Osteria Francescana is a modern Italian three Michelin star restaurant located in Modena, a small city in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Currently it is considered the number third best restaurant in the world according to San Pellegrino’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
I am beyond grateful that I was able to eat at this restaurant not only once but twice back in 2013. The first time I went I ordered the sensations degustation menu, a selection of seasonal plates, not knowing what dishes they would bring.
The chef, Massimo Bottura, is a visionary who truly pushes the limit in creativity and innovation. Every course was beautiful presented and service was impeccable. My favorite dishes of the night were the risotto, eel, foie gras ravioli, and the lemon tart. The risotto of freshwater and seawater was perfectly cooked of course with delicate little fish meatballs. The saba lacquered eel was sweet, moist, and tender and paired extremely well with the tart green apple sauce. The foie gras ravioli was true decadence with pieces of black truffle on top. Finally, the famous lemon tart was so much fun to look at and tasted amazing!
Here you watch chef Massimo Bottura talk about his signature dessert, “Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart”.
However, there were some dishes I did not care for at all. My least favorite dishes were the lamb tartare and the snails. Personally, the combination of lamb tartare with oyster emulsion made no sense to me. The flavors didn’t come together when I ate the dish and was off-putting from the taste and the texture. The snails were cooked excellently but the beetroot and chlorophyll juice added nothing to the dish making the entire dish bland. Nonetheless, I have to commend chef Massimo Bottura because he takes risks in his food. Overall, I’d rate my first experience here a 7.5-8/10.
My second time at Osteria Francescana I ordered their classic degustation menu and my father ordered the traditions degustation menu (normally they don’t let you choose different tasting menus).
This time the menu I ordered had dishes that were more simple but were executed perfectly (8-8.5/10). If you’re slightly picky about food then I would recommend this menu. Highlights of this meal were the tortellini and the Mora Romagnola pork ribs. The tortellini in Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cream was packed with flavor and the pasta texture was perfect. The Mora Romagnola pork ribs were to die for. Tender pork meat glazed in sweet balsamic vinegar made this dish exceptional.
Overall both of my dining experiences at Osteria Francescana were unforgettable. I have tremendous respect for chef Massimo Bottura and perhaps one day I’ll be dining at his restaurant again.