Eat to live or live to eat? Eating in Italy.
Do you eat to live? Or live to eat? Sometimes, very occasionally, we can have these great eating karmas. The karma where everything seems to flow right: the atmosphere, the person you are dining with, the music playing, the art and colors on the wall. And then the food comes and it is absolutely amazing. Doesn’t happen often, but it did to me on Day 2 of 5 days of eating in Bologna, Italy.
I had one of those eating karma meals, minus a person to dine with. I dined alone for lunch. But it didn’t matter. I still left the restaurant on a high and it wasn’t from too much wine.
Day 2 of 5 primi piatti
Onto Day 2 for eating il primo piatto in Bologna, Italy. A paradiso for eating delicious food in trendy places.
Did you miss Day one? Here is the link for eating traditional in Italy with lasagna verdi as il primo piatto.
Bologna is beautiful
First before the eating karma story, a bit about beautiful Bologna and why you too should venture over to experience the energy and vibrancy of eating, exploring and just visiting this colorful non-tourist city. Here is an excerpt from Day one’s article:
Bolognese food, appropriately nicknamed la grassa (the fat one), is generally rich and heavy. Not a reason to exclude the perfect meal, but I find just eating the primo piatto (first course, usually pasta) is enough ‘basta’. You may add an antipasto, a secondo piatto, or why not a dessert ‘dolce‘? The plural term, primi piatti, means first courses, eaten during 5 short days in Bologna.
Bologna is a real Italian city, beautiful with its 38 kilometers of portici patios throughout (you can see in the picture above an example of the portici patio, the overhang on top of the sidewalks). A young crowd mingles throughout with students attending University of Bologna, one of the oldest universities in the world. I appreciate that Bologna has less tourists than other big Italian cities such as Roma or Venezia. I don’t like to feel that I am in my home country when I travel abroad (a personal desire). A real mental getaway includes a break from everything, our mother tongue included. Although Italians speak English quite well if you get stuck!
Back to eating karma. I was lucky that day. It is difficult to get a reservation at this restaurant. Other people apparently have eating karma there too. But the spirits were with me and I got a table in the middle of the eating crowd. I sat down, looked around and saw happy karma faces around. And what is playing on the speakers? Andrea Bocelli. He and I go back a long way. His music and I, of course! But it wasn’t just the music that day. Colors and art all over the walls. Great colored pieces, varied. Fun. The affable owner, Emanuele, comes over to ask me what I feel like eating.
There is no menu.
Eating karmas sometimes come from the unexpected
It felt like home to be asked what I wanted to eat. I wasn’t given a menu. Some might not like this. But I do.
I explained Emanuele in the best Italian I could manage.
“Mi dispiace, il mio italiano non è buono. E’ possible mangiare solo il primo piatto? No mi piace mangiare troppo perchè dopo mi sento troppo pesante. ” (I am sorry, my Italian is not good. Is it possible to only eat the first course? I do not like to eat too much and after feel too full)
Certo! (Certainty!) Replies Emanuele
And so it began. Lunch that day was il primo piatto, tagliatelle al ragù alla bolognese. It was delicious. Lighter than the traditional version. Emanuele explained that because the meat he uses for his recipe is of better quality than years ago, there is no need to cook the ragù in milk or cream for hours, like the traditional recipe calls for. How can I argue with the boss? It was good. But the highlight of the meal was the aperitivo:
A glass of prosecco served with a plate of proscuitto crudo.
Prosecco is a dry sparkling white wine and a perfect substitute for champagne. It tasted wonderfully with the thin, slightly salty slices of proscuitto. This uncooked ham is a delicacy from the regions around Bologna. The most expensive and well-known coming from Parma, a city about one hour from Bologna.
All the patrons at this restaurant start with the same aperitivo, starter. It laid the mood for il primo piatto and more. And why not more? Just because I only ate il primo piatto doesn’t mean you shouldn’t venture to il segundo piatto. That lunch day in Bologna, Italy was a memorable meal. It had all the great karma energies: delicious food, trendy atmosphere and the indescribable feeling of belonging for a short time in the place you should be, just at that moment. When you leave you only have the memories to take with you.
Here is the name, address and website. If you are visiting Bologna, I highly recommend this good address to eat. Drogheria della Rosa, via Cartoleria, 10 Bologna. www.drogheriadellarosa.it