Restaurants in Turin

Travelers to Turin, Italy, who stay at the Holiday Inn Express will find a clean, modern, comfortable hotel at a reasonable price (€75, or about $97.50, per night for two, including a lavish breakfast), but it is located rather a ways from the center of town and in a neighborhood surprisingly bereft of restaurants, trattorias or, for that matter, any place where one can sit down and have a meal.

Not to worry! Put on your walking shoes and hike over to Piazza Pitagora, where Pizzeria da Mimmo (Corso Siracusa 180/E; phone 011.3093068) is open until 1 a.m. The pizza is fine, but the real star of the show is the antipasti, which are displayed in a case at the front of the restaurant. They bring little tears of olive oil to the corners of my eyes as I think of them.

In late October ’04, we split three antipasti and a pizza, added a small carafe of wine plus mineral water and a digestivo and were out the door for €22.50 (about $29.25).

If you want a more elaborate meal, continue about a hundred meters farther to the seafood restaurant Da Benito (Corso Siracusa 142; phone 011.3090354). We started with a stunning cured salmon appetizer, then went on.

My companion had spaghetti alle vongole, which she said really mastered the delicate relationship between clams, clam juice and pasta. I had an excellent fish cooked in acqua pazza, which is a high-class tomato sauce with olives, together with spinach in butter on the side that melted in the mouth.

With wine, mineral water and the usual digestivo, the total bill was €49 ($63.70).

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