Bologna 2016


Le Stanze

Very nice bar in a vault like room with enormous ceiling height and a beautiful painted ceiling. Very cool interior. Wonderful service and staff. Aperol Spritz fairly expensive at EUR7, however offset by the nice antipasti bar with a choice of 15 or so delicious antipasti that you get free access to for only EUR1 per person. Antipasti bar seems to start around 6pm. Very good place for a pre-dinner drink and snack.

Trattoria Anna Maria

Very traditional Bolognese trattoria. Seems quite popular with tourists without being too touristy. Had a nice tortellini in brodo and tagliatelle a ragù. Antipasto Tipica was a huge plate of cold meats, a bit overwhelming. Nice Sangiovese by the bottle at good prices. Nice efficient service. Lots of photos and memorabilia on the walls which was fun to look at.

Camera A Sud

Bohemian bar run by young staff. Very nice service. No cocktails per se, more spritz and wine place. Very cool interior decor. Free wifi and very good music. Aperol Spritz prepared with Aperol and Prossecco only which was nice for a night-time drink.

Mercato Delle Erbe

Green-grocers market. Nice stalls and a few shops selling wine and stuff. Didn’t go to any of the eateries which are situated at the far sides of the market.

Stefino Bio

Very modern and cool ice-cream parlor with amazing sorbetti and gelato. Very young and friendly staff. Small selection of confitures and similar deli products, very nice quality. Lemon sorbetti that contained a big amount of salt was a revelation, absolutely amazing. Went back three times. Both Hazelnut and Pistachio gelato was top drawer as well.

Sartoria Gastronomica

Progressive cuisine looking place. Very smart looking inside the restaurant, very modern. Outside on terrace more traditional. Quite busy with traffic around but nevertheless nice to sit outside on a Friday night in Bologna. Terrace filled up very quickly after restaurant opening. My starter was a tartar of Piedmont Fassona beef with three sauces which was very nice, seasoning was pitch perfect and the tartar nicely chilled but not too cold. Presentation was definitely modern with dots and powders, progressive Italian. Main was large tortelli with chicory and ricotta cheese in a chicory and Gorgonzola sauce. Again seasoning pitch perfect and the slices chicory on top of the pasta pleasingly acidic to offset the richness of the sauce. No house wine in carafs but a choice of either bottles or glasses. Went for two glasses each. Service not quite on the ball, had to ask three times for my second glass of wine. Granted the restaurant was very very busy so they might be excused by that.

Trattoria Leonida

Traditional trattoria with an enormous menu! Service efficient and good, not too nice but didn’t really matter too much. No carafs of wine but rather bottles or half-bottles. Went for a half bottle of local sparkling white. Starter was an insalata mista which was properly prepared with impeccably good salad and also a celery salad with crunchy celery, shaved Grana Padano cheese and slices field mushrooms. Quite unusual and definitely a nice salad. A squeeze of the accompanying lemon and some olive oil completed the dish. Mains were tagliatelle a ragù again which was very good, vivid yellow and light tagliatelle, and lasagna alla bolognese which was made with green pasta sheets with flecks of herbs visible. Very nice.

Osteria del Sole

Old school very rough and ready wine bar. No frills and wine only. Bring your own water and food if you wish. Wine generously served and nice service by an old bar man with good English, welcoming and helpful. Long tables and non padded seats, no AC but lots of fans. Cool place for some old school drinking. Wines seemed to be EUR2.50 a pop no matter what, we didn’t have champagne though…

Rosarose Bistrot

We only had drinks here so no food at this visit. Wonderful outdoor seating with nice tables and chairs, great for people watching. Good cocktails in nice glasses, well prepared. Free (I think) selection of apertivos; pancetta type cured meat, salami and diced tuna all served on slices of very good baguette type bread, fantastic crust. The standard Italian bowl of potato crisps too. In summary, very good for afternoon cocktails. Free wifi, handy

Ristorante Scacco Matto

Wow, definitely the meal of our one week trip to Verona, Venice and Bologna. Beautiful dining room, very classy without being stuffy. Felt a touch out of place with sandals but not too bad since it was a day with 35C heat. Nice Slow Food Movement connection and details about ingredient purveyors connected to Slow Food outlined on the menu and beside dishes, without being too informative about it. Starter of stuffed artichoke hearts was good without being too memorable. The stars were the pasta, first a ravioli filled with onion and Parmesan mixture served with mushrooms and hazelnuts. Second small tortellini served with asparagus and little daubs of something like a hollandaise or possible sous vide egg yolk. Punchy flavors while still being light and fresh. Amazing. Wine by the glass was fine and generously pored. Enticing desert menu with 6 or so yummy options. Fortunately we didn’t have to choose since a degustation of 3 of the deserts in mini form was available for only EUR10. A bargain and perfect for sharing.