During the summer we hopped on the train to Modena, a wonderful city nearby, famed for being the birthplace of Pavarotti, the home of Ferrari and now Massimo Bottura’s, wonderful Osteria Francescana.
Modena is a really interesting city, a university town full of beautiful warm tones. It neighbours, Bologna the real food capital of Emilia Romagna (& Italy) where so many famous dishes have originated, such as Bolognese, Lasagne, Mortadella, Cotechino and Zampone and only a stones throw from the beautiful city of Parma – Parmigiano cheese & Parma Ham.
Massimo is one of the most relaxed chefs in the world and his recipes carry so much charm, humour and taste fantastic. The restaurant is so serene, surrounded with fantastic paintings, quirky sculptures from Damian Hirst and other international artists. The atmosphere is very relaxing, uncrowded with lovely knowledgeable but relaxed service.
Part of the 3 part starter from the Italian sensational’s menu
little pillows stuffed with baccala (salt cod), part of the starter
wonderful parmesan & truffle fingers
Massimo’s humorous take on fish & chips (ice-cream). A crisp stuffed with aola (fresh water fish) & carpione ice cream
Delicious crispy tempura with a wonderful soft squid & tempura in an amazing Mediterranean tomato & caper consume
Lasagne, as a child Massimo’s family used to argue who was going to eat the crispy top to the lasagne, this is his crispiest top with the colours of the Italian flag
Eel swimming up the river Po. This was a truly amazing dish, delicious eel with sharp apple & polenta
Local working man’s lunch – mortadella with focaccia, served with a beer. A classic Bologna dish
Five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in different temptures and textures
Foie gras ice lolly, made with 50 year old balsamic and hazel nuts, so wonderfully smooth
Turbot with green sauce
Caesar salad, which includes 2 ingredients hidden within
Freddie tucking into the veal
Spin-painted veal with horse radish
Seafood bisque served fish heaven – John Dorry with squid ink
Oop’s, I dropped the lemon tart?
Coffee & chocolates
This experience was one of the best things we’ve ever done. It is booked up several months in advance and dates are released every quarter, so you have to be quick as they go in seconds.
We also had the wine pairing (which included beer & dessert wine). The wines were not classics but fantastically sourced to compliment the dishes and were very generous, unlike the wine pairings in London restaurant, which are extremely mean. Massimo is a wonderfully generous spirited person.
Osteria Francescana, Via Stella 22, Modena, Italia 41121 www.osteriafrancescana.it
Tel: +39 0592 23912