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Restaurants & Bars

Two Lunches in Emilia Romagna

Powers | May 4, 201808:48 AM     1

Thursday we went to Da Ivan in Roccabianca about thirty minutes northwest of Parma. There was only one other table occupied by three businessmen. Ivan was not there when we arrived but he drove up about an hour later and the staff unloaded several cases of wine from the back of his car.We each started with a large plate of Culatello which has to be the crowning achievement of the pig.Pork just does not get any better. Then we had Barbara’s Lasagnetta with three meats followed by beef cooked in Barolo and I had seven cheeses with mostarda. We drank a very good Dante Rivetti 2011 Riserva Bricco di Neive Barbaresco. After lunch Ivan invited us to tour his cellar. Case after case of the finest Barolo and Barbaresco and Barbera wines from Piemonte and then a huge collection of champagne and other various assorted wines.

45 minutes south of Parma Locanda Mariella was a very pleasant surprise. Dining room was 3/4 full, all Italians other than us. Different than Ivan in the level of cooking and Mariella’s wine list emphasized many smaller biodynamic producers, but was just as impressive as Ivan but in its own way, excellent prices. I think the level of cooking skill was higher here and it somewhat reminded me of Coccinella in Serravalle Langhe. We had ravioletta stuffed with aragosta, coniglio pressed into cubes with mayonaise and artichokes, Maiale gigante with pancetta in a sweet gorgonzola sauce and Agnello al forno with some more of those tender artichokes. Then Bavarese di cioccolato and crema di ricotta in coulis di frutti del bosco. Two wines by the glass a 2011 Tenute Costa Kerner from the Val d’Isarco and a biodynamic sangiovese 2011 Cerreto Libre from Tuscany, both very good.

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