Last week I was invited to go and have dinner at Osteria Langhe. The restaurant is located on the second floor above beer bar Namsan Chemistry, and until recently I had no idea it was there. The restaurant itself is huge, it runs the entire length of the bar below. Inside the vibe has a very industrial chic thing going on. The raw walls are juxtaposed against the elegant tables and chandeliers. The floor to ceiling windows also give you a great view of everything going on outside.
We started our evening with a bottle of Natural Wine, a 2016 Eric Texier St Julien en St Alban (77,000), that the sommelier did all kinds of wonderful things with. He swirled it around in the decanter like nobody’s business to let the wine breathe. This was a very dry red, in fact it was so dry I found myself thirsty afterward, lol. Honestly a Syrah is not my favourite, but it allowed me to casually sip away at it throughout the meal and it definitely grew on me by the second glass.
To start we were advised to try the Appetizer Set (25,000). You can choose two plated starters and then one flavour of sausage. There was plenty to choose from, but we opted for the Roasted Scallops, Caprese, and Sweet Italian Sausage. The Scallops were roasted in the shells with tapenade and topped with herb bread crumbs. The caprese salad was lovely. It’s always the perfect summer salad in my eyes, and I really liked the addition of the prosciutto. The sweet Italian sausage was on a bed of cannoli beans in a tomato sauce. The sausage had a sweet herb and slightly spicy flavour, while the beans were tasty and filling, but of the three my favourite was the salad.
After the appetizers we moved on to the pizza. They have a proper wood fired oven here, and there are plenty of toppings to choose from. Since we all loved mushrooms so much, we opted for the Funghi (22,000), which was topped with seasonal mushrooms, red onion, and truffle oil. The mushrooms were marinated or slightly pickled, which added an extra depth of flavour. The crust was really good too and there was plenty of cheese on top. We all thought the onions should have been caramelised or sauteed but other than that we thought it was great. We also liked that you can also get the pizzas down in the main bar.
The pasta at any Italian restaurant is always the main event, and we were ordered two. The first was the Cacio E Pepe (20,000), which was spaghetti, pecorino cheese, and black pepper. Such a simple pasta dish but it was really well executed, I remember my mother making a version of this when I was younger when there was nothing in the fridge and it is still a favourite of mine until this day. Our second choice was the Ricotta with Cannelloni (18,000). It is not often that you find cannelloni here, in fact I am not sure I can ever recall seeing it on a menu. We all adored this, the tomato sauce was rich, the cannelloni were stuffed to the gills with ricotta and spinach, and baked so they had those lovely crispy edges. We all agreed we would definitely order this again.
Our main course was the Rib Eye Steak (18,000 per 100g with a minimum of 300g). It came with fries, and two smears of mustard. This was a good steak, with the fat being perfectly cooked and the meat itself a tender medium rare, but personally I thought it was priced on the high side, compared to the other items. I did enjoy the basket of fries though, they do a truffle version on the sides menu which I am sure are fantastic.
We were pretty stuffed by the time it came to dessert, but we couldn’t say no to Carrot Cake and Cannoli (7,000). The carrot cake was really good, it was extra moist without being dense and covered in lashings of cream cheese frosting. The cannoli was extra crispy and would have been perfect with a cappucino if we hadn’t already eaten so much, but perhaps I’ll stop in for coffee to try them again when I am less full.
Overall I was nice to be invited somewhere new, as I really wasn’t familiar with the restaurant despite living around the corner. Gyeongridan is seriously lacking in good places these days, and there are no other decent Italians within walking distance of Itaewon so it adds a little something to the neighbourhood. We all enjoyed our meal, and if you are looking for somewhere nice to go on date night thats local it is a great choice.
Osteria Langhe is located at 33 Hoenamu-ro, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the left hand stairs. Follow the road around and walk straight through Gyeongridan until you start walking up the hill. Namsan Chemistry is about half way up on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-797-2234 or visit their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11:30am – 11:30pm. There is also valet parking.