Franceschetta 58, Modena, Italy

The next day, we were off to Modena for a day trip. Now, the original genesis of our trip to Bologna and Modena was to snag a reservation at Osteria Francescana, Massimo Bottura’s restaurant, but we unfortunately weren’t able to get one. So we went to the sister restaurant, Franceschetta 58, which is more lowkey and serves buffet-style for lunch. We weren’t thrilled with the idea of the buffet, but should have known that they would do it right…

To start off, the antipasti… porchetta, salame, and the most amazing foccacia ever… it was a bit hard, as they had fried it. Fried it. It had the most amazing taste… and was great with a side of peccorino cheese.

A few salads as well.. a faro salad with courgette, feta, mint and lemon – a salad with cabbage, speck, and pieces of cheese – and a frisee salad served with Parmesan, croutons, speck, and pear. All really good, my favourite was the farro salad, whereas Hanna’s was the frisee with pear.

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Then, the pasta course. These were quite different and both delicious… impressive! The one on the left was a pasticcio di aneleti, served with speck, radicchio, and walnuts. The bitter radicchio was a nice with the ham and crunchy walnut. And a fun pasta shape.

Then… the orecchiette. Wow. Just served with the spicy salccica in a light sauce, so simple but really good… With a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese… I was honestly in heaven.

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And we kept powering on… the main courses. Some sauteed bitter leaves (I loved these and gobbled them up, Hanna stayed away as they had a fibrous consistency and could have played to her allergies). Some roasted vegetables, also really good and flavourful.

On the left, the strips of beef in a creamy wine sauce… this was delicious. I thought that it might be too much, but wow, it wasn’t too heavy, and I gobbled it up, mixing it in with the fennel potato puree that was lusciously creamy (made like a  French-style puree, full of cream).

And then the pork with chichory and mustard (all the way on the right). I find that pork is very difficult to cook well, as it’s almost always dry. And this one was pretty well done, it was still slightly moist in the middle.. though it depended on the piece. Tough.

IMG_6112And finally, two kinds of cake for dessert, a chocolate cake (which really tasted like a brownie) and a more simple yogurt cake, which I preferred.

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Stuffed, we hobbled out of the restaurant and on to more exploring of Modena! While we were disappointed not to get into Osteria Francescana, this was a fun, very different experience that still made the trip to Modena worth it!

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