An evening All´Osteria Bottega
After a very (very) long day of studying I picked up T and went off to meet my mother and David at their hotel. Hotel Porta San Mamolo is a delightful hotel on vicolo del Falcone, very charming, built around a patio which serves as a terrace and the hotels’ restaurant, full of lovely Jasmin flowers, decorated in a classic and elegant fashion.
We started off the evening with a bottle of champagne on this gorgeous terrace .Then made our way to Bottega. I have to admit Bottega was not my idea. We owe this great discovery to David who read about it somewhere and insisted we could not miss it.
Hidden on tiny via Santa Caterina off via Saragozza. The Osteria Bottega’s light coloured walls are perfectly in tune with the city’s walls. Bologna is known to Italians as ” La rossa, la dotta and la grassa” meaning “The red, the intellectual and the greasy” . La rossa is interpreted in both ways; because of the color of its walls and because of its political tendencies.
Bottega’s huge doors are open in the summer, giving the impression of a prolongation of the osteria into the street’s portico. Full of small tables to be arranged as guests come along, they have paper table cloths giving a feeling of an everyday Italian restaurant and some of its more traditional ingredients; like their cured ham, hanging over the counter.
Minarelli; the owner of Bottega, gives it all the character it needs. The perfect gourmet and sommelier, he runs around taking each order personally. He provides a detailed description of the components of each dish and dictates what wine should go with it. In addition to the quality of the ingredients; each carefully chosen from providers around the area. I have recently discovered that the Chef of this place comes from the ALMA school; an international culinary school close to Parma, currently headed by Gualtiero Marchesi who was the first Italian chef to win 3 Michelin stars.
We started off by sharing a tray of regional Affetati which included a seasoned Parma ham, “Finocchiona” (salame with fennel seeds), Parmigiano seasoned for 24 months and some formagio di fossa; which had both a delicate and very strong smell and taste. Everything was served with delicious warm bread and piadina. If you ask Minarelli he will tell you the origins of each and every product he uses. I have to say the quality was outstanding, some of the best charcuterie I have ever tried.
As a first course we had fresh tagliatelle with a sauce made of asparagus and pork’s Culatello (literally the pig’s bottom) fried in butter, and tortelli with asparagus and cheese. We were provided with Parmigiano but were advised by the waiter not to add any so not to ruin the delicate flavours.
As a second course we had the veal cheek in spiced red wine, and the roast chicken with potatoes, olives and capers.
The first courses were accompanied with a light white Pignoletto from the Bolognese hills, and the seconds with a stronger Sangiovese from Romagna.
The food was of an outstanding quality for under 50 euros per head. Completely worth it. An absolute must if you are into Bolognese cuisine and are wondering around Bologna.