October Bologna PASTA meals??
Looking for some really delicious meals for my husband and I in mid-October where the first pasta courses are outstanding...nothing too out there, probably will focus on the traditional lasagna, tortellini, tortelli, raviolis, etc. I'm sure we'll get second courses sometimes, but I think we'd both enjoy the pasta most!
I'm trying to narrow it down between La Traviata, da Gianni, da Nello al Montegrappa, Ristorante Cesarina, Bitone, Al Sangiovese, da Cesari,
Are any of these in particular really standout restaurants or should I be considering others?
you should also really try the antipasti in this region - the cured meats are delicious.
Look for mushrooms (funghi porcini,) too, or dishes using them, when you are visiting.
I haven't eaten at the majority of your choices, and I'd only go to da Nello at Montegrappa for mushrooms or truffles in October. I wouldn't go for pasta. I enjoy da Gianni for dishes other than pasta. If it is very important to you sample exemplary pasta while you are in Bologna, I suggest you go to Gigina, just a short taxi ride from the center.
There is no ravioli in Bologna. For stuffed pastas, in addition to tortellini, there are torteloni (bigger) and cappellacci, which are most often filled with pumpkin in October. There is also anolini (sort of a small half-moon).
You are unlikely to get unconventional pasta anywhere you go in Bologna, and most popular restaurants serve reasonably good tortellini in brodo or torteloni with sage and butter, so I wouldn't agonize over that. Getting great lasagne is much more difficult, and even places where I've had great lasagne one time have served me lousy lasagne another time, resembling a doorstop. I've never had it at Gigina, but they always have it on the menu, and I'd sooner gamble on them serving a consistently delicious classic version than many other places near the touristic center.
But you can't go to Gigina or even most of the restaurants on your list and just order pasta. You can go to some informal neighborhood joints and do that, but for serious food places, you should go hungry and order at least 2 courses, and perhaps 3 (but you can split one of the courses).
You asked if you should be considering other places, and in addition to Gigina, I suggest you consider Serghei. If you are on a very low budget, consider La Mariposa around the corner from Serghei, but only go for pasta and maybe an antipasta of some sort. They only do pasta nicely, and their best stuffed pasta is torteloni with butter and sage. I also like Trattoria Anna Maria for pasta with gorgonzola, but some people resent their high prices.
The best Tortelloni I had in Bologna was at Trattoria Anna Maria. The friggione (stewed onions) were also delicious.
La Campanina - City Bologna
This was one of the most spectacular experiences, and the Lasagne al Forno di Bolognese is phenomenal and almost the same as my paternal Grandmom prepared.
We have eaten here every time we have been to Bologna and back in 2006 or 2007, Chef Mario Batali and his professional team were doing a taste testing, as he was in the process of opening his Del Posto in the Meat Packing District of NYC at that time.
RISTORANTE LANCELLOTTI - Soliera, EMILIA ROMAGNA, a small rural farming village outside of Modena ...
LANCELLOTTI the eldest of the sons in this family, is a true blend of the traditional with a touch of modernity. Ida, Mom was in her 70s back in 2000, so she is getting on. Francesco, the youngest son, prepares the balsamic vinegar and is also the sommelier.
The Tagliatelle with Ragù is heaven on earth. There is a tiny Bed & Breakfast upstairs, in case you do not wish to drive back to Bologna.