Posts Tagged With: Hosteria Giusti

Top 10 Things We Ate in Emilia Romagna

Italy 2014 1668Culatello at Antica Corte Pallavicina – When life gives you a pig, you make Culatello.  Prosciutto so prized it has a different name.  And the best Culatello in the world can be found in this old castle perfectly situated by the foggy Po.  After you visit their legendary cellar, ride their bikes, and play hide and seek with their black pigs, you are ready for this “Podium”.  Three Culatello aged 18, 27, and a black pig beauty aged 37 months sitting on top like miss universe.Italy 2014 781

Eggs with Black Truffles at Locanda Mariella – An hour south of Parma in the hamlet of Calestano in the mountains, there’s this foodie paradise.  Mariella is at the helm, and will take care of you like no other woman.  She knows her wine, and she knows how to make eggs, among many other things.  Richness and creaminess levels I have yet to discover out of eggs.  And Black Truffles, mightier than some whites we’ve had days before, were the icing on the pan.  Quite possibly the best egg dish I ever had.Locanda Mariella eggs

Tagliata Fassone at Cocchi in Parma.  The star of a fine meal at this Parma legend was not surprisingly the all too dependent Fassone.  This Piedmontese cattle continues to surprise me with its lean, but sharp flavors.  Add some artichokes, aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil and of course Parma cheese and you got yourself a major crowd pleaser.  Cocchi, albeit a bit touristy, felt like one of those local institutions one needs to experience, with its ancient menu, and old timers that even speak English.  Try the terrific Sformatino as well.Italy 2014 1077

Minestrone Fritters at Hosteria Giusti in Modena– Perhaps the biggest taste/look ratio of the trip as those fritters didn’t look very hot, but after tasting them they looked rather perfect.  They add to Minestrone soup that is thickened overnight, Parma cheese, flour, egg, and deep fry a spoonful at a time.  Sprinkle some of their own ultra aged “Traditional” balsamic vinegar and the result is outstanding.  Mario Batali’s favorite restaurant in Italy delivered quite a few punches that afternoon.Hosteria Giusti Minestrone Fritters

Salumi at Salumeria Garibaldi in Parma – At this busy Salumeria in Parma, grab one of the two little tables on the right, and watch the locals do their thing.  Try the prosciutto of course, the wonderful Felino dubbed “King of Salami”, and the Strolghino, a fresh thin Salami made out of the lean leg of the pig and the “prosciutto” of Culatello, among other leftovers.  They dont throw out anything in ItalyItaly 2014 1028

Burrata with Bottarga at Sale Grosso in Bologna – Yes, there’s also great seafood in Italy’s food capital.  Hidden in a quiet alley near the university, this newish joint dishes out quality Puglia inspired Seafood day after day.  And some dishes fairly unique, like this Bottarga, sticks of salted dried tuna roe, coupled with creamy Burrata that was oozing with deliciousness. Sale Grosso Buratta

Tortellini in Brodo at All’Osteria Bottega in Bologna.  “I live here all my life, and this is best in Bologna” our trusted waitress warned us.  Who are we to argue.  After sampling Tortellini in Brodo on a daily basis in the region, we saved the best for last turned out.  Done the traditional way, but with an added oomph, or “Love” according to the happy owner.  While I haven’t written a post about All’Osteria Bottega, I highly recommend spending an evening there.

Picture taken elsewhere, but they all look about the same

Picture taken elsewhere, but they all look about the same

Pork Ribs at Vicolo Colombina in Bologna – Another no brainer here.  Ribs are slow cooked for 40 hours Sous Vide style (I used my regular “I cant wait that long, we have a flight tomorrow” joke.  Didn’t work too well here).  Great texture, not too fatty, crispy where needed but mostly tender, wonderfully juicy, flavorful meat.  Here in NYC we pay a lot more for similar and less successful dishes than the 15 euros we shelled out for this.  This particular dish was a recommendation by Carmelita Caruana who runs a popular local cooking school http://www.cookitaly.com/Italy 2014 1725

Piada at Trattoria Via Serra in Bologna – There were quite a few memorable items from this Slow Food gem, including the outstanding organic house red.  But this dish stood out for several reasons.  Piada or Piadina is a flatbread typically made with lard, a delicious traditional snack normally associated with the coastal Romagna towns.  Here it was a Sunday special served with fresh eye popping Squacquerone cheese from the nearby Castel San Pietro, and prosciutto.  There was something about enjoying this fun snack on a lazy Sunday afternoon with local families at that moment that its hard to put into words.Trattoria di Via Serra Piada

