Best Name for a Wine Bar. Ever!

20130911-092854.jpgCrawling out of bed early this morning, I met L and B for breakfast on the balcony. For me this was a pastry and some figs that are so fantastically ripe they are just dripping with sugar.

Following breakfast we headed to the best-named museum in the world: the MAMbo. Museum of modern art of Bologna – and arrived to find it was closed until noon – the website and guides were wrong. Instead we hoofed it across town for a visit to the national art museum, after which we returned to the apartment for a lunch of tagliatelle with leftover boar. I never seem to have leftover boar at home, and should, perhaps, do something about that.

Speaking of the apartment, I haven’t told you much about it. It is nestled in amongst its neighboring buildings to the west of the central piazza but well within the city walls. At the top of the page you can see a picture of the side balcony with an eating area.

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There is a second balcony to the back of the apartment from which we can just see the distant hillsides.

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Inside there is a nice sitting area as well as a small but very workable kitchen.

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That’s my bedroom.

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That’s my view.

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And that’s the door. From the inside. See the keyhole? Well in case of emergency, just grab the keys …

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Yes those keys. In an emergency, make sure you pick the right skeleton key, and make sure you put it in right side up. And turn. Maybe jiggle a little. It should work…

This is clearly a hazardous situation, but it’s Italy so I love it just the same.

After lunch we had a long-deserved gelato and once again went to the MAMbo, which was open this time. The museum has an interesting collection with a few downright creepy pieces. Yup – creepy – modern art does that sometimes. It was a good visit for all of us, I think.

I then went to a wine store to pick up a bottle or two of lambrusco. I am hell bent on bringing some good lambrusco home, as it is difficult to find in the States. The vendor directed me to a few different bottles, and I was unable to decide between the driest bottle, which he said has the most body, and a bottle with a touch of sweetness. He stated this bottle is the biggest seller, as it is the most balanced of them. At least that’s what I think he said – the entire conversation took place in Italian and even the dogs here look scornfully on my language skills.

In the end I decided to buy both bottles, and will spend the next couple days tasting them and comparing notes and deciding. What will I do with the wine once I get home? Well it is time for a Bolognese dinner.

At the apartment I made a phone call for dinner reservations. My Italian came immediately into play, and the hostess switched promptly into English so as to spare both of us the ongoing conversation which would have likely been embarrassing and painful by the end.

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On the way to dinner we stopped at an enoteca (winebar) called … Swinebar. Many enoteche here offer free antipasti from 6:30 to 9 or so. It’s a great chance to relax, have a drink, some olives, and whatever other concoction they may have available.

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There are always olives!

In the wake of our drinks and snacks, we naturally went to eat.

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We started with cipollini agrodolce (a sweet and sour onion, of sorts, made with balsamico). This was served warm with a scoop of parmiggiano gelato and a drizzle of balsamico. It was interesting, although I’m not certain how I feel about gelato as an appetizer. Or at least in this setting it was somehow off putting, because I’m generally more than happy to make a meal of the stuff!

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Next came my primo, which was tagliatelle with asparagus and lime zest. I know the asparagus is out of season, but this looked really refreshing and it was. Interestingly enough, this is my second pasta this trip that has been made with citrus. Previously I would have approached with trepidation but both have been rousing successes (notwithstanding the fact that the asparagus was a bit overcooked).

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My secondo. My secondo. My secondo. Look at that chunk of meat. Yes, once again I had stinco di maiale. Pork shank. This was seasoned with rosemary and braised. The beast was served with potatoes that I suspect we’re boiled, or perhaps cooked in the braising pot for a bit, and roasted only at the end. It was gluttonous. It was obscene. It was delicious and I had far too much food.

We settled up the bill and dragged ourselves back to the apartment to recover for the evening. Because tomorrow there will be more food. There will be a lot more food.

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