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Bologna - Traditional dishes


markk
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I'm looking for recommendations for a restaurant/trattoria that serves the traditional cuisine of Bologna, where a first-time visitor could sample Lasagne al Bolognese.

Of course, it wouldn't specifically have to be the Lasagne, but I'm remember the dishes I used to eat there in years past...

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and it certainly wouldn't have to be a place with fancy tablecloths - simple and less expensive would be great - it's a college student spending her spring semester in Florence and planning a trip to Bologna.

Many thanks !!!!!!!!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I had Trattoria del Rosso on my radar awhile back.  Haven't been, but Gambero Rosso likes 'em.  They have several prix fixe options, ranging from €5,50 (!) to €18 for lasagna and a cotoletta.  Ala carte menu here.

I went there this past July. The price was most certainly right. But the food, honestly, I found a bit underwhelming. That said, maybe I "ordered wrong", as they say. I tend to dislike restaurants where there is a real chance of that happening, though.

Edited by tupac17616 (log)
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That said, maybe I can provide some help rather than shooting down other ideas! One place I really enjoyed was

Da Bertino

Via Delle Lame, 55

+39 051 522230

Small, quiet, family-run sort of place. The prices are gentle. The food is traditional, and very tasty. The best rendition of bollito misto I had on my trip last summer.

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As for some of the recommendations in helpful thread weinoo mentions...

I'm in the camp that found the goods at Tamburini to be over-priced and touristy (those words are often synonymous, anyway). That said, the cafeteria-style lunch is decent, and the price is fair. But overall I expected more and I certainly wouldn't recommend it with only a limited amount of time in Bologna.

Atti I found to be a bit inconsistent. Some things were terrible (one type of bread in particular I can remember) and others were great (a wonderful cake that tasted of vanilla and had grains of rice throughout).

I really liked the looks of the menu at Caminetto d'Oro, and I was disappointed to find them on holiday while I was in town. Not sure how strictly traditional their menu is, though. I honestly don't recall.

Also very much wanted to try Da Cesari, which was also unfortunately closed while I was there.

Read good things about Cesarina, and even walked by to check out the menu, which included all sorts of Bolognese specialties. Did not get a chance to eat there, though.

Many recommended Diana, which I found to be pretty good. Granted, I ordered a fairly small lunch, at least for my standards, so I'm not sure two dishes is a sufficient data set upon which to judge the place.

Definitely recommend gelato at Sorbetteria La Castiglione.

Wish I could be of more help, but that's all that comes to mind right now!

Edited by tupac17616 (log)
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Diana might be worth a visit at lunch. Their lasagna Bolognese has been praised elsewhere and they have a neat trick of crumbling hard boiled egg yolks over it. But it's a pretty formal place and you'll need to dress accordingly, or at least not in jeans and hiking boots the way these two turiste were when they went . . .

I really enjoyed Risorante Montegrappa DaNello, Via Montegrappa 2; tel. 051-236331. I don't remember much about the prices but it's not as formal in attire as Diana was.

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Diana might be worth a visit at lunch.  Their lasagna Bolognese has been praised elsewhere and they have a neat trick of crumbling hard boiled egg yolks over it.  But it's a pretty formal place and you'll need to dress accordingly, or at least not in jeans and hiking boots the way these two turiste were when they went . . .

Indeed

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Also had some whipped mortadella to start. Pretty nice little lunch.

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Diana might be worth a visit at lunch.  Their lasagna Bolognese has been praised elsewhere and they have a neat trick of crumbling hard boiled egg yolks over it.  But it's a pretty formal place and you'll need to dress accordingly, or at least not in jeans and hiking boots the way these two turiste were when they went . . .

Indeed

gallery_18974_1420_95690.jpg

Also had some whipped mortadella to start. Pretty nice little lunch.

I think I'd love for her to go there, but for a lot of reasons I think it's outside her budget (I know it is) and I don't know how comfortable she'd be eating there, so I was hoping for a similar lasagne in a simpler, cheaper settting - she's a poor 20 year old college student getting clobbered by the dollar as it is and more comfortable in simpler places - but THANK YOU for thinking of that !!!!!!!!!!!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Unrelated, I used to attend the annual Verdi Voce Contest in Busseto evey year in the 70's, and boy did the local bars and trattorie make some fantastic lasagne. I went back some years later to find the great trattoria gone, and boy was I sad! Though she'd never get there from Bologna for dinner and back.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Diana might be worth a visit at lunch.  Their lasagna Bolognese has been praised elsewhere and they have a neat trick of crumbling hard boiled egg yolks over it.  But it's a pretty formal place and you'll need to dress accordingly, or at least not in jeans and hiking boots the way these two turiste were when they went . . .

Also had some whipped mortadella to start. Pretty nice little lunch.

I think I'd love for her to go there, but for a lot of reasons I think it's outside her budget (I know it is) and I don't know how comfortable she'd be eating there, so I was hoping for a similar lasagne in a simpler, cheaper settting - she's a poor 20 year old college student getting clobbered by the dollar as it is and more comfortable in simpler places - but THANK YOU for thinking of that !!!!!!!!!!!

Diana is a Bologna classic. Why don't you treat her to lunch there? And as for being comfortable, at age 20, traveling in Europe, it might be time to experience a grown-up restaurant. It's not a scary, fancy place, just bourgeois. The whipped mortadella is yummy.

Otherwise... I haven't been to Bologna in eons, but I very much liked Trattoria Gianni. You should be able to find its coordinates in the NY Times travel section archives on line.

Maureen B. Fant
www.maureenbfant.com

www.elifanttours.com

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I was in Bologna Nov 06, my last meal there was at:

Da Bertino & Figli

via delle Lame 55

"...My hotel suggested this my last night - one of the last places that serves traditional bolito misto. I was the only non-Italian in the place. Started with the tortellini in brodo, was a meal unto itself. The broth was amazing - clear but with incredible flavor. I loved slurping the tortellini. Did the bolito misto - which was an assortment of tender cuts of cooked meats. A great last meal in Bologna..."

I posted my trip report - not sure how to make a link....Bologna is great. (off to Torino and Mantova in June)

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Trattoria Meloncello. It's a bit off the beaten path, but the food is great and the setting informal -- and cheap.

We too went to Del Rosso, and found both great and average. I would send her there for certain, as it is unbelieveably inexpensive and in the student area of the city. Get the crescentini. Baaaad panna cotta.

Della Rossa (with an "a") is a bit more expensive but still moderate and their food was excellent and not snooty. One of the highlight meals of our trip, with all the classics on the menu. I'm certain lunch would be even more reasonably priced.

Tamburini? Definitely touoristy, but the food was good. Tell her to get take outs and eat outside at the beautiful square down the street at Santo Stephano Church. Before eating there, she could make two noteworthy stops: (1) at the Artiginnasio to see its amazing, intricate, anatomical wood carvings that cover the walls of a 15th century medical school classroom. Mesmerizing. (2) and, at the small church, Santa Maria della Vita, to see a unique pieta by sculptor Nicolo del Arco, who crafted a life-sized series of seven terra cotta figures in various and expressive stages of remorse. Death sure is brilliant in stone under dimly lit alcoves.

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