteed Duck Breast with field greens and a Citrus Vinaigrette topped with very thinly sliced shavings of Fois Gras Terrine

Rolata di Peperone con Mousse di Tonno, Olio di Basilico e Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Sweet Red Pepper stuffed and rolled with a Tuna Mousse served chilled with Basil Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Insalatina di Baccala, Fagiolini nostrani, Patate Novelle su letto di Sarset e Aioli leggerissima
Summer salad of salt cod, tiny green beans, new potatoes on a bed of lamb's lettuce and a very light Aioli (garlic mayonaise)

Caprese in Trasperenza
A different take on the classic Caprese salad: puree of sweet cherry tomatoes layered with whipped Mozzarella di Bufala and topped with Basil Salsa

Crostata di Caprino, Prosciutto e Fichi con Insalatina di Erbe Fresche
Tart of Goat Cheese, Prosciutto and Figs in crunchy Cornmeal Crust served with an Herb salad


Tajarin al Rosmarino con sughetto di confit di Finocchio e Filetti di Triglie croccante
Thin, hand cut egg and rosmary pasta with a light sauce of confit of fresh Fennel and crispy fried Red Mullet Filets

Crema di Zucchine con Mezzalune di Gamberi, Zucchine e Basilico con Olio di Peperoncino
Halfmoon Ravioli stuffed with tiny pink Shrimps, Zucchini and fresh Basil served with a Cream of zucchine and finished with a drizzle of Hot Pepper Oil.

Agnolotti del Plin al Verde di Seirass e Erbe con sughetto di verdurine d'estate
Traditional tiny rectanglar ravioli of green pasta filled with Piemontese Ricotta and garden Herbs served with a "little" sauce of summer vegetables and light Herb Butter

Ravioli di Melanzane e Menta con Pomodorini e Scamorza Affumicata
Ravioli filled with Eggplant and Mint with a sauce of sweet cherry tomatoes and smoked Scamorza cheese

Risotto con Salsiccia di Bra, Asti Spumante e Fiore di Zucchine
Risotto with light veal sausage, Asti Spumante Wine and Zucchini Flowers

Petto di Faraona al Ciliege e Passito Piemontese con verdure al Sesamo
Breast of female Pheasant in a sauce of fresh cherries and local Passito wine served with sesame vegetables of the season

Filetto di Maiale con Santoreggio, scorza di Agrumi e Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Filet of Pork cooked with Lemon Thyme, Citrus and Balsamic Vinegar from Modena

Costoletto d'Angello in Crosta di Senape e Pistachi e purea di Melanzane al profumo di Arancia
Rack of Lamb chops crusted with Mustard and ground Pistachios served with an Eggplant puree' profumed with Orange

Tagliata di Filetto di Fassone con una insalatina di Finocchio, Marggiorana e Pomodorini
Sliced Filet of the famous locally raised Fassone Beef of Piemonte served with refreshing salad of shaved Fennel, Marjoram and sweet Cherry Tomatoes

Tortino al Ciccolato caldo con Gelato al Dragoncello e Croccante di Pistachi
Molten Chocolate Cake served with Tarragon Gelato and Pistachio Brittle

Tartaletta di Pesche con crema di Ciccolato e Amaretti e Gelato di Pepe Nero e Gelato di Pesche
Individual Fresh Peach Tart with Chocolate and Amaretto cream served with Black Pepper Gelato and Fresh Peach Gelato

Pere al Barolo con Gelato al Vaniglia Tahiti e Granita di Barolo Chinato
Pears poached in Barolo served with Tahitian Vanilla Gelato and Granita of Barolo Chinato

Sorbeto di Polmelmo e Moscato
Sorbet of Pink Grapefruit and Moscato Wine

Flan di Latte di Capra caramellta in crosta di Nocciola
Rich custard of caramelized goat milk in a crust of crunchy Hazelnut pastry and a light caramel sauce

