Il Gaidello in Caselfranco Emiglia (between Bologna and Modena is an upscale agriturismo establishment that has benn quietly mentioned before. Its owner, Paola Bini, is an energetic and warm woman who has turned this sleepy property into a restful oasis, situated in off the ss9. The rooms are expansive but it is the restaurant that packs them in. For 43 euro per person you are virtually under culinary and sensory assault for 4 and 1/2 hours of very fine eating and drinking. Everything is homemade and in the tradition of the local area using only the finest and freshest ingrediants.
We began with balsamic marinated baby onions and artichoke hearts,followed by a selection of smoked meats including velvety mortadella, luschious proscuito, and salami with small cresecent rolls.
This was followed by the most wonderful samll tortelloni with capon broth--a masterful broth that was clear and light.
The two pasta courses were a larger tortelloni stuffed with ricotta and sage. The pasta was gold foil thin, surrounding the ample filling with both a delicacy and grace that can only come with a mastery over dough making and rolling.
Stricchettoni, with its lazy mid noodle twist, bathed in procini and butter was simple and equally wonderful.
Roasted rabbit, cooked with olive oil and rosemary was presented with a simple salad of raddiochio dressed only with sweet balsamic vinegar,
was well cooked to the bone.
A mix of roasted vegies including tomatoes, a block of fried cream (I thought it was polenta) and zucchini slivers rounded out the pre dessert menu. I was groaning 3 courses prior to this and begging Paola
to stop but she just shook her head softly and smiled.
As if this was an act of unspeakable terror, there was also dessert. This including homemade cookies (merangue and almond) and a tri layered pumpkin tiramisu-ish thing that was delicious. Coffee with biscotti finished up the opus.
The wine (also included) was a bottle of chilled bubbly red--unusual but not as bad as it sounds.
The service was delightful if unrelenting. The dinner is a highly choreographed affair that demands perfect timing from the very hard working wait staff.
This goes on five nights a week!
See links below for contact info. Please go and enjoy this culinary high point. Reservations are a must.