We went here off the back of a Rick Stein recommendation on his TV show. I like Rick Stein a lot. We actually checked out his new London restaurant a week before visiting Bologna - and it was wonderful.
I have NO idea what the hype is about regarding this restaurant. We looked around at two other tables who were similarly unimpressed with their food and laughed at each other.
The owner / manager gentleman needs to spend more time tasting his food and less time rustling the paper invoices at the desk at the front calculating all of the bills. He would also be well served to not query whether my (Italian) wife knows how to eat an artichoke and why she (as a pregnant lady) is not drinking wine.
The food had no flavour. At all. The table next to us of American diners shuffled their plates among one another trying to get each other to finish the food they did not want to eat. I ordered a squid ink pasta with mandarin sauce. Yes, my fault. I didn't eat it. My wife did not eat her pasta either. We asked for the bill right after our main courses and left. Much the the bemusement of the manager / owner who was shocked that we wouldn't stay for dessert.
The restaurant itself if in a city full of wonderful food options. The raw materials locally aren't hard to source so surely restaurants can't go far wrong. This place is clearly very popular (lots of Brits and many Americans) but it was definitely the worst place we ate during our four days in Bologna. The fish restaurant next to the seafood stand at Mercato delle Erbe was the best followed by Trattoria del Biassnot.
If you like classical Italian food done really well with friendly service - do not visit here. If you like mandarin with your cold squid ink pasta and stale bread to go before it, give it a go.
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