Bologna: Not Just For Carnivores Anymore!

November 17th, 2011 § 1 comment

Yes, Bologna is a city of meat. Show a Bolognese cook a vegetable or a pasta form and his/her tendency is to stuff it or shower it with beautifully cooked, deftly spiced meat or sausage. In recent years, however, the city has sprouted a number of excellent sea food restaurants. Sale Grosso in the Bologna University neighborhood was HG and BSK’s luncheon destination. A very clean-lined, slightly austere room. Sound panels, doubling as minimal art work, affixed to the walls keep the sound level low. The few works of art are decorative and witty. Service provided by an elegant young waitperson was very civilized. Food flavors were Sicilian and Calabrian. Delicate puree of fava beans enriched with chopped, sauteed chicory. Folds of al dente pasta dressed with the typical Sicilian mixture of sardines, pignolias and fennel. All perfectly balanced, fragrances, textures and flavors playing off each other beautifully. Then came superb roast calamari and broccoli. The calamari was tender, crisp edged and spiced to allow the sea flavor to present itself without competition. Big platters of flash fried anchovies dotted with crunchy sea salt were crisp and delicious and absolutely grease free. Dessert was a confection of melting chocolate dotted with ripe cherries. A meal of sublime simplicity and memorable flavors.

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