Friday, November 24, 2017


Hosteria Giusti
Via Farini n. 75
41100 Modena
Tel: +39 059 222533
Cuisine: Italian
$$$$ ($50+)
Tues, 10/24/2017, 12:30pm reservation
     (4.5 Piglets)

After watching the second season of Master Of None, I was bound to make reservations at Hosteria Giusti. In the show, he meets a girl at the salumeria and they hit it off. I was now a single girl ready to mingle, in hopes of living the life the way Aziz Ansari did in the show.  

Hosteria Giusti happens to be Mario Batali's favorite restaurant. It also happens to only be open for lunch and caters to the lucky diners who manage to snag one of the four tables available. Yes, you read it right; there are only a total of four tables! I booked months in advance for this lunch and couldn't wait to try it. The restaurant itself was situated below my AirBnB (if you need recommendations, just ask me!) and luckily, I didn't have to dine alone.

The salumi

All the condiments

The store as you wait...

The dining room...only 4 tables
the kitchen

Upon arrival, you walk into the salumeria and check in with the staff to let them know you have a lunch reservation. The place itself is magnificent, with cured meats hanging from the ceiling and condiments after condiments all situated throughout the 4oo year old store. The hostess takes you through the store to the back, walking you through the kitchen until you reach your destination. The tables are rustic and you feel you're sitting in the dining room of a cute little European cottage. You're offered water and a wine list and the menu. Then the food comes....

We got wine...

Complimentary bread
MY FAVORITE DISH. FRIED DUMPLING WITH COLD CUTS (€12.00). Can I just tell you how freakin amazing this dish is? The bread aka the fried dumpling was light and airy and wasn't greasy for being fried. It was easy to eat and the cold cuts were delicious! It wasn't heavy and can be shared amongst your other party. I have yet to find something similar to this dish in LA.

MACARONI WITH "ZAMPONE" SAUCE AND POTATO MUSH (€18.00). I never had pasta that is paired with potato. The zampone sauce usually consists of shoulder and thigh meat as well as the pork cheek and skin. It is common and Modena and I can see why! It is delicious and flavorful. The whole pasta was cooked al dente (now I really know what al dente means). The flavor was delicious, light, and slightly rich without being overpowering. I actually enjoyed the potato at the bottom of the dish. It absorbed the sauce. I liked this dish a lot. Get it cause I have yet to find a dish similar to this in the States.

PUMPKIN RAVIOLI (€18.00). I mean, how can you go wrong with ravioli? It was light and the filling was smooth. It wasn't too sweet which can often happen with pumpkin. It was filling and yet, you find yourself wanting more. This dish was a good dish and fresh for the season.

SUCKLING PIG IN ROOM TEMPERATURE WITH ONION SAUCE AND AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR (€18.00-HALF PORTION).  This was my least favorite dish. I felt the suckling pig was a bit too dry for my liking. I didn't love the onion sauce. It was a tad bit overwhelming in terms of acidity. Together, the onion sauce and the suckling pig were well-balanced but it still fell short of moistness and texture.

FRIED "COTECHINO" WITH ZABAGLIONE AND LAMBRUSCO (€18.00-HALF PORTION). This was my favorite main amongst the two. It wasn't what I expected. It was basically a deliciously, ground up, moist sausage that was fried and topped with a well-balanced sauce. It was crisp and the perfect size being the half portion. It wasn't overly heavy, so I appreciated that. 
COOKED PEARS WITH MOSCATO ZABAIONE AND TOASTED ALMONDS (€18.00). I picked this dish cause I thought it was something different. The pears were delicious and not too sweet. The portion size was a good size to be shared. I just felt that the dish wasn't amazing. It wasn't what I expected. It was a little sour and I just was hoping for something more. 
Overall, I can see why Hosteria Giusti is Mario Batali's favorite restaurant. It is unique and pays homage to authentic food of Modena. This was the first time I tasted what true "al dente" pasta meant. It was definitely something to get used to, but I now much prefer this mode of cooking pasta. I thought all the flavors were quite prominent at this restaurant and I loved the fact that it was intimate. They cater to you as though you're one of the family. Although I didn't love every dish at this restaurant, I thought it was a unique experience and I wouldn't mind eating at this place again. 

Notable Dishes: Fried Dumpling with Cold Cuts and Macaroni with "zampone" sauce

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