by Isadora Liquori
The perfect place to dine alone or with a small group of friends, Hostaria San Carlino is real find located in the heart of the “canal district” of Bologna.
Dim lights, warm atmosphere and an outstanding menu that includes all of Bologna’s traditional “must-haves” as well as some unexpected treats for a very reasonable price, the osteria was founded more than 30 years ago and it has always been a reference point for those who want to taste some of our town’s traditional recipes.
The menu changes according to the time of the year and offers traditional recipes as well as some re-intepreted classics, the atmosphere is intimate and relaxed and the osti (literally, the “hosts”) are more than happy to stop at your table for a chat and some wine suggestions.
We were welcomed with a small entrée made of zucchini and strawberry salad (something you would expect from a gourmet restaurant rather than an osteria and that left us craving for more).
Starters were “Bologna” cooked and served: Mortadella IGP, served with warm bread and crescenta, a traditional focaccia bread, and deep fried courgette flowers (about €6).
From the first bite, the first thing you notice is the big attention they pay for the quality of the ingredients, even the simplest ones (and what’s simpler yet tastier than a slice of mortadella on a piece of warm, home-made bread?)
Amongst the main courses (around €24 to €32) some of our old-time favourites: tortellini in brodo and passatelli served with at twist: bacon and chicory, instead of the usual clear beef or chicken broth they are usually served in.
Next we had my personal favourite of the night, the guancia brasata al Sangiovese (beef cheek cooked in Sangiovese wine) and the cotoletta alla bolognese (breaded cutlet topped with cured ham and melted parmigiano reggiano cheese)
Alongside the food, it is definitely worth mentioning the long and refined wine list as well as the amazing selection of Italian and imported spirits (try the artichokes and orange liqueur and get ready to be shocked and amazed!)
And if that’s not enough, they promise Amore in tutti piatti – love in every dish!
Via San Carlo, 16, 40121 Bologna (central area)
Tel.: 051 4126010
Cell/mobile: 347 7027799
Email: [email protected]
Monday to Saturday 12:00-15:00 / 19:30-23:00 (no Saturday lunch during the summer)