Bottura’s Osteria Franceschetta a Dinner Review in Modena Italy

Franceschetta58, co-owned by Michelin Starred chef Massimo Bottura is a restaurant that wants to represent a new Italian kitchen where tradition and innovation come hand in hand. Located in a semi-industrial area of Modena but still reachable by food by the city center, the restaurant sets itself as a more friendly and accessible way to the high cuisine, but at contained prices. The combination of a high-quality and rather casual atmosphere makes the restaurant particularly good.

The restaurant wants to be a low-cost version of Massimo Bottura’s much more exclusive Osteria Francescana (which, by the way, is ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world). The chef accomplished the realization of a successful, less exclusive but still high quality and well-researched restaurant by partnering up with Marta Pulini, an expert in the area of the contemporary brasserie. Both chefs managed to give birth to a restaurant where tradition is not completely re-invented, just re-interpreted with amazing results and sometimes surprising results.

The Ambience

Entering the restaurant, I got the feeling that the whole place is designed for customers to have a different experience while enjoying good, Italian food, The building is a renovated tire shop where you can decide to share a communal wood table or can sit at one of the more intimate tables. The design is simple but in line with the personality of the restaurant: young but with good taste, ambitious but efficient. The mismatched glassware and silverware, the mix between industrial and urban style, might not be of everyone’s taste, but I liked it. It all suggests a link with the “modern” and contemporary style, which is also reflected on the menu. It seems to be a more hipster version of the classic “fancy restaurants”.

The Service

Franceschetta58 is opened six days a week and offers an à la carte menu for dinner as well as a shorter “quick” smart lunch menu. I went for dinner, so I can mainly speak for that.

During dinner, there is the possibility to pick between two fixed-price menus or to choose one or more dishes from the à la cart menu.

The presentation of the dishes is very attractive and particularly creative: some of them are so wonderful you don’t even want to eat them! But then, once you give in and take the first bite, the combination of flavors, the texture, everything balances out so well. Franceschetta58 is one of the few restaurants that offer well-researched and innovative cuisine for everyone. The prices are not overly expensive but fair, and the professional but not invasive staff makes the whole experience better. It is always positive to receive good service and at the restaurant, the choice of the best wine for your meal is supported by very helpful experts that make everything they can to make you feel at home.

I was really satisfied with the way I was treaded. I found the restaurant differentiating from similar but more exclusive restaurants by an ambiance which is not stiff, as it often happens at this kind of restaurant. Instead, the casual ambiance allowed me to enjoy my meal peacefully and feeling at ease.

It might be a bit hard to reserve a table, due to the increasing popularity that the restaurant is gaining (and deserving) but all the efforts will be worth it in the end! Don’t expect to go there for dinner and find a free table, as it doe not happen often.

The food

Despite the creative combinations of traditional and international cuisine, of classic Italian dishes with a touch of creativity and a strong personality, the focus remains the regional territory of Emilia Romagna. The result is a unique and tasty mix of amazing flavors and the re-discovery of classic dishes under a new light and new flavors that enhance the taste of the ingredients. I highly recommend the Tortellini in Parmesean Cream, you get an amazing traditional dish from Modena, with the enhanced flavor of the so-called “king of cheeses”.

Seasonal dishes are constantly updated and added according to the availability. My friend tried the Baccala that was also really good, delicate and tasy.

Even if not entirely, the majority of the menu is based on local ingredients such as the famous Parmiggiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese is actually from the region where the restaurant is located) and Aceto Balsamico di Modena (balsamic vinegar, specifically from Modena). Even if they sound pretty simple ingredients, the menu offers the opportunity to experience them in a completely different way.

I’ve heard that during lunch the only option available is the smart menu, so you can’t choose anything else despite the three options available.

Overall, I think the food is particularly tasty and the flavors are a good representation that Italian cuisine can evolve and it is not just about tradition. The price to quality ratio is optimal, if you want to have a good, fulfilling experience while eating delicious food, Franceschetta 58 is an exceptionally good option. I for sure recommend the restaurant!

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