Location -Via Stella 22,Modena, Italy
El Bulli, Noma, Fat Duck all Number 1 Restaurants in the World visited by the Gagit’s, Osteria Francescana , currently Number 3, is tonight’s visit,how does it fit in our restaurant experiences? We arrive at Osteria Fransescana , exactly 6 months after I made the reservation, this was a meal I really anticipated for I could almost taste the pasta before we arrived reading many rave critic reviews on Osteria . Foodiechic is now at the door as shown in the picture above, we have arrived !!!
We enter this 5 table restaurant and are one of the 13 lucky patrons of the night, see picture above of Foodiechic at our table in anticipation for the night. We are seated and as we study the menu , the Maestro , Massimo Bottura comes out introduces himself and asks about our desires for the night. This is such a rare treat and one that my virtual friend,@docsconz describes in his review that his presence adds extra magic to the night, how true this statement is in truth. I ask the Chef if we would get a tasting menu of many pastas and he agrees to do this with many level of flavors building up to a crescendo in the last course.We are ready !!!
We are now served a selection of bread and grissini with olive oil that even I had to at least taste,all shown above as all the dishes served this night are shown. We also order the wine tasting menu which I will list at the end of the review.We are served our first dish, aptly named by the imaginative Chef, ice cream sandwich, or Aulla in frozen Carpione, delicious local fish spread on a wafer and with this ,Macaroon with Oyster filling and Macaroon filling, tasty bites to say the least.
Our first course and a surprise of flavors ,Baccala Mare Nostrum,lightly cooked Bacala with granita elements, green olive zibibbo vinegar,emulsion of Sicilian olive oil,bread crumbs and green tomato,wow what a way to start the meal, flavor upon flavor ,upon flavor. This dish was followed by a more subtle flavor dish but a work of art,Open ravioli of root vegetables filled with red shrimp and mantis shrimp in clarified tomato puree.
The pasta parade now begins with Guitar String pasta cooked in burned calamari broth,with Fines de Clair Oysters and topped with lightly smoked cavier. Foodiechic and I both were totally amazed at the taste of this pasta , the texure , the flavors, the presentation, how can the Chef top this we ask?The next pasta course, Spaghetti with pesto of anchovies,capers,pine nuts,lemon zest and anchovy juice,so different from the last dish but just as enjoyable.And , next what the Chef aptly calls, “if French chefs where to make pasta in Italy” Ravioli with leeks ,foie gras and truffles , just see picture no comment needed.
At this point we were served a local limited edition Italian Beer from Bologna made for charity,Beltaine Beer with smoked chestnut and juniper ,taste to match the pastas. The pasta parade continues , Modenese Tortellini in cream of Parmigeano Reggiano, a marraige of Pasta and the creaminess of the cheese from Modena.And next ,Tagliatelle with Ragu,made from pork sausage,cheek,tail, pork belly beaten and thickened with bone marrow, the timeless classic that is a Massimo Bottura masterpiece.
The chef now comes over to the table to see if we are through, the answer no, he is thinking as he rushes back to the kitchen for one more pasta. He comes back and tells us about a future trip he is making to Peru and has created the final dish with this as the inspiration,potato spaghetti Mediterranean style breaking the boundry between savoury and sweet, coffee, tomatoes ,cheese, basil served cold with all the flavors coming through,bravo Chef, no more!!!
We are now served a pre- dessert, Sorbetto of saba finished Maracshe, the cherry flavor so refreshing after all the pasta dishes. The dessert itself, another chef storied creation,Oops! I dropped the lemon pie, again the picture tells the whole story.I now need a Grappa, and the 20 year old Barolo is so perfect to end the night with the petit fours with the chocolate-curry truffle my favorite ,slightly over the sweet and sour rasberry marshmellow both perfect with my machiatto.
Let the Truth be Told, A Number 1 or Number 3 rating in World’s Best Restaurants , does not reflect an experience and our night at Osteria Fransecana was truly a number 1 experience. The interaction with a Chef and personality like Massimo Bottura who reflects the passion of his work, whether its art , music or in this case food is hard to quantify or rate but on this night it was easy , number 1. Thank you Chef for making it a number 1 experience for myself and Foodiechic,as shown in the last picture above.
The wines we drank that night are listed below :
Malvasia 2012,Raccaro , the only white,Sp68 Rosso 2011 Arianna Occhipinti, Sangiovese 2009 Redinoce, Barbera La Locomotiva 2008 Massa GLOCAL ,Sangiovese 2005 Valturio, Beltaine beer smoked chestnut and juniper.