Ristorante i Portici, Bologna, 5/7/16

Entrance
Entrance

A beautiful room of about a dozen tables in the elegant I Portici Hotel in Bologna. The tables are nicely appointed and have good spacing between them.  They have live music, for which they assess diners 10 euros per person, of a harp and piano. Only the harp was playing the evening we were there which was enough as it is amplified and would have been too loud with both instruments.  The dining room is open, through some arches into the hotel’s dining room and bar, presumably so those patrons can also enjoy the music but it would have added to the noise level had there been many people in those areas. There is a balcony set with tables on 2 sides but I asked the waiter and no one is ever seated there, they are just for show.  

through the lobby
through the lobby

The chef made several appearances in the back of the dining room to talk with one table but visited no others.  He missed meeting Frankie!!!!  They offer 3 tasting menus as well as a la carte. We chose the tasting based on meats so we could have a whole meal of red wine food.  All tables get a large bread selection of flavored breads but I found by the time the waiter had gone through all the varieties I had forgotten which was which. The varieties included sesame, lemon, mortadella, wheat flavorings but all were pretty cottony. The breadsticks and sesame flavors were the best for me.

hotel restaurant and bar
hotel restaurant and bar
hotel lobby
hotel lobby
dining room
dining room
live music
live music
fancy ceiling and non-used upstairs seating
fancy ceiling and non-used upstairs seating
ceiling panels
ceiling panels
interior
interior
interior from the stage end
interior from the stage end
table set up
table set up
This arrangement wasn't her favorite
This arrangement wasn’t her favorite
Meat tasting
Meat tasting
Seafood tasting
Seafood tasting
Agostino Lacobucci's tasting
Agostino Lacobucci’s tasting
a la carte
a la carte
intresting disclosure
intresting disclosure
bread selection
bread selection
Frankie loves orchids
Frankie loves orchids

 

Our meal started with appetizers including a one bite, liquid center crab explosion. It didn’t explode for me but fell flat. The toasted bread was a nice crunch to combine with mackerel. It was a nice blend and balance. The pistachio macaroon suffered from being stuffed too early and had lost all crispness of a macaroon but the mortadella filling was interesting. The foie gras roll was delicious and the ricotta and tomato was quite good. Separately plated was the foie gras cream and bitter foam. It was truly important to mix in the foam to make it work and then it was good.

Appetizers: Foie gras, cherries, almonds and white bitter
Appetizers: Foie gras, cherries, almonds and white bitter
IMG_1281
Pistachio macaroon with mortadella filling, toasted bread with mackerel and lemon, crab explosion
fresh ricotta cheese with tomato; foie gras cannoli
fresh ricotta cheese with tomato; foie gras cannoli
Foie gras cream with cherry and almond and bitter foam
Foie gras cream with cherry and almond and bitter foam
wine front
wine front
wine back
wine back
Frankie admired the super long knife
Frankie admired the super long knife set for the next course

 

Next was quail that was very moist  but the rhubarb was understated. It looked really good and was better than average but should have been killer.

Quail, rhubarb and broad beans
Quail, rhubarb and broad beans
as plated
as plated
Chef Agostino Iacobucci made an appearance
Chef Agostino Iacobucci made an appearance

 

The rabbit pasta was served with onion soup on top and was terrific. It had a smokey taste and was extremely savory with a great aftertaste. The bit of green have in a bit of crunch. Winner!

IMG_1371
Raviolo filled with leprino rabbit “genovese style”, smoked buffalo provola cheese, field herbs and its sauce
as plated
as plated
inside
inside
There was barely room for her on the purse stool
There was barely room for her on the purse stool

 

The veal was served with  an eggplant stuffed with goo, fried eggplant with parmesan cream, tomato and basil dots. Part of the meat were dry but overall it was a fun course.

Veal sirloin from Boves "parmigiana" style
Veal sirloin from Boves “parmigiana” style
as plated
as plated
Frankie looks on
Frankie looks on

 

The pre dessert was apple with crumbles and was full of apple flavor. It was  a good palate cleanser.

pre dessert
pre dessert
as plated
as plated
Frankie checked out the long sink
Frankie checked out the long sink

The ice cream was nice but mild and the texture was more foamy than creamy.  It also was served while I was away from the table, which I thought was poor form.

IMG_1450
Buffalo milk ice cream, peppers and redberries with extravirgin olive oil, caper powder
as plated
as plated
Frankie wanted more grappa
Frankie wanted more grappa

 

The assorted pastries included a chocolate and hazelnut square that was too gummy and sweet; a Krapfen without filling but still good; an apple-hazelnut thing that was really ugly but quite good; a beignet with patisserie cream but needed more cream; mango jelly; and a blackberry tart with currants on top that could have used more butter in the pastry but the currant was a nice touch; and a cone of cotton candy which was strange but I’m a sucker for cotton candy!

Samll assorted pastries
Samll assorted pastries
cotton candy
cotton candy
Frankie thought it was a plant
Frankie thought it was a plant

 

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