Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day Trip to Bologna: Part I... Drogheria Della Rosa Ristorante

On Monday I went with my friend E. to Bologna. E. has been on serious lock down the last few months finishing up a book. Haven't seen her ages.

I've been in a horrendous mood lately and missed my friend, so I bit the bullet, got out the credit card and took the fast train to Bologna. On the way back to Rome the train was over an hour late but that another story.

This was my first trip to Bologna and I must go back. The city is tiny, population only 376,000. It's also quite beautiful. There are miles of porticos. The University of Bologna is the oldest in the Western world (founded in 1088) and there are students everywhere. Bologna is constantly rated as one of the top "livable" cities and I can see why.

Many people say this region of Italy has some of the best food in the country. I was definitely looking forward to lunch.

E's husband, aka The Professor, had to go to a meeting at the University with a colleague. In the morning we (myself, E. and their baby) went off to lunch while they had their meeting.

I did some Googling before the trip and the restaurant Drogheria della Rosa kept coming up. We decided to check out the menu then make a decision where to eat.

When we arrived, the owner was outside chatting. We decided to stay. We made an excellent choice.

The food was AMAZING. We started with some paper thin mortadella. It literally melted in out mouths.

E said her tagliatelle was "tears worthy". Her baby, who's only 18 months, did the index finger in the cheek movement (i.e. รจ buona!) after eating some of it.

I had eggplant ravioli. So freaking good and light.

The service was excellent. They kept refilling our glasses with Prosecco. The owner picked up Baby X when she started to get fussy and made her laugh. He also gave her some frittata and later a piece of watermelon for dessert.

We chatted with the owner for a while. He told us that Ambassador Thorne (the U.S. Ambassador to Italy) was there last week. We also saw a little article about the place in American GQ.

I agree with the article. There are several Michelin level places in Bologna but this restaurant on a side street knows their pasta. To me excellent Italian is about the freshness of the ingredients and the flavors. One can eat fancy, haute-cuisine in any decent sized city in the world. Finding an excellent Bolognese? That's a little rarer.

After this incredible meal we asked for the check. The owner told us not to worry about it. WHAT?! We left a big tip. We told him the Professor must eat at the restaurant and the owner said he'd get the money from him. ha.

We told the Professor to make sure he pays when he goes to eat there. He joked and said he wasn't going to go.

In the past I have received a free glass of wine or a dessert compliments of the chef and/or owner but a sit down meal? No. Never.

I mean, E. is very chic and Baby X might be the cutest baby on the planet but I almost fell out of my chair when he refused to give us a bill.

I was downright giddy after lunch. The food was so good and the three glasses of Prosecco helped.

Next, chocolate, Kettle chips and piazzas.


Ciao Chow Linda said...

I have eaten there too and you're right about the delicious food. How lucky for you that it was all for free!

gibber said...

That looks awesome. You know my friend J spent the semester in Bologna and LOVED it. How nice that the owner covered your meal. Sweet. Also, i was wondering why you hadn't blogged damnit! :)

erin :: the olive notes said...

oh my that sounds like an amazing day. I still have never been to bologna, but would love to go...and now i'll have to be sure to stop at that restaurant!

SDG said...

Oh my. Everything looks wonderful. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Such terrific food for free? Man, the Gods were smiling down on you that day.

regina di roma said...

Sounds a lot better than my panino lunch break right now :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

CCL - I am still thinking about my ravioli. It was that good.

gibber - I would love to spend more time there. I only got to see a small part of the city.

erin - That whole region is an area I need to learn more about.

SDG - yes they were!

regina - ha. I had a boring salad today for lunch. I need to make something super delicious for dinner.

gibber said...

I think my friend J will be back this summer. He'll want to meet up with you in Rome. Maybe he can take you on a tour of Bologna!

Di said...

This reads magic. I sent a link to a friend who goes there often. Thanks.

Carol de Assis said...

I'm going to study in Bologna the next semester, and it's good to know you have great things to say about the city. I'm definitely writing down this restaurant's name and address. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gibber - keep me posted.

di - you're welcome.

Carol - you're v. lucky. Buon semester!

Eleonora said...

Mmmmmmmm... Thanks for sharing this, I'll definitely go next time I'm in La Grassa. Drogheria della Rosa: check (no pun intended)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

eleonora - you're welcome!