Bologna, known as “La Grassa” or “The Fat One”, is arguably the most delicious city in Italy, which is saying a lot. Parma ham, Parmigiano cheese, Balsamic vinegar, tortellini, lasagna, mortadella and home made pasta all call this region home.
I visited before in August, but needed another go. I arrived early on Saturday and made my way to Osteria Bottega (Via Santa Caterina, 51). Every table was reserved, but they let me sit outside at a shared table. I ordered tortellini in brodo (tortellini soup) and stinchetti (pork leg). Both were tasty but far from that mouth punching, sense overloading taste I was expecting.
I walked off the food during the afternoon, visited the underwhelming MAMbo (Modern Art Museum of Bologna), and did some people watching and stared at the old buildings.
Evidently, there is a “hot twerk party” which must be like hot yoga but with more cocktails and plenty of toe touching twerking.
Italy is never short on extravagant cathedrals and naked statues.
For dinner, I made my way across town to Osteria Dè Poeti (Via De Poeti, 1). It was deep in an ancient refurbished wine cellar. A fire in the corner, hundreds of bottles of wine, and old framed newspapers decorated the place. I went for two pastas, the pumpkin gnocchi with bacon and leeks and lasagna. Gnocchi was tremendous and quite a sensation, despite it’s bachelor type pedigree of ingredients. Lasagna was a disappointment, consisting mostly of noodles and very little of anything else.
After an amazing pasta coma sleep, I started out for lunch at Trattoria AnnaMaria (Via Delle Belle Arte, 17). Arriving exactly at opening, I was able to steal a table at this crowded and popular eatery. No frills in the cooking, but attentive service and lots of famous Italian faces on the wall. I went a half/half order of tortellini in brodo and tomato sauce plus some roast duck. Tortellini was the best food of the weekend! A broth so delicate with hidden flavor and home made pasta added up to blissful bites, and a respectable ragù also. The duck was strange, and the skin creeped me out with its dimples, but it tasted okay. The panna cotta was heavy with a vanilla liqueur.
I like when the animals sell themselves as food.
On my way to the train, I walked down the main street, Via Dell’Indipendenza, and snagged a few identical slices for a taste test. Pizza Altero was better. It was somehow soft and crunchy, with a wonderful sauce. The farther from the train station, the better the pizza.
This slice (below) looks the same as above, but it wasn’t as good, and too chewy on the bottom.
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