Bologna 12-02-08

This journal entry is all about food! We left Assisi and traveled by train to Florence, then changed trains and got into Bologna around 4:00pm. We didnít have a reservation, but I had used my I-phone to pull up available hotels. We just picked one out in the price range we wanted and went to the taxi stand. When he pulled up to the hotel, we werenít too sure about the area or the hotel, but figured we were only here for one night and to get one good meal. I had read so much about the food in Bologna that I just couldnít pass it up. I was sorry Dad wasnít with us for this meal as Iím sure he would have loved where we ate as much as we did. Oh well, I guess we will have to just bring him back here, because the meal was that good! It rained all day and was pretty cold, so after we checked into the hotel and rested for a while we asked the guy at the front desk about a local place to eat. He pointed out two different places, but had a preference for the first one and it was only about 200 yards away on the same street as the hotel. It was after 6:00pm now and dark but we figured we would be ok with that and headed out. When we got there we looked at the menu on the outside window and it had no English, and we were hesitant to go in and try to order something we didnít know but decided to go in any way as the other place was a pizzeria. When we tried to open the door it wouldnít open and then an employee hit a buzzer and the door opened! We thought that was odd. We were the first ones in there and the first guy we talked to didnít speak any English, but understood that we wanted to see a menu in English. A waitress took us back to a table for two right beside the fireplace where it was warm. As the evening went on the place filled up with people that you could tell were locals that ate there all the time. They hugged and kissed the waitressí and sat at a table without being led to it. There was a big deer head mounted on the front of the fireplace and it was just a warm and cozy kind of place. We ordered an anti-pasta plate that we thought was just a sampling of a few things. First, was some small bowls of tomato and red peppers, olives, truffle herbed butter, mushrooms, and a meat mixture. I asked what was in the meat mixture and she pointed to somewhere between her stomach and liver! Ha It tasted good so I guess I donít care where it came from. Also there was a basket of hot toasted bread.

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Before we were finished with that she brought a plate of artichokes covered in with slivers of Romano cheese. Then while the table was almost full she brought a plate of salamiís and mortadella (bologna), mozzarella wrapped in ham, Parma ham, and bruchetta. We were in heaven, except for the thought that we had ordered pasta and a main meat course! We had a bottle of a local red wine also.

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When she brought out my risotto, she wheeled a cart that held a half of a wheel of parmesan reggiano cheese that was kind of hollowed out. She dumped my risotto inside the wheel and with a big wooden scoop started stirring and scraping some of that cheese into the risotto!! It smelled so good and after she had enough cheese in it she plated it and then shaved black truffle on top. Iím telling you I was so excited about eating that. My first bite was unbelievable. Tony had ordered artichoke stuffed tortellini with asparagus and Parma ham. His was good but not as good as mine!

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For the main course I had ordered creamed veal with mushrooms, and Tony had ordered a Filet Mignon that also came in a cream sauce with mushrooms. They brought a plate of roasted potatoes, and Dad if you are reading this, Iím sorry to say that these potatoes put the ones we had with you to shame! Ha

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After finishing all of this, we could not even think about dessert. When we got ready to leave, we had to be buzzed out the same as when we came in! I had my radar out, thinking we may not be in too good of a neighborhood, and someone did approach us as we were leaving but we didnít stop and they didnít follow. Tony said I thought you were going to walk slowly back to the hotel! HaHa It was nearly 10:00pm by the time we left there and I didnít want to linger there long. We made it back to the hotel just fine and I was too full to sit down at the computer and type. When we got up this morning we headed for the train station and caught a high speed train to Milan. A fabulous meal that I would go back for!

I almost forgot, Dad did you see what was happening in Venice? San Marco Square has 5.1 feet of water in it! I sent you an e-mail from www.abcnews.com with a link to some pictures of where we walked that are now under water. They have had the worst flood since 1966.

See you in MilanÖ

Tony & Candy