Dining Review: Trattoria da Me – Bologna, Italy
Since we had such a difficult time finding a place for dinner the night before, we knew tonight being Saturday would be more challenging. From the pool of restaurants I had, we tried making reservations at all of them with no luck. Thankfully, we asked Dennis from our pasta making class for a recommendation and without a hesitation offered Trattoria da Me, which also had some seating for walk ins.
Not wanting to miss the chance, we arrived outside Trattoria da Me at 7PM – it opened at 7:30PM – so we sat on the sidewalk and waited. Closer the 7:30PM, a few more waiters appeared but we were hopeful they would respect the order of operations. But then we remembered, we were in Italy and lines are not a thing anywhere.
Kevin slowly made his way to the door to ensure we would have the best chance of eating tonight as the time neared 7:30PM. Just as the gate lifted and the clock hit 7:30PM, a mob of people appeared out of no where! I have no idea where all these people came from and it happened so fast – I lost sight of Kevin completely! There was no way we would get in with all these people here. Kevin darted through the door ahead of the crowd and I lost sight of him completely. There was no point in me rushing in with all these people hoarded outside. And then I saw Kevin’s head pop up and a hand in the air waving me in. We did it.
Our table was in the front side room with just a few tables, away from the main dining area. Fine by us a we had the room to ourselves for awhile before all the tables were occupied. We just adored the interior of this restaurant – it was so fun and bright.
Flipping through the menu, we were so giddy that we made it in. Everything looked so amazing but the more impressive thing was how creative the dishes were – twists on the traditional Bolognese dishes and flavors turning them into something new and exciting. This certainly set it apart from other restaurants in the city.
In the mood for a white wine, we asked for a recommendation from our server. Unfortunately, the first wine chosen was out of stock – it was a 50% Chardonnay and 50% Riesling that I would love to find back home to try. We were guided next to the Ravenna IGT UAIT 2018 which was a delightful bottle.
Another meal with tough decisions, everything looked just delicious. The servers here were fantastic in taking us through the menu and highlighting favorite dishes. We decided on splitting an appetizer and each getting our own pasta to double our options. So excited for this meal!
Degustazione di gelati al formaggio con cialda alle noci e fichi caramellati / Selection of cheese ice creams with nut wafer and caramelized figs
When I saw this on the menu and the English read “cheese ice cream”, I thought there was most certainly a translation error – what on earth was cheese ice cream? And then our waiter recommended it as one of their most creative dishes as you cannot find it anywhere else so with that, we chose that as our appetizer. We both giggled when it arrived – it really was cheese ice cream! And not only did it look like ice cream, but the taste and texture did too. Each of them was smooth, creamy, and cold but the flavors were still cheese. Fascinating and super creative way to present cheeses. We enjoyed each of them and really loved the caramelized fig that accompanied. Very happy with this selection!
Passatelli di farina di castagne su crema di Parmigiano 24 mesi
Caseificio Rosola, con radicchio, * funghi porcini e galletti / Chestnut flour passatelli pasta on cream of 24 month Parmesan cheese from Rosola Dairy with radicchio, and porcini and chanterelle mushrooms
Oh this was just perfection – thank god we split our pasta dishes! This thick noodles reminded us of Pici (like the type we had in Siena), a bit of a bite and the chestnut flour lent a nuttiness that complemented the aged cheese and the mushrooms. Under the noodles was a pool of melted cheese and mixing it all together just made for the perfect pasta dish. We both adored this one – such comfort food!
Tortelloni di zucca, rapa rossa, guanciale, crème fraîche,
polvere di caffè e amaretti / Pumpkin tortelloni with red beets, bacon, creme faiche, balsamic vinegar, and almond macaroons
Just look at the colors on this plate! While I am not a pumpkin fan, these pillows of gold were filled with tasty cheesy goodness and not consumed by the artificial pumpkin that is so prevalent back home. The use of beets as a sauce was just a delightful way to add an element of sweetness that went so well with the bacon bits. Such a creative use of these ingredients to make a delicious dish.
Clearly we hated our meal…
Coppa di mascarpone e scaglie di cioccolato Valrhona / Cup of mascarpone cheese and shavings of Valrhona 72% chocolate
Ever since our discovery the night prior of the amazingness that is fresh Italian marscapone cheese, there was no competition for dessert and there was also no sharing. Honestly we could not stop raving over this dessert! So creamy, so simple, so good.
What an incredible meal! We felt so lucky to not only have discovered this place but to have made it in on a Saturday night with no reservations. This really rounded out of gastronomic experience in Bologna. We had many meals that showcased traditional flavors and dishes but Trattoria da Me took those and transformed them with innovative ingredients to bring a new dining experience all while keeping true to that familiar tradition.
We were over the moon walking home from this dining experience – the perfect way to end this amazing trip!
Continue reading about our trip through Emilia Romagna!