Have you ever traveled somewhere literally just for a meal? Many food-centric travelers make pilgrimages to try a coveted restaurant whether it be a two-seat sushi dive in a Tokyo subway station, a Michelin starred food stall in a Singaporean hawker market, a destination restaurant where absolutely everything is cooked over an open fire in Patagonia, a number one rated restaurant in the world in Copenhagen, or in this case Modena.
Scoring a coveted reservation at a top restaurant is half the battle, but as a client so eloquently sent to me recently – “A trip like this should be savored in anticipation, and marinated in preparation.”
Osteria Francescana: Twelve tables in the heart of Modena. Each glorious course, a modern take on Modenese cooking, arrives to your table accompanied by an elaborate and whimsical story and paired with a sensational wine! Come ready!
Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano. This is an incredible dish and even more spectacular is how Massimo Bottura saved the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese industry after the region suffered devastating earthquakes threatening 200 million dollars of cheese.
Serious Satisfaction. Yes, going to the number one restaurant in the world sets the expectation bar high – but the answer is – IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY AND SURPASSED EXPECTATIONS – culinary, theatre, service, and wines – not in any particular order were over-the-top!
We stayed in Modena within walking distance of Osteria Francescana and the charming city is definitely worth an overnight. Since our stay here, Bottura has also opened a wonderful little hotel which I will highly suggest – Casa Maria Luigia.
The Mercato Albinelli is not to be missed – plan on lunch here and pack up goodies to take home. Everything is mouth-watering and at its peak.
The region of Emilia Romagna is called Italy’s ‘breadbasket‘, or its ‘heartland’. The economy is heavily dependent upon successful agriculture and the cultivation of specialty food products! Modena’s larger cousin, Bologna (lovingly called Bologna the Fat for its rich and fantastic foods) is a gorgeous university town and also a great place to base yourself as you explore the region. A stay here should absolutely involve tastings of premium Balsamic Vinegars, Parmigiano-Reggiano, stuffed pastas, cured meats, and refreshing, slightly effervescent chilled red wines called Lambruscos which are ideal with the intense foods. Car enthusiasts will love visits to the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories and better yet, let me set up a day driving the region in your favorite model! Yes, Rome, Venice, and Florence are “must see” locations, but visiting the lesser-visited cities of Italy will reward you most!