Parmigiano Reggiano at CiaoLatte in Noceto – Best 10 euros I spent in the region was at this dairy producer near Parma.  You get a tour with Serena who speaks English, almost unheard of in the Parma dairy producer universe.  She will guide you through the entire process if you show up early enough, and let you spend some quality time your camera in the ageing room.  And the tasting of the various aged Parmigiano Reggiano will make you go straight to Eataly when you get home.Italy 2014 808

Categories: Emilia-Romagna, Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hosteria Giusti – A Hidden Legend in Modena

Hosteria GiustiIts taken me over three months to write about our food adventures in Piedmont and Emilia Romagna over the fall.  And I can easily write for another month or so as it was that kind of a trip.  But I think its time to wrap this up, and I cant think of a better way than with one of Italy’s true icons, considered by many one of Italy’s greatest.  I will also have a post about our top dishes in the region later this week.

Giusti is a Salumeria in the center of Modena, not too far from one of the most celebrated Duomos in the country, and not too far from another famous church, Osteria Francescana, considered one of the best restaurants in the world.  But when you arrive at this Salumeria Monday-Friday between 11-5, you notice a peculiar thing, its closed.  That’s because they are busy making all sorts of magic in the back, to those lucky enough to snag one of the 4 tables that one needs to reserve weeks, sometimes months in advance. 

Hosteria Giusti dining roomHosteria Giusti also happens to be Mario Batali’s favorite restaurant in Italy.  Baltali’s dad was a close friend with the late Adriano Morandi who opened the Hosteria in 1989.  The shop itself however is over 400 years old.  400 years!  I’m no historian, but this sounds like pre-texting to me.  Most folks come to Modena with their little Trip Advisor rankings miss out on this jewel.

To get to Giusti, you don’t got to through the store, but to this quiet back alley off Via Emilia.  Walk until you reach a gate where you wait for someone to show up to hear the secret password.. “Ummmm Jewsty?” Bamm!  You are in.  Cecilia, Adriano’s daughter served us and spoke better English than some of my relatives living in NYC.  I was suffering from a cold (I only get sick on vacations, becoming quite comical), and this was the worst day.  But taste buds were intact, though no wine for me, homemade Lambrusco for her which she enjoyed.Hosteria Giusti Gnoccho frito salumi

We started with some Gnoccho frito salumi. Every town off Via Emilia makes these little buns differently it seems with different sizes, degree of puffiness and different names. Here are the large puffy ones that pop on the first bite into this nice marriage with the various salumi sitting on top. The lardo in particular was of the rich, buttery, high quality variety.

Minestrone Fritters – Perhaps the most interesting thing we ate here. They take a Minestrone soup that thickened overnight, mix in Parma cheese, flour, egg, and deep fry a spoonful worth and voila.. but wait… there’s more… sprinkle some of their own ultra aged Traditional balsamic vinegar and Voila!  I now know what “Traditional” means after visiting a Balsamic producer in the area earlier that day. Those fritters don’t look very exciting, but carry a lot of punchHosteria Giusti Minestrone Fritters

More excellence followed with the Maccheroni with Zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter, a Modena specialty) sauce.  Tagliatelle with veal ragu was even better. More of that scrumptious, robust ragu we’ve come to expect throughout the trip, and this was perhaps the best one

Cecilia recognizing my pain when I was choosing our lone secondi to share and offered half portions.  Another exceptional veal cheek that we just couldn’t get enough on this trip. This one, no frills, smothered with its own juices, just melt in your fork deliciousness.  And I had to try the Cotechino, another Modena specialty served normally during Christmas time.  It comes coated with a rich, sweet Zabaione sauce made with Lambrusco.  Cotechino is a very tender slow boiled fresh sausage made with pork meat, skin, plenty of fat and is very nicely spiced.  And together with the Zabaione you got some very nice contrasting flavors.  Marry Christmas to us.  Sorry, no picture for this one.

Overall, an extremely memorable, top 10 of the year meal.  Hosteria Giusti and Modena is another strong reason to stay an extra day in Bologna.

Maccheroni Hosteria Giusti veal cheek Hosteria Giusti Salumi Hosteria Giusti prosciutto Hosteria Giusti cut Hosteria Giusti

Categories: Emilia-Romagna, Italy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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