Lunch at Pescheria Gallina in Torino - Italy

Lunch at Pescheria Gallina in Torino - Italy


I stumbled into Pescheria Gallina by chance, or by the blessings of being in such a beautiful city like Torino, full of breathtaking architecture, glorious culinary rituals, lovely women and deep traditions.

I had set off to the amazing market at Porta Palazzo one morning, arguably the biggest fresh market in Europe, to observe the magnificence of the produce. After a few hours admiring the abundance of simple farm products I reached noon time and I had said to myself that I was going to find a beautiful spot to have a real Piamontese lunch.

Right next to the market in a small corner in the middle of this Muslim neighborhood I found Pescheria Gallina, a fish market adjacent to a fish and seafood restaurant. It is clear that the combination of fish market and a restaurant should yield good results - and so it was.

I caught the fish market at the end of their shift, when they were starting to break down and by the looks of the remnants of the display you could tell it had been a busy day. The fishmongers were hilarious, all camera-hogs willing to share their knowledge and having fun with the photos.  Fresh sardines and anchovies to die for,  swordfish, ventresca di tonno, salmon, octopus, squid; you name it; all superb quality. After a while with them I went to the next room: The restaurant. 

I sat down on a stool next to a well dressed gentleman in a suit at a very small bar overlooking the open kitchen with few other locals scattered in the tight room. Lunch service was dwindling down; perfect time to enjoy a relaxed lunch.  A piece of brown paper for a placemat, a real napkin and a glass of  Vermentino while I waited for my Fritto Misto. I watched the two very lively chefs breading fish and sautéing, deep frying and having lots of fun working together. 

I refuse to give details about the dish I had because it was simply fantastic, plentiful and very well executed. Just like every other meal I’ve ever had in Italy, everything was simple. How difficult it is for some chefs to understand that food needs to be uncomplicated ? A trip to Pescheria Gallina to experience it first hand?

I took my time enjoying my Fritto Misto from hell, having another glass of wine, watching the sun change the angle it hit the window and overwhelmed at being alive in such moment.  But I knew as well, that ahead of me awaited some walking back to my pad, taking a shower and walking again to meet my friend Gianluca for some aperitivos later. Life and Torino are beautiful.