11.21.2009

gigina's, bologna

I can't believe I haven't finished posting about our trip to Italy this summer, especially when I have been excited to tell you about Gigina's since the beginning planning stages of the trip! You know a restaurant is good when a fine group of gentlemen go out of their way to tell you that this restaurant is as good as it gets; the best. Who am I to argue? If there is one place you have to eat in Italy, it must be somewhere in the province of Emilia-Romagna. I will never even think of going to Italy without at least one stop somewhere in Emilia-Romagna... we spent 5 nights, which meant 5 very rich and memorable meals. Perhaps I should say that if you travel to Italy, ok when you travel to Italy, you must go to Bologna, Parma, or Modena. This is not a choice. You must go! I dare say, it just might be close to impossible to eat this well any place else in the world. Ok, it might be possible, but not made and lovingly served by ma and pa with heart-on-their-sleeve hospitality. Oh, and you are absolutely, not allowed to leave without being the most full of the best stuff you've ever imagined. It's Mama's food of your dreams. I have been to Gigina's before, but I had to go back. I knew Gigina's was famous for their fettucine bolognese, but I didn't order it. And I'll admit, that seeing Heston Blumenthal travel to Gigina's In Search of Perfection, I knew I had to hurry back. Fast. At Gigina's you start with chunks of mortadella, gnocco fritto, and salame. Gnocco fritto are literally fried pieces of dough, a little salty, a little sweet, but delicious melt in your mouth pillows of dough. In Emilia-Romagna, it is also obligatory to drink lambrusco, the wine of the locals. Bubbly red wine sounds terrible to most, but it is not sweet, and honestly helps with all the fat. The food is gloriously fatty... sigh.mortadella in the back, gnocco fritto, salame, and lambrusco.  trattoria gigina, bologna Spuma di mortadella e gelatina di balsamico is like mortadella in a whipped pâté-like consistency, accented by the sweet richness of balsamic vinegar. The accompanying greens are valeriana, a popular easy-to-find green in Italy. Spuma di mortadella con salsa e gelatina di balsamico, yum, bologna It is impossible to eat enough culatello in Italy. The meat so rich, but so very sweet and tender. Parmigiano-reggiano is another Emilia-Romagna specialty. culatello, trattoria gigina's, bologna This looks like an excessive amount of cream and butter, but it is not possible here. The only thing that is near to impossible is trying to finish all of these gnocchi con spinaci in fonduta di parmigiano e tartufo. Yes, those brown specks are truffles, and irresistible. "Gnocchi con spinaci in fonduta di parmigiano e tartufo davvero", aka really rich gnocchi in a truffle cream sauc I had been to Gigina's in 2007, and ordered the gnocchi and not their infamous fettuccine bolognese. I nearly leapt into the air when I saw Heston Blumenthal travel to Gigina's, In Search of Perfection. I knew I had to go back. This fettuccine was well worth the wait, and the journey. The golden fettuccine are rich and delicious, with the perfect consistency one only dreams of. The bolognese is nearly sauceless, it is meaty, and hearty, and the most delicious meat sauce imaginable. Definitely perfection. Mitiche tagliatelle al ragù della “Gigina”, aka the best bolognese in the world There is no room for anyone to have a full tummy in Bologna; it is simply not allowed. Cotoletta alla petroniana con tartufo davvero, also seems to be on nearly the plate of every single diner, and for good reason. It is breaded veal, then wrapped in prosciutto with a rich and creamy parmigiano-truffle sauce. It is one of the best dishes I have ever enjoyed, even as I burst at the seams. "Cotoletta alla petroniana con tartufo davvero", veal wrapped in prosciutto, lightly breaded, fried, cheese and truffles and sauce.  OH MY. We also enjoyed a few side dishes. The spinach was flavourful, and well seasoned. Roast potatoes and tomatoes with parmigiano were also equally delightful. contorni, spinach, roasted potatoes and tomatoes with parmigiano and breadcrumbs, trattoria gigina's bologna Dessert needed to be washed down. This moscato did just the trick. moscato Although I vehemently wanted to refuse dessert, but, I could not. This cherry sorbetto in a citrus sauce was sweet and tart, and of course, it was to-die-for. Stunning. Sorbetto di ciliege e salsa di agrumi, cherry sorbetto in a citrus sauce Waving goodbye to Gigina's. Antica Trattoria della Gigina, Bologna outskirts Gigina's is closer to the outskirts of Bologna, rather than the city centre. But well worth the trek. via Stendhal 1 40128 Bologna tel. 051322300 - fax 0514189865 info@trattoriagigina.it

8 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

What a beautiful, delicious update! :)

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the virtual trip. I'm full from the eating :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am hoping to get to Bologna this spring when I am back in Italy. I can work it in at the end of our 'escape to Tuscany'.
I will hit gigina's for sure.

gail said...

Sandi - oh please tell me about it when you return!!

I honestly have to tell you that after 5 days in the area, all of us were writhing in pain just looking at food (and we all do eat a lot). But I think you can probably get the idea from the amount of vegetables you see in the photos.

So very good, and even worth the pain. However, do take it easy.

Carrie said...

That cherry sorbetto looks beautiful! My friend is going to Italy this summer, I'll inform her that she needs to visit those places. :)

j e t s e t WISDOM said...

Gail - I cannot wait to visit Bologna - I missed out this fall, and it's on my A list. Thank you for sharing "gigina's" - I've bookmarked it!
Best,
Claudia at jetset wisdom

Kevin Kossowan said...

I'm glad you're not done posting about Italy - good lord that looks fine!

Tami said...

I just returned from Italy 2 months ago and was feeling bad about not posting about my trip. Now I see I'm not the only one that takes awhile. And oh how I wish I'd gone to Bologna now. I so wanted to, bad, but it was our first trip and it just didn't make the cut- so many places to see there! But I already vowed that would be the first stop next time. We didn't luck out with good food in Tuscany and I think its because they keep all the good food in Emila Romana! Thanks for the tasty looking pics!

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