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.
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.