Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Ristorante Diana : Bologna, Italy

Ristorante Diana is one of the more well-known restaurants in Bologna, having been around since the 1920's and focusing on more traditional Bolognese dishes.

I must admit that I felt a touch intimidated by the waiters, who dressed in their starched whites and black vests/jackets, gave the initial impression that it was a more formal dining environment.  But that turned out to be unfounded.  Our waiter turned out to be quite friendly - we were sitting outside and at one point, he advised me not to put my camera by the side of the table next to the sidewalk, fearing thieves would snatch and run and brought over a chair to put it on.

And shouldn't you be glad.  Since my camera was not stolen, I can now show you my photos of the bread.

Reminded us of a sea creature.
A bow for a present?
(Btw, if you couldn't tell, these were more like crunchy breadsticks)
Let me move on to the actual food.

Gnocchi al Gorgonzola e Pesto Leggero
All gnocchi that we try will now be compared to the gnocchi that we learned to make at In Tavola.  And in comparison, this gnocchi was a touch heavier, but still not leaden like some of the American versions.  The sauce was similar to an Alfredo sauce (which according to our cooking school teacher only really exists in the US), except cheese/egg based, making noticeably lighter.

Spaghetti alla Tarantina
Clams were very light and nicely cooked.  The white/clear sauce had a flavor, mainly of clams, but also had a mysterious slight kick that we couldn't quite figure out what from.

An aside: to this day, we're still a bit mystified by the whole "Primi piatti" (first course) and "Secondi piatti (second course).  Fyi, the two dishes above were ordered from the primi piatti section.  The dish below is from the secondi piatti section.

We were later told that Primi piatti's generally include pastas and secondi piatti's are the meats and fishes, which is all fine and good.  The part we couldn't figure out is the portion sizes.  Both the primi and secondi are full entree sized, so if you order eating both courses, it's like cramming two meals in one.

Trancio di Pesce
Not quite sure what type of fish, but a very steak-like fish. Tasty, simply grilled with olive oil, salt and parsley, reminding us a bit of the simple goodness of one of our favorite restaurants: Noordzee in Brussels.   We were full *before* this dish came out and afterwards, we were dying.  OMG, so full.

Pinot Grigio - half bottle
A strong strawberry, cherry flavor.   Man,I feel so awkward commenting on wine.

Yes, I'll spare you a review of the water. 
All in all, this was a decent meal, but in hind site, we definitely wished we had just ordered the fish and one of the pastas.

Via dell'Indipendenza, 24, 40121 Bologna, Italy (Map)
+39 051 231302 ‎

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