Antica Osteria del Mirasole:Franco Cimini and the emilian culinary tradition. Extremely modern.



There is much talk about tradition today, blablabla and madamethemarchioness, by know-it-all and unbearable windbags, ranging between those who defend their grandmother's cooking and vanguard enthusiasts. Then you knock at this door under an old wooden sign, in a village in the surroundings of Bologna that makes you wonder whether you're in the countryside or the suburbs and you start to think what's the meaning of all these written and spoken words?
Franco Cimini is a phenomenon, an old school host, a bit Mangiafuoco (the Pinocchio character), a bit stall keeper. He welcomes you to a warm and cosy house that smells of antique things of the past, of those Sunday lunches that followed holy communions and christenings. Old furniture, printed tablecloths from the Romagna area, the right glasses and an informal service, but with the right rhythm: at the end of the room a fireplace that is not there for appearance, but is a cooking instrument for meats with a rigorously certified provenance.
The menu is solid, classic, reassuring, like home after a rainy day. There are many dishes of the Emilia area: the right ones. The sacred ritual of tradition, of a cuisine that talks the language of an artisan know-how, ancient and at the same time very modern. Flavours of the past, decisive and strong, but tuned to modern digestibility and pleasantness.
Starting with a truly incredible round of cured meats: the mortadella is pleasantly intense and the prosciutto just right, the polenta with coppa di testa and the liver crostini are touching, then the simplicity of toasted bread with new olive oil.
The mains are fantastic: the tortellini with double cream are from outer space, comforting and reassuring, pure gluttony – one could eats bucket loads. Then the old-fashioned lasagne, with the wrinkled pasta sheets made yellow by egg and green by nettles, a nice brick not suitable for Prada-wearing ladies, but for Gascon and greedy bites with its delicious oven-burnt, homemade and at the same time very modern flavour. The fettucine with di cortile (which means with chicken, duck, rabbit) Bolognese sauce have the extra touch of embryonic egg, which give it a pleasantly vanguard touch.
The meat dishes are an ode to offal in all its forms: the fried sweetbread are a dream, elegant and flavoursome. The grilled liver skewers are cooked to perfection and with a moving touch of burnt bay leaf. Then the grilled meats, all delicious, all direct and certified production, cooked in front of your eyes.
The wine list is curious and slightly cripple: from a place like this you would expect artisan and gastronomic bottles, with low prices and a happy smile, but instead these are lacking: what is not lacking are the right and precious bottles, even important ones.

 How much modernity in these effective and fresh flavours that are simple but never predictable. How much pleasure under another Italian bell tower.


photos by Guido Rizzuti

Tags: mortadella / meat sauce / bologna / bolognaise / rag¨ / tagliatelle / lasagna / tortellini / tradition / culinari / emilia romagna / emilian / san giovanni in persiceto / mirasole / antica osteria / parma han / vanguard / /

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