Ahh Bologna, a city full of recommendations, famed restaurants, must try butchers & bakeries oh and then there's the history & art too...but that's not why we were headed there!
Recently we jumped in the car on a day with 'nothing better to do' & hit the road to Bologna for lunch & an afternoon stroll (passeggiata). From our farmhouse/inn it is about 2 - 2.5 hours depending on the traffic - a perfect day trip!
We decided to not look a up a damn thing! Why not! We live here now - we can always go back. Instead of following a guided path of historical landmarks or searching for the 'perfect' place to eat...we thought, let's just follow our nose! We knew we might not find the next "Diane" but we didn't care - it's Bologna a city full of food- we were sure we wouldn't go hungry!
We stumbled upon Osteria de Poeti whose doors first opened a few years ago... in 1600! It is located in a 14th century noble palace in the "centro storico" of Bologna. In the 16th century the old wine cellar became a place for entertaining & has been serving typical dishes of Bologna ever since! We stuffed ourselves to the brim! I ordered tortelloni (a regional pasta made by hand) con ragout di faraona e carciofi (ragu with artichokes) - buonissimo! I didn't want to leave a bit behind - the envelopes of pasta were delicate & rich - sooo good and totally different than the pasta served in our neck of the woods!
Jason ordered mousse di mortadella con pan brioche caldo (mouse of mortadella with warm bread) - this is delicious & very hard to do it justice in an explanation - but here we go-
mortadella (Italian's much much more superior version of bologna) is ground & then passed through a fine sieve several times until it become light & fluffy. In some areas the ground mortadella is mixed with ricotta. Either way you make it - spread it nice & thick on a piece of bread! A perfect antipasta that is surprisingly good.
I would totally suggest to find your way to Via Pescherie Vecchie for a tight fit between ancient stone walls, vendors peddling fruits, veggies, flowers, fish, meats & cheese and the locals vying for the ingredients for the nights dinner.
On our way back to the car we just so happened upon the steamy windows of Lo Sfizo. We managed to find a little extra room & had a bag filled with cookies for the ride home & fresh bread for ...well I thought it would make it home but after a little shoe shopping Jason had eaten it!
Lo Sfizo via Riva Reno 100/A, Bologna -Tel. 051.269981
Paolo Atti & Figli via Caprarie, 7 & via Drapperie, 6 Bologna -Tel. 051.220.425
Osteria de Poeti viaDe'Poeti, 1 Bologna - Tel. 051.236166 www.osteriadepoeti.com (Closed Monday)
If you've been to Bologna & have a good recommendation please add it below in the comment section, we'd love to hear from you!