We had a group of 4, go to Bologna Cafe, the dinner place that makes you think you are in Emilia Romagna, last Saturday. Well, after Claudio and Barbara's annual trip to Italy; they came back with a few recipes from their families in Bologna.
The result is, after a complimentary taste of a delicious puree of root vegetables; an expanded selection of pasta and second courses including a Spezzetino de Pollo, a stew of chicken, peas, wine, in a sauce that is cooked down for hours. Delicious! All after his unrivaled "IL Torre", an appetizer of imported items, primarily cured meats and very special cheeses, including his housemade Mozzarella.
I noticed a very full display case of cheeses that I was not familiar with. Claudio said "I have been working with small producers that I knew in my old business,(cheese distribution in Italy) and getting them to export to the U.S. His wine list includes small Italian winemakers and a direct import that he has exclusively,(Mirabella a winery his friend owns, Italian film director, Lina Wertmuller).
The place was packed from 7:00PM until we left about 10:00. Almost everyone there was a regular, with one happy diner commenting "This is as close to italy as you get without going there."
Obviously, all at our table had a wonderful time; if you go, (especially fridays or Saturdays) a reservation is a must!!.
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