Hotel Touring were quite remarkable in finding me and my good friend A the very best things to do in Bologna. After a busy night and day touring the city on the bikes, Bologna being Bologna – food capital of Italy – our next steps required lots of food, in the very traditional Osteria De’Poeti, which has been frequented by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, oh and Keanu too. After a drink in Hotel Touring’s gorgeous library, we were good to go.
I admit I felt pretty special walking down these steps. As always the greeting was warm and friendly. Osteria De’ Poeti, what a place…
I just couldn’t stop looking around. From a small sign on the street, down a staircase, to a gigantic tunnelling basement, opening into a long corridor lined with wine, from which stunning dining rooms branch off, Osteria De’ Poeti is like a beautifully furnished rabbit warren. We felt a little like Alice in Wonderland.
Osteria de’Poeti is stunningly furnished with the most amazing array of antiques and collectables. We were seated next to this collection of pans, wondering of course where Brad Pitt had sat…did you see the photos I took of him by the way, a blogging highlight on a tough day.
We couldn’t take our eyes off the room.
Radios and gramphones and walls dripping in fairy lights. Our fellow diners were a mix of couples and groups of friends.
Food soon brought our eyes to our plates. Our waitress was wonderful and guided us through the menu, making suggestions and helping us navigate the seven courses ahead. There is a menu in English too.
Fossa Cheese Mousse in Truffle Cream for me, which was incredible. Rich, but an absolute taste sensation. The wine, a local Merlot, was amazing, so smooth.
The lovely part of this trip was A likes taking photos too, so she got some ‘candid’ ones instead of the usual forced ones of me, where I have had to bribe someone else in the family to take it, or take selfies. I bought this gorgeous velour jacket while shopping, A spotted Pull&Bear, which she tells me she has seen on ASOS before, I could have bought the whole shop.
The Bolognese special tortellini, mine was filled with ricotta. Home made pasta, freshly made is something everyone should taste once and tortellini originates from Bologna, so you have to try it here.
Already feeling rather full, I left A to negotiate what to have for the next course – and went for a wander. It’s such a treasure trove.
This room is used for groups, and is popular with students, colleagues and for post theatre celebrations. There’s music and dancing.
The wine is incredible at Osteria De’ Poeti, probably because it used to be a wine cellar, the barrels built into the walls are empty now, but once upon a time – you can imagine why this room received, and sustains a reputation for great place to celebrate.
Back at the table my next course was waiting. Being veggie can be a little complicated in Italy, not because there aren’t options, but because of the way more formal menus are structured. The only veggie option at this stage of the meal was a cheese board, and bear in mind I’d had 3 courses already at this point! Luckily A had convinced the staff I would be over the moon to receive a plate of vegetables from the ‘Contorno’ course, having eaten a lot of cheese already. They were delicious!
A on the other hand went full on into her main, she said it seemed rude not to sample Great Poeti’s speciality, which was meat wrapped in bacon filled with mozzarella and porcini.
And then a wonderful surprise, the chef came to say hello. He even showed us his medal for 25 years cooking in Bologna. What a legend, can you imagine all the people he has cooked for? I felt quite humbled he came to say hello to us.
There wasn’t any room in our tummies, so our waiter suggested sorbet. It was incredible, like no sorbet I have ever tasted. So fresh and zesty, and lemony. Just what we needed in fact. The staff seem to know what you don’t know you need yourself.
Grappa followed, we’d turned down coffee, but they still snuck a cheeky plate of biscuits and meringues in!
We were sad to leave, but really needed to move at this point! Such full bellies. What an incredible discovery, I couldn’t thank Hotel Touring enough for suggesting this place. It really was a wonderful dining experience and a wonderful introduction to the unique cuisine of Bologna.
What good company we keep!
We were up early the next day, to do a food tour with Italian Days, here’s a sneak peak of us looking fabulous! More to come…
Need to know
We ate at Osteria De’Poeti
We were guests of Hotel Touring, mention Penny Alexander Blog for a 15% discount.
Giacomo from Auto Blu Columbo would be my recommendation for your airport transfer.
Join us on a food tour tomorrow with Italian Days.