Saturday, December 2, 2017

OSTERIA FRANCESCANA (MODENA, ITALY)

Osteria Francescana *ONE OF MY FAVORITES*
Via Stella, 22
41121 Modena, Italy
https://www.osteriafrancescana.it/
Tel: +39 059 223912
Cuisine: Italian
$$$$ ($50+)
Tues, 10/24/2017, 8:00pm reservation
    (5 Piglets)



Ever since watching the Netflix's Chef's Table on Osteria Francescana, I've been wanting to dine at this restaurant. The portrayal of the restaurant seemed so inviting. What lured me was the chef Mossimo Bottura, a guy who truly loves food and presented dishes that he wanted to present, even if it wasn't the norm at the time. 

So, three months prior to October, I woke up at 1:00am (Los Angeles time) and went online and snagged a res. I felt like I won the lottery. I was super ecstatic and lucky that I got the time and date that I wanted (5 minutes later, all the reservations were taken for the whole month). It seriously is that popular! Who wouldn't want to dine at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the world that was once the best restaurant in the world and has 3 Michelin stars?

The space is beautiful. Upon arrival, you're greeted by the maître'D who takes your coat and leads you to your table. There are about 10 tables that I could count. It's elegant, bright, simple and consists of hand-picked art pieces. The chairs are comfortable and the menu, well-it's beautiful. You have the option of choosing a la carte or two different tasting menus. I chose the smaller one, the Festina Lente menu for €220...(although the larger one only had a €30 difference.


The silverware

An array of delicious Amuse Bouche
COURSE ONE: Tempura of Aula with Carpione Sorbet. This dish was interesting. It was quite "fishy," which I didn't love. I thought it was well executed nonetheless. The sorbet with the crunchy tempura was nothing like I've tasted. Though I don't love fishy tasting food, I appreciated this dish. 
COURSE TWO: An Eel Swimming up the Po River. The eel was amazing. It was delicate, sweet, salty and cooked perfectly. It had an amazing texture and I would eat this all the time! 
COURSE THREE: Grey and Black Rice. This was probably my least favorite dish. There was caviar on top of this risotto dish. It again, was fishy and so I wasn't a fan. The risotto was definitely al-dente. I would've liked it cooked a little bit more, but that's a personal preference. 
COURSE FOUR: Cod Mare Nostrum. I LOVED THIS DISH!! The fish was cooked absolutely perfectly. It was flaky, delicate, moist and downright delicious. The sauce was light and the balance of acidity and textures was spot on. I'm so particular with my fishes and this was one of the best I've ever had. 

Complimentary Bread and Sticks
MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE FIVE: Autumn in New York. This was probably one of my favorite dishes I've ever tasted, EVER. It was delicately prepared, innovative and magnificent in every shape and form. The creativity of representing the essence of what NYC is into a dish is the epitome of this dish. It was a broth with smoothness that coated your palate at the perfect possible way. It had the right balance of flavors and I just wanted it over and over again. 

COURSE SIX: Tortellini with Cream of Parmigiano Reggiano. Modena is known for their pasta and balsamic vinegar. The pasta here was cooked al dente. It was rich and simple. I enjoyed this dish. 
COURSE SEVEN: Suckling Pig Tender and Crunchy. This too was one of my favorite dishes. It reminded me of the Chinese suckling pig, cooked perfectly moist with the crunchy skin on top. The sauces that went with it were amazing. It coated the pig nicely and added a depth of flavor like no other. 
COURSE EIGHT: Caesar Salad in Bloom. This was definitely interesting. I couldn't believe I was eating flowers but in a good way. They said to pick it up with the fingers and eat it like a taco all in one bite. Inside was "the dressing." It was all delicious, fresh, and different. 
COURSE NINE: Yellow is Bello. This dessert was delicious. It was light and a good yellow in my belly! It had a crunch to it and a creaminess texture in the middle. It was a great way to end a perfect meal! 
An additional Dessert. It was amazing. The chocolate was decadent and just what I wanted. 
Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart (€30.00). At this point I was stuffed but I still wanted this dessert to try it since watching it on the Netflix special. I actually didn't love it as much as I did. It was slightly bitter and definitely tart. I did like the crunchiness and the tartness but not the bitterness. 
Overall, Osteria Francescana was everything I wanted and more. I went in with low expectations (I tend to get disappointed just like how I was with Alinea) and I ended up pleasantly surprised. The meal was absolutely fantastic and the service was on point. I loved that Massimo went over to say hello to every guest dining in the restaurant. He's pretty amazing. This was probably the best meal I ever had, from the time I walked in, to the service, to the food, to the chef. I don't know if I would dine here again just for the mere fact that I don't want to ruin my memory of how amazing it is. Who knows though? I still have to try the Parmigiano Reggiano made 5 ways. 

Notable Dishes: Autumn in NY and the Suckling Pig

Thanks Massimo!

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