The best restaurant in Bologna?
The Bottega Portici is recognized as one of the best restaurants in Bologna and in this review I will tell you if this is going to be true or not.
History and location Vote: 9
The Bottega Portici restaurant is a quite recent restaurant established where in the past a metropolitan theatre was in place. This will be evident as soon as you will be seated in the massive dining hall and you will notice the main stage still in place; actually, is not rare having the opportunity to assist to some music concerts accompanying your dinner. Nevertheless his quite young history, the restaurant gained immediately a certain celebrity and became a symbol of high quality dining; this has been recently confirmed obtaining the prestigious recognition of the Michelin star for the second year in a row, this time under the reign of the head Chef Emanuele Petrosino.
Overall, the location is in line with a high level restaurant and even if the table set up remain pretty much classic and minimal, I can assure you everything was perfectly clean and proper; the seats were also extremely comfortable and an interesting and intelligent thing were the table lamps: nothing hang over your table, but a very cool and innovative little table lamp will provide you with a clear and perfect light without any cable or chandelier.
The service Vote: 9
Because we are in a restaurant that gained recently the famous Michelin star, therefore the service can’t be as good as the food. And this is exactly what you will find here.
All the personnel and the staff is fully prepared and professionally trained to welcome you in the best possible way. The coats are taken in charge by the kind waiters as soon as you arrive and you will be accompanied personally to the selected place at the table getting helped to have your seat.
Once arrived at the table, the maitre will introduce the dinner with extreme elegance and competence, making you feel fully aware of what the Chef has prepared for you and your party. Once the dinner is started, a member of the restaurant will always described any course as an art work and this will give to all the dinner a special aura.
The Menu Vote: 8
Coming to the main evaluation of this review, as you can see the vote I gave is not as good as the others. In the following paragraph I am going to explain to you why.
Il troppo stroppia or Too much is sometimes too much…
First of all, for the Dinner menu and if you are a party of more than 5 people, the Guests can only choose between 2 tasting menu: Seafood based or Meat based. This is fair enough and the reason behind this choice will be clear to you going on reading this article.
In the paragraph title, I tried to explain you why I gave to the menu a very good vote, but not an outstanding one. In fact, looking at the course and dishes presentation, I assure you that in my life I have rarely seen a such amazing creativity and magnificence in the plates served. On the other side, nevertheless the food taste and the undoubted quality of the sources used, in more than one occasion I think that the Chef dared too much and literally “overcharged” of flavors and tastes the dishes although displayed with such precision, expertise and creativity.
After this necessary explanation, I will move describing you the delicacies we had with an amazing photo-gallery prepared for you: We had in sequence a fantastic Chef’s welcome, the starters, the first course, the second course and we finished with a dessert selection.
The wine we have chosen was an extremely good Greco di Tufo, one of the best white wines of the Campania’s tradition.
The Chef’s welcome
The first set of dishes will gave you a grasp of what will expect you during the dinner continuation: a sample of the Chef creativity and of the craftsmanship in the preparation of the courses.
With the starters, the level goes up as well and the dishes become even more complex and elaborated. The taste goes up as well.
The first main course
As anticipated in the Metre explanation, the first course for our menu is a Seafood Risotto with Neapolitan pumpkin, sea urchin algae and lime, so of course not a typical one. In this risotto the mixture of colours, different flavours and tastes is extreme and will be actually difficult for you to understand properly all of them. Although the sea taste is very strong and harsh, the combination with the other ingredients will create a very unique and particular taste. This is one of the dishes that created on me that sensation called by me “overcharging“, but I leave to you the evaluation of the final result. As I intended by one of the waiters, also some cheese was added to the risotto and this is the only choice that I would eventually reconsidered.
The second main course
The second main course is a real artwork due to the way all has been displayed, with an incredible skillful usage of colors and ingredients. It was a very exquisite kind of white fish called Ombrina (a kind of seabass) with a garment of Porcini Mushrooms and chickpeas. Even in this case the combination of flavours is quite extreme and risky, and the final result can leave someone not completely satisfied, but as I said for the previous course, this is the risk of experimenting.
To conclude this really special and unique fine dining experience, the Chef thought to a very particular Millefoglie pastry Mandarin aromatized with Bufala cheese.
The result visually is once again incredible and stunning. Regarding the taste, even if very nice and polished, was missing the original taste without compromises of a proper and original Millefoglie pastry as Nonna (Grandmother) made it.
The bill Vote: 8
Considering all this incredible experience of taste, amazing displaying and superb service and atmosphere, I think the price of around 100€ for each person (plus 38€ for the wine) is fairly right. Also the use of absolutely first choice ingredients and the artistic solutions designed justify a similar price adequate for this kind of restaurants. Even in this case I can’t give a higher score because in any case the portions and some too extreme choice of the Chef made me not completely satisfied.
Final score and consideration: 8,5
The Bottega Portici restaurant reputation was extremely high and in Bologna are not so many the restaurants that can show off a Michelin star.
My final score reflect the 4 evaluations I have given on the base of 4 important indicators: Location, service, Menu and price.
For who would have expected a higher evaluation, I have explained the reasons behind my choice; an extreme combination of so different food tastes and the overall feeling of searching more to impress the guest with special effects, more than looking at the simplicity of the traditional tastes.
Anyway, my final review can’t be negative and as I mentioned repeatedly, we are in front of one of the most fancy and polished restaurant of the Bologna panorama. The concept is to present a Nouvelle cousine in the Italian style trying to remain into the Emilian tradition. A particularly hard task for the Chef Petrosino. In my opinion he partially made it, but I am a Bolognese native and unfortunately I grew up with Turtelen, Lasagne and Tagliatelle with Ragù sauce…