Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ristorante Montegrappa Da Nello in Bologna

Can a restaurant get any more comfortable than this, maybe so, but it's our home away from home in Bologna with down to earth, yet elegant cooking. Da Nello does feel a bit cramped at times, but that's only before the meal arrives, then your attention is totally placed where it should be, entirely on the food.

Don't bother with the basket of pane or crostini or whatever they call it; it's dry as dust and will take up precious room in your stomach, room better filled with what you've ordered. Antipasti range from cold cuts such as salami, prosciutto di Parma, prosciutto di San Danielle (more moist than that produced in Parma), culatello (like prosciutto only better), mortadella, and parmigiano cheese drizzled in balsamic vinegar, all the way to fiori di zucca (fried zucchini flowers). They also serve a variety of salads.

Pasta is king at this restaurant, so good in fact, that I make a point of ordering the specials so I don't miss anything. The gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce are light as a feather. The lasagna verde Bolognese has to be tried to be believed, it practically melts in your mouth. On our last trip in May 2007 I tried the tortellone pictured above. It was made with spinach pasta and the filling was primarily chicken. The sauce was laced with fresh porcini, which reminds me of my favorite secondo or entree.

The veal in truffle sauce (I know porcini and truffle are not the same, but I get a heady fragrance from both and they are both harvested in the Fall) is spectacular and I would encourage anyone to try truffles or porcini mushrooms if they happen to be in town when they are fresh during the Fall. This last photo is of a shrimp risotto that has been a favorite for some time.

The restaurant is located on via Montegrappa which is a small side street one block below where via Indipendenza dead ends in the center of town. Amusingly, it is just behind McDonald's (definitely "from the sublime to the ridiculous"). If you are going to Bologna on a day trip, it is closed on Monday, so be forewarned.

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