Saturday, 18 June 2011

First Dinner in Bologna: Drogheria Della Rossa

So here goes, the first blog in the series from my week long food fest in Bologna with the Fashionista...

The first evening we went to Drogheria Della Rossa, a converted former pharmacy.  This restaurant came highly recommended by a friend from a recent food tour of Italy and also had rave reviews on other blogs with many people commenting on the friendly owner, excellent food and, despite the peculiarities of there being no menu (the waiter tells you everything that they have on fresh that day) and no prices (the bill is made up at the end!) we were excited to kick off our food tour on a high.

On arrival, the restaurant was buzzing with locals (always a good sign) and we were straight away served with a glass of prosecco and a delicious antipasti of fresh, incredibly juicy, mozzarella and parma ham (Parma is only an hour from Bologna by train) with homemade (a little dry) bread- a nice start to the evening.

For el primi I had the tasty asparagus tortelli served with blanched asparagus and a sage, Parmesan and butter sauce- delicious- while the Fashionista had a mildly disappointing dish (given previous reviews) of pasta (I think it was papardelle) served with courgette flowers.

Asparagus Tortelli with sage and parmesan butter sauce. 

Pasta  (parpadelle?) with courgette flowers.

On to el secondi and we were both starting to get a little full after the antipasti and large portions of pasta.  I had the loin of pork stuffed with soft cheese in a Parmesan cream with roast potato wedges- all a little bland with the cheese and Parmesan cream merging into one.

Pork stuffed with cheese in a parmesan cream.

The Fashionista had the signature dish- fillet steak with a balsamic sauce, roast potato wedges and mixed roast vegetables- one of us was always going to order this having read the many other blogs and comments picking this out as the thing to eat.  Unfortunately for us the sauce which arrived did not live up to expectations- it was thin and very tart leading the Fashionista to compare it unfavourably with a fish supper (albeit with the steak replacing the fish!).

Later in the holiday a supplier in Modena told me that in order for balsamic to be used with meat it should be at least 12 years old- this leads to a thicker, sweeter vinegar which would have far better complemented the beef.  I think that the Drogheria may now be living on past glories and using cheaper product which just does not have the same effect (either that or the usual chef was off on the night we visited!).

After the disappointments of the mains, we decided to pass up on the desert menu and asked for the bill which came in at, what we thought at the time was a fairly reasonable, Euro 84 for the two of us.  However, having been to other restaurants later on in the trip (such as Teresina in Bologna) which serve far better food at cheaper prices, the 84 euros seems rather on the steep side for what we had eaten.

All in all our first day venturing into the delights of Bolognese food had been a bit of a disappointment although things only got better from there... 

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