If Piedmont’s Slow Food movement has meant better eating for everyone, an unexpected consequence has been the increased popularity of this once sleepy corner of western Italy. Which is why LaVilla, just east of the town of Le Langhe, is such a welcome addition. The 17th-century palazzo sits amid rolling hills, and its rooms are understated, with covetable antiques (claw-foot tubs; 19th-century armoires) and all the comforts (heated tile floors; overstuffed down pillows; an honor bar stocked with the best Barbera wines). The complimentary breakfast of freshly baked croissants, fruits, artisanal cheeses, and prosciutto is a highlight.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.