Matteo Morra is the very young chef patron of the restaurant of the same name at the excellent Sylla Sebaste farm in Barolo, and I cannot thank Mr Art & Wine Fabio Carisio enough for making me regain a lost passion for young people approaching this profession. I also recommend reading #WineDiary: 2 days in Barolo for wineries and restaurants with Mr Art & Wine 😉

The mythologising of the figure of the chef on television, which I discovered at last Sunday's Gusto in Scena has more than 70 programmes about various types of cooking, has led more and more young people to follow this path, partly out of fashion, partly because they have a reputation as incurable seducers, and partly because it is always cool to cook well in front of women and friends.

That's why, when I hear about the very young stars of Italian cuisine, I am always a little doubtful... doing this job is really hard, it takes extraordinary sacrifice, discipline and devotion... and it is easy to become aggressive and unstable when you are exposed to the artificial light of a kitchen 13/14 hours a day. I am convinced that only a few have what it takes to make it. Matteo Morra is one of those very few who, in my opinion, is destined to become a star of Italian cuisine.

Before I describe my experience in the Matteo Morra Restaurant, I recommend you watch this video made by Valovideo (and what an extraordinary talent this guy has for composing videos... Matteo Morra also chose a high-quality partner to communicate the image of his restaurant)!

Honestly, there would be little to add to this video, such is the beauty of the images that enchanted me to the point of watching it several times in succession (something that rarely happens to me)... but I will now share with you my experience at the Matteo Morra Restaurant in Barolo.

Easy to reach, with a large private car park, the restaurant is hosted by the Sylla Sebaste winery whose report I am just finishing up. Upon entering, the perception of care is palpable: everything is really in its place. Everything is beautiful and elegant: from the décor to the centrepiece, nothing is out of place in a setting that is perfect for any occasion. Francesco and I had lunch in the company of Fabrizio Merlo, the owner of the Sylla Sebaste winery and, of course, Mr Art & Wine Fabio Carisio. In honour of the company, we were happy to choose to pair Matteo Morra's dishes with Sylla Sebaste wines (with the exception of the welcome bubbly) and, I must say, the pairing was a winner. The gift from the kitchen was very pleasing, a honey-type jar containing a mackerel in oil with a very fine texture (you couldn't even feel the bones), tasty and, another thing I liked, the meat was soft but not 'tired' as Chef Herbert Hintner * of the Zar-Rose in San Michele Appiano says. It was precisely at Gusto in Scena that the issue of overcooked food resulting from certain types of cooking was addressed, and, in my opinion, the tired food only works in braised Barolo wine (perhaps Sylla Sebaste's as I did).

For the first starter, Matteo Morra dared a scallop on potato bourneise with crispy artichokes. At first sight this dish did not excite me: the scallop, which should be the protagonist, is totally hidden by the artichokes and, on arrival, there could be anything. The presentation in the dish with the glass lid is nice (even if the steam generated does not help the artichoke retain its consistency), but in my opinion the presentation should be revised to give the scallop back the importance it deserves! On the palate, excellent work: perfect cooking, the potato bourneise was velvet in the mouth and the artichokes provided a bitter contrast to the sweetness of the potato and the unctuousness of the sauce that was really good! Matching wine: Nebbiolo d'Alba DOCG 2012 Sylla Sebaste.


For the second starter, Chef Matteo Morra went on the safe side: with a raw material as exceptional as this beef jerky, it is impossible to go wrong. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and leek sprouts for a well-presented dish of exceptional quality. Matching wine: Barolo DOCG Bricco delle Viole 2012 Sylla Sebaste.

And now to the first courses, here my opinion is a bit controversial! I asked for tajarin, which I love, and every time I go to Piedmont it seems an offence not to eat them. The choice of dish and the general presentation were beautiful, in terms of taste perfect - almost raw butter, the leek and Bra sausage - with a perfect synthesis of these simple ingredients. But they were unconnected, totally unconnected. I think this problem stems from the use of almost raw butter, probably the pasta was first boiled in water and only briefly stir-fried with the sauce. I would have preferred it to have been sautéed more to get the famous creamy texture that brought it all together. Slightly to be reviewed, but almost there. Matching wine: Roero Arneis 2014 Sylla Sebaste.

The ravioli del plin that Matteo Morra chose to bring us were beyond all expectations. Delicious little sweets that melted in the mouth and, literally, one pulled the other!


My second course, pigeon with foie grais and asparagus, was another excellent dish that Matteo cooked to perfection. From the picture, the succulence of the meat and the perfect cooking (perhaps a little 'backwards' but for me, an almost crudist, perfect) is evident. The thighs presented as a croquette with foie grais were delicious. Just the right savouriness, great aromaticity and a long, elegant persistence on the palate. Matching wine: Barolo Bussia DOCG Sylla Sebaste.


There is a little work to be done on the desserts, but talent and imagination are not lacking in Matteo Morra, so I am more than optimistic. The pannacotta served in the Martini glass was too liquid (it tasted very good), but the fat-free chocolate ganache was excellent. The biscuit was aromatic and tasty. My dessert, the cigarette served in the ashtray (it must be that I stopped smoking 6 years ago and struggled so much to get Francesco to quit that I get nervous just seeing the cigarettes... 😀 ) was really original and well presented! Surely it can become one of Matteo Morra's workhorses (the splash of Bergamot recalling the aromaticity and 'smoke' is also beautiful). The cream inside the ashtray made me a little tired because I found it flat in flavour, although the consistency was pleasant. Personally, I would revise it to make it more appealing, maybe just a crumble on the bottom of the ashtray would suffice... or rather no crumble that with the cream would 'soak in'... maybe crumbled crunch? I am curious to know what Matteo Morra thinks about this... or should I run to the hall and tell people to eat the cigarette dipped in the cream so that the textures and tastes alternate... I was too greedy to wait! Nice also the idea of cocoa as ash!

Finding out that Chef Matteo Morra is as passionate about Cognac and Armagnac as I am was a pleasant discovery and we tasted a really good one that I didn't know, so thank you for introducing me to it!

I don't give grades because I am against even attempting to measure the experience: too much subjectivity in perception to encapsulate a stay in a restaurant with a number. Everything is excellent, from the service to the quality/price ratio which is below average when compared to the level of the cuisine and the goodness of the raw materials.

To sum up: perfectly attended room, beautiful the warm napkin placed on the legs on arrival. Great courtesy and elegance. Matteo and his staff promise great things, we just have to follow them in their adventure to become a shining star in the panorama of Italian Haute Cuisine.

Good luck and see you soon,


Matteo Morra Restaurant

Closed on: Monday and Tuesday

Telephone number: +39 331 911 2211

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