Watching “Chef’s Table” on Netflix brought me back a few years to my dinner at Osteria Francescana. It starts by going in depth in how he cooks from his memories (that is a paraphrase of course).
The night we ate dinner at Osteria Francescana in October 2011, the Amuse Bouche was deconstructed Mortadella. Chef Botturro later came by our table and we chatted out the mortadella dish; for him, it reminded him of childhood. It also reminded me of my childhood, but my experience was obviously in stark contract to his. It tasted exactly like the mortadella of my childhood, which my mom would occasionally buy. I didn’t like it then, and I didn’t like it served to me as pate with gourmet bread. I actually handed mine off to Artboy to finish. It wasn’t bad; I wanted to like it, but the memories it invoked were pungent rather than fond. For an Amuse Bouche, the portion was actually huge!
As most people reading this blog know, I don’t take food photos generally. If someone else at the table is taking photos, I might take photos as well. But generally, I don’t delay my tasting and experience my snapping photos. I leave you with these photos. I did snap a photo of dessert, because it truly was art!
We arrived rather early for our reservation. We’d just driven up to Modena for the day from Florence and needed to be back on the road, so our reservation was for 8 p.m. We’d been sitting outside for a while (there isn’t much to do in front), having already enjoyed Aperitivo elsewhere, and were invited in a bit early, where we proceeded to play with our bread sticks. Can’t take us anywhere!
As we had to drive home, we skipped the wine pairing, but our waiter put together a delicious beer pairing for us to share instead. Possibly, the pairing I’ve enjoyed the most of any meal. He also mocked me, as I spent more on bottles of water than wine and beer. Hey, I had to drive us home as Artboy doesn’t drive manual.
Dinner was exquisite, but unfortunately the experience was marred by the Brazilian couple across from us who skyped their friend (loudly) from their phone for almost the entire meal. They also took hundreds of photos with a flash, had the servers take photos of them with each plate, and apparently didn’t notice the shutter and beeping noises on their camera or the key clicking noise on their phones. While it’s hard to separate the memory of the food with the memory of the couple across from us, I find that as time goes on, I can do that a bit better. I do know that I want to return someday. If I lived closer, I would return as often as possible.