Friday, February 12, 2016

a day at Norman's

Turin is the Italian city with more restaurants and coffee shops, so picking a good one isn't too hard. 
Among the coffee shops that marked the city's history, there is Bar Norman near Piazza Solferino, in Via Pietro Micca 22.
This is the iconic coffee shop where the Torino Football Club was founded, making it a must-visit coffee shop for all Italian soccer fans!
Bar Norman was founded in 1918 and, even if the management has changed over the years, and it has been recently restored, you can still see some signs of its glorious past.

As we're good friends with Daniela Gallo, the manager, we decided to pay her a visit right in time to enjoy one of their famous apericena trays
To be honest though, any time of the day is good to go to Norman's: it opens at 7am with freshly baked croissants and any sort of scrumptious viennoiserie to pair with your cappuccino, espresso or latte.
Their staff includes also a pastry chef who bakes cookies, pies and cakes and all the savory specialties on a daily basis.

Lunchtime means a full menu del giorno aka today's menu, that changes every day and it includes: appetizers, first and second courses and naturally desserts plus combo dishes if you prefer a quick lunch. 
It's really hard to list all the dishes they serve because they do change every single day! However, you'll always have the chance to order a warm local pasta dish like Turin meat-filled ravioli aka agnolotti  with gravy or the tiny handmade ones: agnolottini del plin together with quiches slices.

Over the afternoon it's always nice to take a break at Norman's because they serve delish bicerin - Turrin staple coffee drink with cocoa, espresso and cream and a velvety hot chocolate with a cloudy soft whipped cream on a separate bowl!
In Turin, the late fall and winter are rather humid and cold, so you can only imagine how nice it is to sit down in front of a rich hot chocolate and dunk some cornmeal cookies or have a jam pie with a bicerin!

Around 6:30pm the aperitif rite starts and the buffet is set-up near the bar with small bowls each one with something different like: shrimp, black rice and vegetables, tiny sandwiches and croissants with cured meats, grilled peppers topped with our local anchovy green sauce, caprese salad with burrata cheese, tomini cheeses, smoked salmon crostini, corned beef roll filled with toma cheese.

Yes, apericena is actually another way to say: fun dinner and at Norman's the coolest part is the tray!!
In fact, the unicity of this coffee shop is that they serve the apericena on a tray that comes in 3 sizes: small or light, medium or petit and large or royal!
To give you an idea Daniela offered us a large one that is meant for two people so there were two cocktails and many tiny bowls that all added up, equaled a dinner!
This is actually the best option for visitors who are curious to try a bit of everything and can savor different local ingredients. And what a stunning view!

The tray always includes: some pasta, a vegetable flan with fondue, eggplants with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, some raw veggies and a tiny portion of roast beef with  vegetables. there is definitely something for everybody no matter what your dietary restrictions are.

Daniela arranged a table for us in the second floor where we could enjoy the view of the porticoes! She uncorked a bottle of Grignolino and we really enjoyed our evening listening to soft music and laughing.

Naturally, as Norman's is close to one of the top theater in Turin, Daniela also organizes special buffets when there are plays, shows and concerts and cocktails are always a top request. At Norman's people usually have: Spritz St. Germain made with St. Germain liqueur, Prosecco, mint and lime, or an Americano, a Negroni, a Vermouth or, the fittest ones also enjoy some alcohol-free fruit based drinks like curaçao and pineapple!

Like Cinderella, Bar Norman closes at midnight but it is open every day and in the summer they also make their own gelato!!
Definitely a place to mark down whenever you are in Turin, and don't forget about Norman's glorious apericena trays :P

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