As the undisputed capital of good Emilian cuisine, Bologna is certainly not lacking in gastronomic offerings for Valentine's evening. In this case, too, we have selected a range of places, some of which you may not have considered for a romantic occasion. Yet, they work, try and see. Here are the places to try on Valentine's Day with an extra just outside the city.
Where to eat in Bologna for Valentine's Day
Restaurant. A stone's throw from Mercato delle Erbe, this establishment with dark interiors and soft lights offers a cuisine that balances modernity with local flavors. Alongside classics like capon tortellini or tagliatelle with ragù, you'll find inventive dishes like spaghetti with cashews, cod, and carrots or a tasty onion cream with snails and chicory. Noteworthy mains include the Bolognese-style cutlet and pigeon with radicchio and sour cherries, and a mention for the smoked boiled meat with puntarelle and oranges. End the meal with fresh fiordilatte or English trifle. Interesting seven-course tasting menus are available: traditional for €55 and creative for €65. The wine list is intriguing, with a rich selection of cocktails. The service is young and informal.
Oltre. - Via Augusto Majani, 1/b - 0510066049 - oltrebologna.it
I Carracci del Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni"
Restaurant. The gourmet heart of the Grand Hotel Majestic, formerly Baglioni, the most prestigious hotel in Bologna, is located in an evocative setting with the famous frescoed hall depicting the myth of Phaeton. Bolognese traditional icons are mentioned in delicate amuse-bouche that open the lunch, while the rest features a cuisine that explores the sea and the forest, with elegant courses where the centrality of the main ingredient defines the dish, without alchemy or overexposure. The wine list is extensive, offering choices from Italy and abroad, and there is also a water menu. Top-notch service.
I Carracci del Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni" - via Manzoni, 2 - 051 225445 - grandhotelmajestic.duetorrihotels.com
Bistrot. People come for the refined elegance of the environment, dominated by the American bar, and for the aperitif (from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm), where, alongside a cocktail, you'll find treats like beef tartare, crostini, and gazpacho. However, the particularly pleasant atmosphere invites you to stay for dinner, where the chef, blending creativity with memories of Apulia and the Adriatic in general, prepares modern and characterful dishes. The wine list is international (also available by the glass), or you can opt for cocktails, a specialty of the house. Good, friendly, and competent service. In summer, you can dine in the shade of the porticos.
I Conoscenti - via A. Manzoni, 6 - 051 232071 - iconoscenti.com
Trattoria Da Me
Restaurant. A place for curious foodie couples who appreciate substance over form. The setting is pleasant, and the service is well-tended and attentive, but it's mainly Elisa Rusconi's cuisine that represents an excellent compromise between tradition and personal elaborations. Here, alongside tastings of ice cream with various cheeses, you'll find classics like tortellini, green Bolognese lasagna, and Petroniana. The wine list focuses mainly on local references, with a wide variety of Lambrusco.
Trattoria Da Me - via San Felice, 50 - 051 555486 - trattoriadame.it
Restaurant. The restaurant of the elegant hotel of the same name is led by the young Salerno native, Nicola Annunziata, who offers a seasonal cuisine with a Campanian influence. The focus is on well-processed raw materials, with attention to international influences and contemporary taste. To experience the atmosphere, it's advisable to book in the "ex-ghiacciaia" room. The wine list is also good, with quality wines available by the glass and excellent pairings. The service is well-tended.
I Portici - via Indipendenza, 69 - 051 4218562 - iporticihotel.com
Restaurant. Many tables are mentioned in the sign, arranged in a small, intimate, and atmospheric space. Dark wood furnishings, a beautiful counter, minimal but elegant details, and above all, an interesting cuisine resulting from good raw materials and creative ideas. The starting point is the Bolognese tradition, with some variations: "our" Bolognese cutlet, "carbonara in tortellone," tortellini in Parmesan cream, duck breast with carrot puree and citrusy mustard sauce. The drinks are good and not taken for granted. The tasting menu at €45 is convenient.
Sette Tavoli - via Cartoleria 15/2 - 051 272900 - settetavoli.it
Bakery with kitchen. Perfect for an undemanding yet substantial evening, this small establishment run by the Mazzucchelli brothers is both a bakery and a pizzeria, located near Casa Mazzucchelli, a high-profile restaurant where leavened products play a significant role, and just a step away from the capital. The pizza is excellent, with a base that is a real signature, and the toppings are mostly classic. In addition to pizzas, there is a menu of daily dishes, from tagliatelle with game ragù to black cabbage soup, according to the season and the inspiration of Aurora Mazzucchelli. The baked breads also change daily. The place is well-maintained, and the service is precise. Service note: closed for lunch until March 3 (but open for the rest of the day).
Mollica - Sasso Marconi (BO) - via Porrettana, 291 - 373 7192259 - Facebook.com