Celebrate New Years Eve at Castello di Sinio!! We will be offering New Years Eve 2007 dinner with a minimum weekend stay of Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. New Years Eve Dinner will be 95 Euro a person, including apertativo, wine, champagne at midnight and fireworks. We will be posting the menu soon for 2007 but you can see an example of what will offer below, which was our menu from last year.
Crostini di Caviale
Salmone Affumicate
Bisque alla Aragosta
Terrina di Fois Gras e Sauterne
Capesante ai Porri e Spinaci “Rockefeller”
Risotto con Gamberi e Proseco
Arrosto di Cervo con una tris di purea di Castagna, Carote e Patate
Lenticche con Cotecchino a mezzanotte
Souffle di Ciccolato Valhrona con salsa di Grand Manier
Piccola Pasticceria
Caffe Excelsior di Kilamanjaro
Grappa Sebaste

Il Ristorantino nel Castello various Fall & Winter Menu Selections


Vitello Tonnato con salsa al battuto e il suo ristretto
Cold Veal Roast with Tuna & Caper Mayonaise & Veal reduction

Timbalo di Patate, Funghi Porcini & Formaggio di Capra con Timo
Potato, Porcini Mushroom & Goat Cheese timbale with Thyme

Sformatini di Peperone e Cardi con crema di Bagna Caoda
Savory Flans of Red Sweet Peppers & Cardoons with a light creamy Bagna Cauda

Sfogliatina di zucca e Porri con Fonduta di Sola
Puff Pastry shell with carmalized pumpkin and leeks sauced with Piemontese Fondue of a mountain cheesed called Sola

Uova in Camicia sul letto di cardi, topinambure e carciofi con Fonduta & Tartufi Bianchi
Poached egg on a bed of artichokes, sunchokes and cardoons smothered in Piemontese Fondue and white Alba Truffles

Cipolla al forno ripieno con salsiccia di Bra
Baked onion filled with the famouse veal sausage of Bra


Tajarin con sugo di Coniglio e Olive Taggiasche
Thin, hand cut egg pasta with sauce of rabbit and tomato and black olives from Liguria

Fettucine con sugo di carne e fegato di pollo
Fettucine with a meat, chicken liver and tomato sauce

Plin con sugo di arrosto
Tiny rectanglar ravioli filled with three roasts and sauce with their juices

Risotto al Barolo e Radicchio Treviso
Risotto with Barolo and Radicchio from Treviso

Risotto ai Cardi e Roccaverano
Risotto with Cardi and Roccaverano Cheese

Lasagnetta con porri e topinambur
An individual lasagna with leeks and Jerusalem artichokes

Quaglia al Barolo Chinato
Quail cooked in Barolo Chinato (herb infused barolo)

Baccala mantecato con polenta
Salt cod cooked in milk and whipped with cream and potatoes, served with fried polenta "frites"

Petto d'Anatra Milanese
Breast of Duck pounded thin and breaded and fried in butter Filetto di Maiale con crosta di Anice e Finocchio
Anice and fennel encrusted pork filet

Trota Salmerino sul letto di versa e spugna con una crema tartufata
Salmon trout on a bed of cabbage and morels with cream of truffle

Panna Cotta con gelatina di lamponi
Panna cotta with a soft raspberry gelatina

Souffle di Amaretti e Cacao con salsa di pesche
Chocolate Amaretti Souffle with a peach sauce

Tatin di Pere al Barolo e Amarena
Tart Tatin with pears poached in barolo and amarena cherries

Mele Ripieno al forno con zabaglione al Whiskey
Baked apple filled with a fruit and nut compote served with whiskey sabayon

Crespelle al arancia caramellata
Crepes with caramelized oranges

Si puo' aggiungere i Tartufi Bianchi per € 3,00 al grammo.

White truffles can be added to appropriate dishes for €3 euro per gram, weighed at your table.

Contact Us

Hotel Castello di Sinio
Vicolo Castello 1
12050 Sinio (CN)
Piedmont, Italy
Telephone: 0173.263.889
Fax: 0173.263.958
Back to Top

copyright © 2005-2006 Denise Pardini and Jay Russell