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.   Continue reading

Caminetto d’Oro, Bologna, 5/6/16

Exterior
Exterior

Caminetto d’Oro is a medium sized place that was not full but they are known for their steaks so we went. It was a lively place even so and service was good. They started with a creamy cheese on a spoon. It was tasty but it would have seemed nicer to have a bowl of it for the table to go with the ample bread basket, but I guess this way you could just eat it plain if you wanted to. Continue reading

Osteria Francescana, Modena, 5/6/16

exterior
exterior

This small place is a 30 minute train ride from Bologna. Modena is a cute town that is worth spending a little time in when you visit their 3 Michelin starred restaurant. There are a couple dining rooms, one with 5 tables and about 3 in the others. They offer the same menu at lunch and dinner which consists of 2 main tasting menus, one of their ‘greatest hits’- Sensations (13 courses)  and one of newer dishes – Tradition in Evolution  (10 courses) and an a la carte menu.  Then they had a separate menu with a combination tasting of the other 2 tastings of about 12 courses and then amuse and extra treats added to that. Talk about confusing.  Luckily the waiter was helpful and suggested going with the combo or Evolution if this was your first visit. Continue reading

Ristorante San Domenico, Imola, 5/5/16

Exterior
Exterior

Imola is a 30 minute train ride from Bologna and the restaurant is an easy walk from the station. It is a large restaurant divided up into lots of nicely appointed small rooms. Tons of artwork adorn the walls and each table is decorated with objects and flowers. The staff was helpful and spoke good English but they maintained a professional distance instead of establishing a connection with the guests. They offer 2 tasting menus, one featuring meat and the other fish, as well as a la carte options.  They also offer a business lunch of 3 courses that is a good deal but the choices didn’t appeal as much so we chose the tasting of meats. Continue reading

Vicolo Colombina, Bologna, 5/5/16

exterior
exterior

A  2-room place where I heard lots of English being spoken. A very casual atmosphere but still had nice linens and reasonable pricing. The staff warmed up nicely as the evening went on and were helpful in making selections. We only went wrong one way when we decided to split the rib plate rather than each have our own as the waitress thought it would be too much. The serving size was nicely moderate and we could have easily devoured 2 plates  but this left us room to have desserts.   Continue reading

All’ Osteria Bottega, Bologna, 5/4/16

Exterior
Exterior

This small place also has some tables on the outside, weather permitting, but definitely needs a reservation for a evening table. They have worked to acquire the best suppliers of regional foodstuffs to serve at their restaurant.  The owner, Daniele, was present, and while he doesn’t speak much English he still wanted to help us select our evening’s choices. He recommends but doesn’t talk prices, however everything seemed so reasonable it didn’t bother me. Our waitress, Christina, spoke good English and was most helpful too. In fact everyone who worked there was friendly and welcoming even though it appeared to have more local customers than tourists. Continue reading